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
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs Montpellier20:45
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Castres vs Bay Of Plenty18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs Sharks19:10
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western Province17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Preview
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Preview
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay14:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato19:35
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs Tasman16:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00