Toulon start 2017 with a win

Date published: January 1 2017

Toulon moved up to fourth place in the Top 14 standings after they edged out Racing 92 at Stade Félix Mayol, winning 17-11 on Sunday.

Mathieu Bastareaud was in excellent form but a try from centre partner Ma'a Nonu and Leigh Halfpenny's 12 points saw Toulon to victory.

Racing 92 leave with nothing as their campaign is still to ignite. The Paris side remain in eighth position after six losses in their 15 fixtures.

The game incredibly remained scoreless until the 27th minute as Racing rode their luck at times on their own try-line when under pressure. Toulon may have felt hard done to by referee Romain Poite as more than one cynical offence helped the visitors keep their whitewash intact.

Racing subsequently weathered the storm and in fact took the lead when Dan Carter landed a penalty before Halfpenny hit back soon after.

3-3 was probably a fair reflection of the opening half-hour and Carter and Halfpenny would trade shots again soon after, the latter following a yellow card being given to Racing full-back Brice Dulin for making contact with his opposite number while the Welsh star was in the air.

Toulon though finished the half in superb form when Nonu powered over on the left wing but in a bizarre moment, the conversion was off-target due largely to the theme tune from Star Wars being played over the tannoy just before Halfpenny began his run up to strike the ball.

Halfpenny hit the post with his first attempt in the second-half, after a scrum penalty, so the score remained 11-6 until the 56th minute.

Those next points came from Racing 92 via a maul that Dimitri Szarzewski was at the tail of and with Carter's extras it was a tied game.

Halfpenny nudged Toulon back in front two minutes later though after a dangerous tackle in a match that looked destined to go to the wire.

But the Welshman was on-target again on 67 minutes before Toulon stood firm to start the new year with a much-needed triumph at home.

The scorers:

For Toulon:
Try: Nonu
Pens: Halfpenny 4

For Racing 92:
Try: Szarzewski
Pens: Carter 2
Yellow Card: Dulin (35 min)

Toulon: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 James O'Connor, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Pierre Bernard, 9 Eric Escande, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Samu Manoa, 6 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Mamuka Gorgodze, 3 Levan Chilachava, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Laurent DelBoulbes
Replacements: 16 Jean Charles Orioli, 17 Florian Fresia, 18 Juandre Kruger, 19 Charles Ollivon, 20 Maxime Mermoz, 21 Vincent Clerc, 22 Sebastien Tillous-Borde, 23 Manasa Saulo

Racing 92: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Albert Vulivuli, 11 Marc Andreu, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Yannick Nyanga, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Leone Nakarawa, 3 Cedate Gomes Sa, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Eddy Ben Arous
Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Viliamu Afatia, 18 Gerbrandt Grobler, 19 Matthieu Voisin, 20 Benjamin Dambielle, 21 Joe Rokocoko, 22 Antonie Claassen, 23 Luc Ducalcon

Referee: Romain Poite