Mitchell denies Wasps in Toulon

Date published: January 17 2016

Toulon survived a late scare against Wasps to take top spot in Pool 5 in the Champions Cup.

Guy Thompson finished off a well-worked Wasps move to find the corner to take Wasps in to a late lead, but Jimmy Gopperth failed to convert for the first time in Europe this season.

An 81st-minute try from Drew Mitchell sealed the victory after the French side had fallen behind for the first time in the game just ten minutes before the end.

An impressive run from Fijian winger Josua Tuisova allowed Quade Cooper to open the scoring with a twelfth-minute try, but Eric Escande was unable to convert.

After George Smith was shown his way to the sin-bin for blocking Brian Habana, Toulon extended their lead to eight points through the boot of Escande.

Gopperth replied just three minutes later converting his first attempt at the sticks.

Cooper then failed to reinstate an eight-point lead after the break as he missed a drop goal attempt, before Gopperth slotted a penalty just past the hour mark to take Wasps within a score of the French side.

Thompson then found a gap in the Toulon defence to reach for the line, taking Wasps ahead for the first time in the game.

But with the clock in the red, Mitchell rescued the points for his side by running home after a sustained period of pressure.

Having replaced Cooper in the second half, Frédéric Michalak converted Mitchell's late try after missing two penalties earlier on.

The scorers:

For Toulon:
Tries: Cooper, Mitchell
Con: Michalak
Pen: Escande

For Wasps:
Try: Thompson
Pens: Gopperth 2
Yellow Card: G Smith

Toulon: 15 Drew Mitchell, 14 Josua Tuisova, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Eric Escande, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Juan Smith, 5 Konstantine Mikautadze, 4 Jocelino Suta, 3 Levan Chilachava, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Florian Fresia.
Replacements: 16 Anthony Etrillard, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Manasa Saulo, 19 Mamuka Gorgodze, 20 Frederic Michalak, 21 Maxime Mermoz, 22 Sebastien Tillous-Borde, 23 Thibault Lassale.

Wasps: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Ben Jacobs, 11 Frank Halai, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Guy Thompson, 7 George Smith, 6 Sam Jones, 5 James Gaskell, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Edd Shervington, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Ashley Johnson, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 Thomas Young, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Ruaridh Jackson, 23 Rob Miller.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Leighton Hodges (Wales), Wayne Davies (Wales)
TMO: Jonathan Mason (Wales)