French giants Toulon survive Bath scare

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 19:10
Large toulon v bath.800

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Three-times European Rugby champions RC Toulon left it late to claim a 24-20 triumph over Bath Rugby to take control of Champions Cup Pool 5 at the Stade Felix Mayol on Saturday.

Top 14 heavyweights RC Toulon were made to work hard on home soil as Bath Rugby dominated the first half, before Anthony Belleau produced a moment of individual brilliance in the dying embers to clinch a victory that sees the French side take a three-point lead ahead of the rematch in the English West Country next weekend.

Bath Rugby burst out of the blocks as England and British & Irish Lions wing Anthony Watson cantered over to score the first try of the match, which Rhys Priestland converted, adding to his earlier penalty to give the visitors a 10-0 lead 15 minutes into the match.

As RC Toulon began to string phases together, All Blacks international Ma'a Nonu spotted a gaping hole in the Bath Rugby defence and strode home their first score of the match, only for Priestland to restore a five-point advantage for the tourists at the halfway point.

Bath Rugby found themselves under significant pressure in the second half, which told as Chris Cook - making his 100th appearance for the West Country outfit - was yellow carded for deliberately slapping the ball down as RC Toulon attacked.

It would only delay the inevitable, though, as RC Toulon scrumhalf Alby Mathewson crossed in a second try and Francois Trinh-Duc's second conversion of the afternoon put the hosts in front.

England centre Jonathan Joseph thrust Bath Rugby back in front as he jogged over the whitewash and Priestland's conversion meant RC Toulon would need at least a converted try to claim victory.

Trinh-Duc narrowed the margin by slotting a penalty kick, before replacement flyhalf Belleau dinked a deft grubber through the Bath Rugby defence and went on to collect his own setup to score a sensational solo try and claim a crucial win for RC Toulon with just four minutes left to play.

The scorers:

For Toulon:
Tries:
Nonu, Mathewson, Belleau
Cons: Trinh-Duc 2, Belleau
Pen: Trinh-Duc

For Bath:
Tries
: Watson, Joseph
Cons: Priestland 2
Pens: Priestland 2

Yellow Card: Chris Cook  (Bath)

Toulon: 15 Chris Ashton, 14 Josua Tuisova, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Semi Radradra, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Raphael Lakafia, 6 Juan Fernandez Lobbe, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Levan Chilachava, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Florian Fresia
Replacements: 16 Anthony Etrillard, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Marcel Van Der Merwe, 19 Facundo Isa, 20 Anthony Belleau, 21 JP Pietersen, 22 Anthony Meric, 23 Juandre Kruger

Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Aled Brew, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Chris Cook, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Paul Grant, 6 Matt Garvey (captain), 5 Luke Charteris, 4 Elliott Stooke, 3 Max Lahiff, 2 Tom Dunn, 1 Beno Obano
Replacements: 16 Michael van Vuuren, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 Zach Mercer, 21 Kahn Fotuali’i, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Jack Wilson

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: George Clancy (Ireland), John Carvill (Ireland)
TMO: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 20 January 2018
Montpellier v Leinster 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Glasgow Warriors v Exeter Chiefs 13h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Cheetahs v Kings 15h00 Bloemfontein
Saracens v Northampton Saints 15h15 Allianz Park
Clermont Auvergne v Ospreys 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Treviso v Bath 17h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Scarlets v Toulon 17h30 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 21 January 2018
Leicester Tigers v Racing Metro 13h00 Welford Road
Munster v Castres 13h00 Thomond Park
La Rochelle v Harlequins 15h15 Stade Marcel-Deflandre
Wasps v Ulster 15h15 Ricoh Arena
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Ulster 5 3 0 2 17
La Rochelle 5 3 0 2 16
Wasps 5 2 0 3 12
Harlequins 5 1 0 4 7
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 5 4 0 1 18
Ospreys 5 2 1 2 15
Saracens 5 2 1 2 13
Northampton Saints 5 1 0 4 6
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 5 5 0 0 23
Exeter Chiefs 5 3 0 2 14
Montpellier 5 2 0 3 13
Glasgow Warriors 5 0 0 5 2
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 5 3 1 1 16
Racing Metro 5 3 0 2 15
Castres 5 2 1 2 12
Leicester Tigers 4 1 0 4 6
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Toulon 5 4 0 1 18
Scarlets 5 3 0 2 17
Bath 5 3 0 2 13
Treviso 5 0 0 5 3