Toulon happy to meet first objective

Date published: October 14 2013

Toulon boss Bernard Laporte believes a win in Cardiff next weekend will pave the way into the Heineken Cup quarter-finals for his side.

Toulon boss Bernard Laporte believes a win in Cardiff next weekend could set the reigning champions on their way into the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

Speaking after his side begin their defence of European rugby's top title with a 51-28 home win over PRO12 pacesetters Glasgow Warriors, Laporte claimed his team had met their bonus point victory target.

Toulon underlined their credentials as odds-on favourites to defend the title, as they had the four-try bonus point wrapped up before half time.

“Our objective was to win and get a bonus point against a good team,” he told the ERC website.

“Glasgow are the leaders of the PRO12, a team that loves to move the ball around, with a very mobile, although not the most powerful, pack and a backline that loves holding the ball.

“We saw what they team can do during the second half. During the first, it was all us. The fact we gave away possession and slacked a bit defensively, allowed them to score those four tries.

“Let's not forget that we had lost our scrum half and fly half by half-time and the team was a little shaken. Fred Michalak hadn't played in five months and from there on the team was understandably disoriented.

“We gave the ball away with the boot and didn't put any pressure under restart kicks. Everything we were doing well in the first half, we weren't didn't do anymore.

“We had these kind of games last year and it annoys me to see some players come on in the second half and not do their job, miss tackle and not bring what they should to the team.”

Even though Glasgow won the second half 28-17, with four tries to two, Toulon raced into a 34-0 lead at half-time thanks to four tries without reply.

“Over all I was satisfied with the first half, when we got some enthusiasm back,” added Laporte.

“You can't win a rugby game if you don't hold the ball, that's why the first half was pleasing and consistent – and why the second is so disappointing.

“Now we need to focus on Cardiff Blues, because it will be a turning point. We're going to focus on recovering on Monday and Wednesday, because we only have six days between games.

“If we win next Saturday we'll take a huge step towards the quarter-finals. But the Blues lost in Exeter so they'll have extra motivation.”