Planet Rugby

Toulon eliminate Munster

16th January 2011 13:20

Share:

Toulon s Paul Sackey v Munster 2011

Killer finisher: Paul Sackey

Two-time European Cup champions Munster were dumped out of the competition on Sunday as they succumbed 32-16 to Toulon.

It's the first time in thirteen seasons that Munster have failed to make it to the quarter-finals but few will deny that they were outplayed by their 'French' hosts at Stade Felix Mayol.

In front of their boisterous partisan crowd, Toulon outscored their visitors two tries to one while Jonny Wilkinson contributed 22 points with his boot.

The result, with London Irish's victory over Ospreys, means that Toulon have qualified for the quarter-finals for the first time in their history with one round still to play.

It was dismal day for Munster who failed to match the intensity of the Toulon's multi-national armada - especially the home side's back row.

It started well-enough for the Irish Province, who were on the scoreboard inside three minutes as Ronan O'Gara opened his account from the kicking-tee.

However, by the end of the first quarter Wilkinson had replied, with interest, bouncing his second penalty off the upright and sending his third straight down the middle to give RCT a 9-3 lead.

Toulon's first try wasn't long in coming as scrum-half Pierre Mignoni sent a pin-point accurate kick into the corner and wing Christian Loamanu used his bulk to rise highest and muscle through three defenders to score.

Munster were struggling and were put into further trouble when lock Donncha O'Callaghan was sent to the sin bin for a silly high tackle.

The hosts made their extra man count as Mignoni stepped his way into space. Joe van Niekerk almost ruined a golden opportunity with a sloppy pass but Paul Sackey did brilliantly to shrug off Keith Earls and score.

O'Gara slotted a penalty for the visitors on the stroke of half time but at 26-9 down, it wasn't looking good for the red army.

The 20-point lead was restored almost immediately after the restart, although the video referee was needed to confirm that Wilkinson's kick was good.

Things went from bad to worse for the visitors when some handbag swinging between Mignoni and O'Gara degenerated into a wider conflict. The match officials - somewhat harshly - decided to pin the blame on the Munster fly-half, who was shown a yellow card.

O'Gara returned just in time to see Wilkinson add three more points.

The television official has a busy night as he denied Munster wing Doug Howlett and Toulon replacement prop Saimone Taumoepeau tries - both players just grazing the touchline in the act of going over.

Munster added the last points of the evening when David Wallace barged his way over in the dying minutes but the horse had already bolted.

All credit to Toulon, who deserved victory and their historic qualification into the play-offs.

Man of the match: A mention must go to the Toulon loose trio of Joe van Niekerk, George Smith and Juan Fernandez Lobbe but we'll go for veteran scrum-half Pierre Mignoni, who is playing his last season but still had the class to create both tries for les Rouge et Noires.

The scorers:

For Toulon:
Tries: Loamanu, Sackey
Cons: Wilkinson 2
Pens: Wilkinson 6

For Munster:
Try: Wallace
Con: O'Gara
Pens: O'Gara 3

Yellow cards: O'Callaghan (Munster - 33rd min - high tackle); O'Gara (Munster - 49th min -fighting); Kubriashvili (Toulon - 65th min - killing ball)

Toulon: 15 Rudi Wulf, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Gabi Lovobalavu, 12 Felipe Contepomi, 11 Christian Loamanu, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Pierre Mignoni, 8 Joe van Niekerk (c), 7 George Smith, 6 Juan Fernandez Lobbe, 5 Dean Schofield, 4 Christophe Samson, 3 Davit Kubriashvili, 2 Sebastien Bruno, 1 Laurent Emmanuelli.
Replacements:16 Jean-Charles Orioli, 17 Saimone Taumoepeau, 18 Mehdi Merabet, 19. Joe El Abd, 20. Fotu Auelua, 21 Rory Lamont, 22 Laurent Magnaval, 23 Kris Chesney.

Munster: 15 Paul Warwick, 14 Doug Howlett, 13 Keith Earls, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Johne Murphy, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Denis Leamy (c), 7 David Wallace, 6 James Coughlan, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 John Hayes, 2 Damien Varley, 1 Wian du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 Darragh Hurley, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Mick O'Driscoll, 20 Donnacha Ryan, 21 Niall Ronan, 22 Tomas O'Leary, 23 Lifeimi Mafi.

Venue: Stade Félix Mayol, Toulon
Referee: Dave Pearson

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
Sunday , April 27
Toulon vs Munster15:30
More Heineken Cup fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs EdinburghGlasgow vs Edinburgh Preview
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs HarlequinsNorthampton vs Harlequins Preview
Sunday , April 27
Wasps vs Bath13:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs WaratahsBlues vs Waratahs Preview
Brumbies vs ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Preview
Sharks vs HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Preview
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs Reds19:35
Western Force vs Bulls17:40
Cheetahs vs Stormers17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton 36 - 21 London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Report
Newcastle 18 - 23 SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Cardiff Blues 17 - 13 ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 10 - 20 Ospreys
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens2080
2Northampton2071
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058