Toulon look to Europe after bad loss

Date published: October 13 2014

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Toulon coach Pierre Mignoni admitted the coaching staff were unsatisfied with the team’s performance in their defeat to Toulouse.

Toulon coach Pierre Mignoni admitted the coaching staff were unsatisfied with the team’s performance in their Sunday defeat to Toulouse.

The champions slipped to their third loss of the season to lose some ground on Clermont at the top of the table.

“Forgetting the defeat, it’s the performance especially that bothers us,” Mignoni told Rugbyrama.

“We needed to make coaching changes early, because we didn’t have a choice. In the first half, the players weren’t on the same level.

“But, we must recognize that Toulouse raised the bar very high. We’d been warned that they were in a tricky situation. For us, everyone was below par.”

Toulon went into the clash without star Australian number ten Matt Giteau, with his countryman James O’Connor filling in at fly-half.

Mignoni conceded that Giteau’s involvement wouldn’t have made a difference given how Toulon played.

“Honestly even if Matt had been there, I don’t think it would have changed much. When you lose that many individual battles, it’s complicated.

We missed him but like all players who weren’t there. James did what he could. He was sometimes good and other times not, but overall he did well.”

Toulon’s attention will now turn to Europe, as the double champions open their campaign at home to the Scarlets on Sunday.

Mignoni admitted words would be had this week but backed his side to bounce back in the Champions Cup, with a home start being crucial.

“When we produce a first half like that, you have to say things. We aren’t happy, the players know it. But above all they are not happy,” stated Mignoni.

“We can do better, as we have seen in the second half. We will be well prepared for Europe. It’s important to start at home and we will use this game to bounce back.”

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