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Toulon up and running

14th October 2012 21:46

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bakkies botha toulon v Montpellier

Too good: Toulon bag five points

Toulon got their Heineken Cup campaign off to a winning start after beating Montpellier 37-16 at the Stade Felix-Mayol on Sunday.

This bonus-point victory took Toulon to the top of the group after the first round of fixtures, sending a message to the other sides in Pool Six that they mean business.

Former England full-back Delon Armitage provided two second-half tries which reinforced the lead the home side had earned in the first forty.

It was another import, Jonny Wilkinson who provided the ammunition for Pierrick Gunther to score the first try of the night.

His grubber kick was chased down by the flanker, who provided enough pressure on the ball after Montpellier's Yohann Artroux had chased it into the dead ball area.

That score came after the visitor's had taken an early lead through Ilian Perraux's eighth-minute penalty, which was cancelled out by Wilkinson two minutes later.

Bakkies Botha - making his Heineken Cup debut - scored on 31 minutes when he took a pass from Vincent Martin, before dummying full-back Pierre Bérard.

Wilkinson converted, before ending the half with a long distance penalty for an 18-3 advantage at the break.

Although Perraux opened the scoring in the second half - pulling back three points with a penalty - it was Armitage who piled on the pressure moments later as he took a pass from Matt Giteau to stretch the advantage.

Wilkinson was taken off the field with a cut after a clash of heads sustained in the move leading up to that score, but returned ten minutes later.

Armitage's second came in a similar move to the first, but this time his pace and strength took two defenders over the line with him as they failed to stop his charge.

With seven minutes to play, Mamuka Gorgodze earned the visitors a consolation score, as he picked up and charged the short distance over the line.

But it was Toulon who finished the night off as Mathieu Bastareaud scored in the last minute, palming off Aliki Fakate to round off this Mediterranean derby with a flourish.

The scorers:

For Toulon:
Tries: D Armitage, Botha, Gunther, Bastareaud
Cons: Wilkinson 2, Giteau
Pens: Wilkinson 2

For Montpellier:
Try: Gorgodze
Con: Paillaugue
Pens: Perraux 2, Paillaugue

Toulon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Vincent Martin, 13 Maxime Mermoz, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 David Smith, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Frederic Michalak, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Pierrick Gunther, 5 Jocelino Suta, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Sebastien Bruno, 1 Andrew Sheridan.
Replacements:16 Mickael Ivaldi, 17 Gethin Jenkins, 18 Virgile Bruni, 19 Mathieu Bastareaud, 20 Benjamin Lapeyre, 21 Sébastien Tillous-Borde, 22 Simon Shaw, 23 Davit Kubriashvili.

Montpellier: 15 Lucas Amorosino, 14 Yoan Audrin, 13 Matt Carraro, 12 Paul Bosch, 11 Yohann Artru, 10 Ilian Perraux 9 Julien Tomas, 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Rémy Martin, 6 Alexandre Bias, 5 Mickael Demarco, 4 Drickus Hancke, 3 Maximiliano Bustos, 2 Mickael Ladhuie, 1 Yvan Watremez.
Replacements:16 Agustin Creevy, 18 George Jgenti, 19 Aliki Fakate, 20 Mamuka Gorgodze, 21 Benoit Paillaugue, 22 Pierre Bérard, 23 Timoci Nagusa.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)

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