Planet Rugby

Toulon brush past Biarritz

06th October 2012 15:55

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Takudzwa Ngwenya

Shut out: Biarritz

Toulon kept Biarritz try-less as the visitors recorded a 36-9 Top 14 victory at Parc des Sports Aquilera on Saturday.

The visitors ran in three tries against none in reply as they moved back in front of Clermont, who lost at Castres, to top the standings.

Both sides were out to bounce back from defeats last week, Biarritz losing at home to Basque rivals Bayonne, their third straight league defeat, while Toulon were thrashed in Toulouse for their first loss of the season.

Biarritz had all the early pressure and took the lead after just five minutes with New Zealand fly-half Matt Berquist despatching a penalty from directly in front of the posts.

England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson levelled the scores with a long-range effort nine minutes later only for veteran centre Damien Traille to put the home side back ahead with a drop goal after 17 minutes.

Biarritz stayed on top, but were rocked by a breakaway try from Toulon after 23 minutes when, from a line-out deep inside their own half, Australian centre Matt Giteau's deft pass back inside released Steffon Armitage.

The England flanker shrugged off a tackle to power in next to the posts. Wilkinson converted and shortly afterwards he made it 13-6 with a penalty in front of the posts.

Biarritz went on the charge and were held up on the Toulon line only for Giteau to be penalised and yellow-carded for stopping the ball being released at a ruck. Berquist kicked his second penalty to make it 13-9.

Wilkinson kicked his third penalty from out wide to send the teams in at half-time with Biarritz ahead 16-9.

The Toulon fly-half connected with a further two penalties early in the second half to stretch the lead to 22-9 after which American flyer Takudzwa Ngwenya produced a superb break which took him from near his own goal line deep into home territory before he was finally brought down by Delon Armitage.

Toulon were reduced to 14 men for the last 10 minutes after Simon Shaw was yellow-carded.

But after withstanding a bout of sustained pressure, winger David Smith pounced on a dropped pass with four minutes to go to kick ahead for winger Vincent Martin to collect and run in for the second try of the day.

Shortly afterwards another breakaway saw Giteau round off the scoring with a try in the corner.

The scorers:

For Biarritz:
Pens: Berquist 2
Drop goals: Traille

For Toulon:
Tries: S Armitage, Martin, Giteau
Cons: Wilkinson 3
Pens: Wilkinson 5
Yellow cards: Giteau (35 mins), Shaw (71 mins)

Biarritz:15 Iain Balshaw, 14 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 13 Charles Gimenez, 12 Damien Traille, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Mathew Berquist, 9 Yann Lesgourgues, 8 Raphael Lakafia, 7 Benoit Guyot, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Thibault Dubarry, 4 Erik Lund, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Jean philippe Genevois, 1 Fabien Barcella,
Replacements: 16 Arnaud Heguy, 17 Johannes Blaauw, 18 Pelu ian Taele, 19 Magnus Lund, 20 Julien Peyrelongue, 21 Dane Haylett petty, 22 Jean pascal Barraque, 23 Thomas Synaeghel.

Toulon:15 Delon Armitage, 14 Vincent Martin, 13 Maxime Mermoz, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 David Smith, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Sebastien Tillous borde, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Joe Van niekerk, 5 Jocelino Suta, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Sebastien Bruno, 1 Andrew Sheridan,
Replacements: 16 Jean charles Orioli, 17 Gethin Jenkins, 18 Simon Shaw, 19 Virgile Bruni, 20 Mathieu Bastareaud, 21 Benjamin Lapeyre, 22 Frederic Michalak, 23 Xavier Chiocci.

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