A controversial penalty try from English referee Andrew Small helped Toulon to an untidy 22-15 Top 14 victory over Castres on Friday.
A controversial penalty try from English referee Andrew Small helped Toulon to an untidy 22-15 win over Castres on Friday.
The result, Toulon's fourth straight win, sees them provisionally move up to third in the Top 14 standings, level with leaders Montpellier and Racing Metro.
RCT fly-half Jonny Wilkinson took the game by the scruff of the neck at the Stade Mayol, whose Delangre stand offered up the incongruous sight of English fans in the 13,500 crowd sporting Admiral Nelson-style bicorne headgear.
Wilkinson kicked the hosts into a 12-3 lead by the half-hour mark with three penalties and a customary drop.
Castres full-back Romain Teulet added his second penalty from long range to reduce the gap to six points as neither team could find their rhythm in a scrappy opening half.
The visitors were reduced to fourteen men just before half-time when flank Steve Malonga saw yellow for taking Wilkinson out with a late shoulder charge.
Toulon used their extra man in the scrum to put apply the pressure at the set piece from 5 metres out.
Toulon scrum-half Pierre Mignon was stopped just short of scoring but captain Joe van Niekerk chose another scrum from the ensuing penalty. Referee Small awarded a penalty try as the scrum wheeled around.
It was a very harsh call but the locals weren't complaining as Wilko added the extras to give RCT a 19-6 lead at the break.
Seremaia BaÃ¯ kept Castres in the game with penalty soon after the restart before Teulet and Wilkinson exchanges shots at goal to leave Toulon 22-12 ahead.
Teulet brought the visitors back with striking distance at 22- 15 going into the final quarter but les Tarnais were unable to break down the home defence.
Try: Penalty try,
Pens: Wilkinson 4
Pens: Teulet 4, BaÃ¯
Yellow cards: Malonga (Castres – 34th min -late tackle)
Touloun: 15 Rory Lamont, 14 Thierry Brana, 13 Filipe Contepomi, 12 Fotunuupule Auelua, 11 Rudi Wulf, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Pierre Mignoni, 7 Juan Fernandez-Lobbe, 8 Joe El Abd, 6 Joe Van Niekerk (c), 5 Christophe Samson, 4 Jocilno Suta, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Sebastien Bruno, 1 Saimone Taumoepeau.
Replacements:16 Jean-Charles Orioli, 17 Laurent Emmanuelli, 18 Hris Chesney / Dean Schofield, 19 George Smith, 20 Geoffrey Messina, 21 Clement Marienval / Benjamin Lapeyre, 22 Matt Henjak, 23 Davit Kubriashvili
Castres: 15 Romain Teulet, 14 Romain Martial, 13 Yoan Audrin, 12 Seremaia BaÃ¯, 11 Marc Andreu, 10 Cameron McIntyre, 9 Thomas Sanchou, 8 Joe Tekori, 7 Steve Malonga, 6 Chris Masoe (c), 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 4 Mattias Rolland, 3 Danie Saayman, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Carl Hoeft.
Replacements:16 Micheal Coetzee, 17 Mathieu Bonello, 18 Scott Murray, 19 Ibrahim Diarra, 20 Alexandre Albouy, 21 Romain Cabannes, 22 Florian Denos, 23 Luc Ducalcon