Toulon boss Mike Ford suggested that silverware may not come the club’s way this season after being well beaten away to Clermont.
Ford watched on as Toulon were thrashed 30-6 by title rivals Clermont on Sunday, with the three-time European Champions’ scrum proving problematic.
Starting props Florian Fresia and Manasa Saulo were both tactically replaced on the half-hour mark with Toulon’s scrum going backwards, but there was little replacements Xavier Chiocci and Levan Chilachava could do to stop the rot.
“Our scrum did not work at all in the first half, and in the second it was the reason for our downfall,” Ford told Rugbyrama.
“When you are dominated in that area it is difficult to get a good result. We are very disappointed.”
Toulon have now slipped out of the top four in the Top 14 and are eight points behind Saracens in their Champions Cup pool, leaving them with a tricky path to success this season after four major trophies in the last five years.
Ford took over from Diego Dominguez towards the end of last year and has already signed up recently sacked Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill to his coaching staff for the remainder of the season to work on the side’s defence.
After the club’s seventh league defeat in 16 games this season Ford concluded: “Toulon have been three-time champions of Europe but it is fair to say that period is over now.
“We have to get back to work and to improve certain areas.”