Bonus-point win for table-toppers Toulouse

Date published: December 27 2015

Toulouse will head into the new year at the summit of the Top 14 standings after they beat Toulon 31-8 with a bonus-point at Stadium Municipal on Sunday.

Victory leaves Ugo Mola's outfit three points clear of Racing 92 and Clermont, with Bordeaux-Bègles, Toulon and Montpellier not far behind.

It was a game to forget for Ma'a Nonu as his wayward pass led to the opening score of the game on eleven minutes, as Gaël Fickou intercepted with ease.

With Toulon fly-half Tom Taylor and Toulouse scrum-half Sébastien Bézy then trading a penalty apiece, the gap was 10-3 at the break but should have been much tighter had Taylor not hooked two shots off the tee. The New Zealander also missed another similar effort during the second-half.

Toulon must have been wondering how they were 17-3 adrift three minutes into the second-half when Maxime Médard crossed after a solid bust from centre Florian Fritz. What made matters worse for the visitors was that Duane Vermeulen was injured attempting to halt the full-back.

But the visitors regrouped and did respond just before the hour mark when sustained pressure resulted in right wing James O'Connor going over from close-range.

Unfortunately Taylor's missed conversion left Toulon two scores adrift at 17-8 with time ticking on at the sold-out venue.

And those fans duly roared when the points were secured soon after with Yacouba Camara finishing superbly down the sideline, as Toulouse sealed the win before adding the try bonus-point via a penalty try for a perfect end to the year.

The scorers:

For Toulouse:
Tries: Fickou, Médard, Camara, Penalty
Cons: Bézy 4
Pen: Bézy
Yellow Card: Dusautoir

For Toulon:
Try: O'Connor
Pen: Taylor
Yellow Card: Gorgodze

Toulouse: 15 Maxime Médard, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Gaël Fickou, 12 Florian Fritz, 11 Alexis Palisson, 10 Jean-Marc Doussain, 9 Sébastien Bézy, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Yacouba Camara, 6 Thierry Dusautoir, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Yoann Maestri, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Vasil Kakovin.
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Cyril Baille, 18 Joe Tekori, 19 Gregory Lamboley, 20 Gillian Galan, 21 Luke McAlister, 22 Toby Flood, 23 Dorian Aldegheri.

Toulon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 James O'Connor, 13 Maxime Mermoz, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Tom Taylor, 9 Sébastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Mamuka Gorgodze, 5 Konstantin Mikautadze, 4 Jocelino Suta, 3 Levin Chilachava, 2 Anthony Etrillard, 1 Xavier Chiocci.
Replacements: 16 Guihelm Guirado, 17 Florian Fresia, 18 Romain Taofifeuna, 19 Juan Smith, 20 Quade Cooper, 21 Theo Belan, 22 Eric Escande, 23 Matt Stevens.

Referee: Maxime Chalon