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Wilkinson wins it for Toulon

27th April 2012 21:59

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jonny wilkinson

Wilkinson: Steered Toulon into the Amlin Challenge Cup final

Toulon fly-half Jonny Wilkinson slotted a 79th-minute drop goal to book his team a place in the Amlin Challenge Cup final after beating Stade Français 32-29 on Friday.

The former England World Cup winner steered Toulon into the final for the second time in three seasons, after contributing all but five of his side's points at the Stade Felix Mayol.

An outstanding early Steffon Armitage try was the only other scoring effort from a Toulon player as Wilkinson kicked 27 points consisting of seven penalties and two drop-goals, the last of which was his fourth attempt to win the game with the scores level.

The match swayed from side to side throughout, with visitors Stade 16-5 up at one stage in the first half through a converted try from Hugo Bonneval and nine points from fly-half Jules Plisson.

The sides went into the interval with Stade Français leading 19-11 after two of Wilkinson's penalties sandwiched a third from impressive youngster Plisson.

Wilkinson's boot pushed Toulon into the lead before the hour, but Morgan Turinui rounded off a sparkling move for the visitors soon after, and after an exchange of three-pointers between the two number tens the sides were locked together at 29-29 entering the final 10 minutes.

A yellow card for Julien Arias left Stade Français with 14 men for the vital last period, and despite failing with his first three kickable efforts, Wilkinson nailed the winning 40-metre drop-goal with the clock ticking over to 79 minutes.

Toulon now await the winners of the Biarritz v Brive semi-final played on Saturday.

The scorers:

For Toulon:
Try: Armitage
Pens: Wilkinson 7
Drops: Wilkinson 2

For Stade Francais:
Tries: Bonneval, Turinui
Cons: Plisson 2
Pens: Plisson 3
Drops: Plisson 2

Toulon: 15 Benjamin Lapeyre, 14 Alexis Palisson, 13 Geoffroy Messina, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 David Smith, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Sébastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Joe van Niekerk (capt), 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Pierrick Gunther, 5 Dean Schofield, 4 Christophe Samson, 3 Davit Kubriashvili, 2 Jean-Charles Orioli, 1 Laurent Emmanuelli.
Replacements: 16 Sebastien Bruno, 17 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 18 Carl Hayman, 19 Joe El Abd, 20 Gabi Lovobalavu, 21 Luke Rooney, 22 Fabien Cibray, 23 Jocelino Suta.

Stade Français: 15 Hugo Bonneval, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Morgan Turinui, 12 George Smith, 11 Julien Arias, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Jerome Fillol, 8 David Lyons, 7 Pierre Rabadan, 6 Antoine Burban, 5 Alexandre Flanquart, 4 Tom Palmer, 3 David Attoub, 2 Aled De Malmanche, 1 Stan Wright.
Replacements: 16 Laurent Sempere, 17 Rabah Slimani, 18 Olivier Milloud, 19 Anton van Zyl, 20 Sergio Parisse, 21 Jonathan Danty, 22 Julien Dupuy, 23 Djibril Camara.

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

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