'PlayStation backs, Atari forwards'

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 05:17
Large mourad boudjellal

REACTION: Flamboyant Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal on Saturday likened his flying backs to the cutting edge of 21st century PlayStation technology but claimed his forwards were struggling to master 1980's Atari games.

Boudjellal summoned up his colourful metaphor after seeing his expensively-assembled three-time European champions crash to an embarrassing 24-26 defeat at relegation-haunted Agen in the Top 14 despite running in four tries.

"In the backs, four tries, it's a PlayStation team," said the club President Boudjellal.

"But up front, it's still a little like an Atari game. It's not yet developed, the Atari and the PS4, they don't go together. I'm not afraid to say it."

England winger Chris Ashton scored a stunning hat-trick of tries while a score from veteran All Blacks centre Ma'a Nonu in the corner appeared to put Toulon on course for a hard-earned win at a wet and chilly Stade Armandie.

But three minutes from time, Hugo Verdu, who had only been on the pitch for two minutes, knocked over Agen's fourth penalty to seal a dramatic win.

Agen, who had started the day second from bottom, led 20-19 at the interval with two tries in the space of seven minutes from lock forward Denis Marchois and New Zealand centre George Tilsley.

Ashton scored two of his tries either side of them with Luke McAlister adding the extras.

Toulon then edged ahead at 24-23 after the interval with Ashton completing his hat-trick in the 67th minute.

In a tense finale, young Australian flyhalf Jake McIntyre, who had already kicked two conversions and three penalties, saw a penalty come back agonisingly off the post.

But 21-year-old replacement centre Verdu then showed nerves of steel to bury the match-winning penalty in the 77th minute as Agen clinched just their second win of the campaign. 

AFP