Wilkinson kicks Toulon to victory

Mon, 24 Dec 2012 06:39
Large jonny wilkinson   matt gite Large jonny wilkinson looks2 630 Large jonny wilkinson toulon look

Jonny Wilkinson overcame a nervous display but still kicked all of Toulon's points in a gritty 15-9 win over struggling Agen at the weekend.

Jonny Wilkinson overcame a nervous display but still kicked all of Toulon's points in a gritty 15-9 win over struggling Agen at the weekend as his team maintained a seven-point lead in the French Top 14.

Despite missing three kicks at goal Wilkinson was successful with four penalties and a second-half drop-goal with South African flyhalf Conrad Barnard successful with three penalties for Agen.

"It was a small match but an important victory," said Toulon coach Pierre Mignoni.

"It was essential to get the four points and consolidate our first place. The title of 'autumn champions' is not important, we have won nothing."

Two-time defending champions Toulouse slipped to their fifth defeat in all competitions this season as Grenoble beat them 15-6.

It was the first time in four-and-a-half years that the four-time European champions had suffered two successive defeats, having lost to Welsh side Ospreys in their European Cup clash last Saturday.

Former Toulouse player Valentin Courrent kicked all his side's points in what was their eighth win - their seventh at home and extending their unbeaten stretch there to 22 - of a successful return to the elite league while also denying Toulouse a defensive bonus point.

Toulouse, whose five defeats have all been away from home, are nine points adrift of Toulon while 2010 champions Clermont are second - two points ahead of Toulouse and seven behind Toulon - having beaten Bordeaux-Begles 28-24 on Friday.

Grenoble coach Sylvain Begon said that victory had been made possible because the players had listened to what his strategy was and replicated it on the pitch.

"The players not only followed the gameplan but they once again showed their spirit is exemplary," said the 40-year-old.

"It is vital not to leave space for Toulouse to attack through. We never panicked, even when we were at one point being dominated by them. It is crucial we continue to preserve this momentum for as long as possible."

Toulouse wing Vincent Clerc conceded that Grenoble had been hungrier for victory.

"There is little to say," said the France star.

"Grenoble were without doubt more aggressive, performing better than us.

"In difficult conditions, it was decided on the little things and Grenoble were more committed than us."

Toulouse were forced into recalling hooker William Servat for his fifth start this season despite his retirement at the end of last season after 18-year-old Christopher Toklofua was ruled out shortly before the kick-off because of a hip injury.

It was Grenoble, though, who opened the scoring through an eighth minute penalty from Courrent after Yannick Nyanga had not released Jonathan Best in the tackle.

However Toulouse levelled two minutes later through 21-year-old scrum-half Sebastien Bezy.

Courrent, though, was having a storming start to the game and another piece of delightful positional kicking by the 30-year-old led to a penalty for the hosts, which he converted in the 16th minute.

Bezy, who had been preferred by Guy Noves to Australian star Luke Burgess for the starting spot, again levelled the game but Courrent, who made 33 appearances for Toulouse from 2006-08, then kicked two in a row before edging the hosts three points ahead on the stroke of half-time.

He extended the lead to 12-6 shortly after the restart while Bezy missed one and with under 10 minutes remaining the hosts moved to 15-6 ahead with a superb long range penalty by Courrent.

Collated results:
Grenoble 15 Toulouse 6
Castres 31 Racing Metro 10
Perpignan 30 Montpellier 19
Stade Francais 36 Biarritz 23
Bayonne 39 Mont-de-Marsan 13
Agen 9 Toulon 15
Bordeaux 24 Clermont 28

Top 14 standings:
(Under headings played, won, drawn, lost, points for, against, bonus points, points):
Toulon 13 11 0 2 383 196 7 51
Clermont 13 10 0 3 297 227 4 44
Toulouse 13 9 0 4 379 247 6 42
Castres 13 9 1 3 309 232 4 42
Montpellier 13 8 0 5 264 254 4 36
Grenoble 13 8 0 5 288 284 2 34
Perpignan 13 6 0 7 307 299 5 29
Stade Francais 13 6 1 6 304 303 2 28
Biarritz 13 6 0 7 254 261 4 28
Bayonne 13 5 0 8 219 285 6 26
Racing-Metro 13 5 0 8 213 248 5 25
Bordeaux-Begles 13 3 0 10 252 312 6 18
Agen 13 3 0 10 222 351 5 17
Mont-de-Marsan 13 1 0 12 183 375 2 6


There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 20 October 2017
Scarlets v Bath 18h45 Parc y Scarlets
Sat, 21 October 2017
Australia v New Zealand 09h00 Brisbane
Glasgow Warriors v Leinster 12h00 Scotstoun
Sharks v Blue Bulls 12h30 Durban
Treviso v Toulon 14h15 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Western Province v Golden Lions 15h00 Cape Town
Clermont Auvergne v Northampton Saints 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Leicester Tigers v Castres 16h30 Welford Road
Munster v Racing Metro 16h30 Thomond Park
Saracens v Ospreys 18h45 Allianz Park
Sun, 22 October 2017
Montpellier v Exeter Chiefs 12h00 Altrad Stadium
La Rochelle v Ulster 14h15 Paris
Wasps v Harlequins 16h30 Ricoh Arena
TOP 14