Planet Rugby

Toulon claim narrow win in Exeter

07th December 2013 15:27

Share:

Toulon s Steffon Armitage C tries to break through a tackle from Exeter

Diamond in the rough: Steffon Armitage

Defending Heineken Cup champions Toulon claimed a precious win on the road as they beat Exeter Chiefs 14-9 at Sandy Park on Saturday.

The result is only Toulon's second win away from home - in all competitions - this season but moves them to the top of Pool 2, one point clear of Cardiff Blues.

But it was far from plain sailing for Bernard Laporte's team as a plethora of unforced errors and some wayward kicking from Jonny Wilkinson - who missed four from five from the tee - left the champions trailing their unfancied hosts going into the final quarter

Toulon scored the only try of the game - via loosehead prop Florian Fresia - but it was the English minnows who led 9-8 at the interval.

RCT got the job done though with a Matt Giteau penalty and a late drop from Wilkinson securing the four points.

Exeter made a great start as Gareth Steenson opened the scoring from the kicking tee just moments after Jack Nowell came within inches on touching down in the corner.

The reply for Toulon was out of the top drawer however as Craig Burden bust clear before Ali Williams produced an outrageous offload to put Fresia over in the third minute.

Jonny Wilkinson missed the conversion but made sure of landing his next attempt, after Exeter were penalised for holding on, to extend the lead at 8-3.

Although the visitors would dominate possession, the rest of the half would be marked by a series of errors and wasted chances by the champs and Steenson cut the deficit to two points before leaving the field with an injury.

Toulon's season was dealt massive blow when Bryan Habana pulled up with what looked like a serious hamstring injury, which ended his European debut prematurely.

20-year-old Henry Slade - on for Steenson - found the target just before the break after Sebastien Tillous-Borde was punished for repeated crooked scrum feeds to hand the hosts a one-point advantage as the teams swapped ends.

The second half was a scrappy affair. With Exeter spending the first 15 minutes of the second period in their own half, they were always likely to wilt the longer the tie went on. Wilkinson though continued to struggle, missing a third penalty in succession as the home side held on.

Toulon found themselves under huge pressure as Wilkinson uncharacteristically missed is fourth kick at goal to leave the men in red trailing going into the final quarter

It wasn't going Toulon's way as the TMO turned down a try after Rudi Wulf clipped the touchline in the act of going over.

Matt Giteau took over the kicking responsibilities - despite the crowd's light-hearted chants of "we want Jonny" - and split the uprights to give Toulon a narrow lead with 13 minutes left to play.

To be fair on Toulon, Exeter never really looked like scoring and Wilkinson's drop in the dying minutes gave his side some breathing room.

The scorers:

For Exeter:
Pens: Steenson 2, Slade

For Toulon:
Try: Fresia
Pens: Wilkinson, Giteau
Drop: Wilkinson

Exeter Chiefs:15 Luke Arscott, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Phil Dollman, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Dave Ewers, 7 Ben White, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Dean Mumm (capt), 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Chris Whitehead, 17 Brett Sturgess, 18 Alex Brown, 19 James Hanks, 20 Kai Horstmann, 21 Haydn Thomas, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Ian Whitten,

Toulon: 15 Drew Mitchell, 14 Alexis Palisson, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Jonny Wilkinson (capt), 9 Sebastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Juan Smith, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Florian Fresia.
Replacements: 16 Jean-Charles Orioli, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Carl Hayman, 19 Virgile Bruni, 20 Rudi Wulf, 21 Maxime Mermoz, 22 Michael Claassens, 23 Jocelino Suta,

Venue: Sandy Park
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Eddie Hogan-O'Connell, Nigel Correll (both Ireland)
TMO: Kevin Beggs (Ireland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Leicester vs London Irish15:00
Northampton vs Bath15:15
Sunday , September 28
Exeter vs Harlequins14:00
Wasps vs Newcastle14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 27
South Africa vs Australia16:05
Argentina vs New Zealand23:10
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
Saturday , September 27
Zebre vs Ulster15:00
Munster vs Ospreys18:30
Sunday , September 28
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 27
Toulon vs Montpellier18:00
Stade Francais vs La Rochelle18:00
Bayonne vs Toulouse18:00
Brive vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Oyonnax vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
Lyon vs Castres18:00
Grenoble vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
Pumas vs Western Province19:00
Saturday , September 27
Sharks vs Eastern Province Kings14:00
Griquas vs Lions15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle 10 - 35 NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Ospreys 62 - 13 EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 16 ToulouseRacing Metro Paris vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 24 - 15 Bayonne
Montpellier 23 - 3 Stade FrancaisMontpellier vs Stade Francais Report
La Rochelle 26 - 29 Bordeaux-Begles
Clermont Auvergne 43 - 12 LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Report
Castres 27 - 18 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Western Province 36 - 12 GriquasWestern Province vs Griquas Report
Blue Bulls 15 - 26 SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 37 CheetahsEastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Northampton311
4Exeter310
5Leicester Tigers39