Planet Rugby

Toulon ease to opening win

15th August 2014 21:50

Share:

Mathieu Bastareaud charges v Bayonne 2014

Battering ram: Mathieu Bastareaud scored the first try of the new season

Matt Giteau kicked 16 points as Toulon got the defence of their Top 14 title underway in style with a 29-15 win at Bayonne.

The reigning French and European champions were made to work hard in the first half, going in level at the break, but Mathieu Bastareaud and David Smith went over in the second half although they missed out on a bonus point.

But while it was the backs who grabbed the tries, it was the Toulon scrum that was the foundation for their win, earning them a number of penalties, as well as a man advantage when Gert Muller was sin-binned.

For Bayonne, the accurate kicking of Martin Bustos Moyano allowed them to stay in touch for the first 50 minutes, but once the first try was scored, they lacked the creative spark and forward power to threaten a comeback.

Toulon dominated the early exchanges, and earned a kickable penalty after just six minutes when young number eight Charles Ollivon was caught offside in his own 22 with his side under pressure. Giteau made no mistake to make it 3-0.

Having been under pressure Bayonne finally got their hands on the ball thanks to a great chase from the kick-off by Marvin O'Connor, and when Virgile Bruni failed to roll away soon after, Martin Bustos Moyano levelled the scores.

Toulon were dominating possession, and also gained the upper hand in the scrum, earning two penalties in quick succession, with Giteau slotting the second of the two to make it 6-3.

Despite being on top, Toulon were not able to pull away on the scoreboard, and Bustos Moyano equalised once more after a high tackle by new recruit Romain Taofifenua on Ollivon.

It did not last for long though, as Jean Monribot was penalised for playing the scrum-half in a ruck, handing Giteau the simplest of shots at goal.

Once more Bayonne responded, Bustos Moyano slotting another three-pointer when Steffon Armitage failed to release in a tackle and they added three more to tie things up at 12-12 on the stroke of half-time for an infringement by Maxime Mermoz.

The second half started in similar manner to the first, with Toulon taking advantage of their dominance in the scrum to move back in front.

Muller, having just replaced the struggling Giorgi Jgenti, was sent to the sin bin when the Bayonne scrum was penalised once more, and Delon Armitage, who had missed a long-range first-half effort, was this time on target to make it 15-12.

And with the extra man Toulon finally found a way through the Bayonne defence, with Bastareaud crashing over an initial break from his centre partner Mermoz. Despite a hint of an obstruction in the build-up, the try was awarded, with Giteau converting to stretch the lead to ten.

Bayonne responded straigtaway, despite being a man down, earning another penalty, which Bustos Moyano slotted to reduce the deficit.

But Toulon were in the ascendancy, and they added a second try of the night through David Smith after some good work down the left wing initially from Drew Mitchell.

As the ball came back left, Steffon Armitage found Bastareaud, whose nudged kick allowed Smith to dot down just before the dead ball line. Giteau made no mistake with the tricky conversion and Toulon led 29-15 with more than half an hour remaining.

Bayonne kept fighting, and Ollivon, in particular, showed all his potential with one great break, but he was the only player who appeared to have the power to match Toulon.

They did come within inches of a try with ten minutes remaining when replacement Blair Stewart's kick through looked to be setting up former Toulon man Gabiriele Lovobalavu, but the ball bounced the wrong way with the line at his mercy.

The scorers:

For Bayonne:
Pens: Bustos Moyano 5
Yellow Card: Muller

For Toulon:
Tries: Bastareaud, Smith
Cons: Giteau 2
Pens: Giteau 4, D Armitage

Bayonne: 15 Scott Spedding, 14 Martin Bustos Moyano, 13 Joe Rokocoko, 12 Mathieu Ugalde, 11 Marvin O'Connor, 10 Santiago Fernandez, 9 Christophe Loustalot, 8 Charles Ollivon, 7 Dwayne Haare, 6 Jean Monribot, 5 Mark Chisholm (c), 4 Dewald Senekal, 3 Giorgi Jgenti, 2 Gregory Arganese, 1 Janse Van Rensburg.

Replacements: 16 Simon Labouyrie, 17 Aretz Iguiniz, 18 Lisiate Fa'aoso, 19 Jean Jo Marmouyet, 20 Guillaume Rouet, 21 Blair Stewart, 22 Gabiriele Lovobalavu, 23 Gert Muller.

Toulon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Drew Mitchell, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 David Smith, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 Sebastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Steffon Armitage, 7 Virgile Bruni, 6 Gerhard Vosloo, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Jocelino Suta, 3 Carl Hayman (c), 2 Jean-Charles Orioli, 1 Xavier Chiocci.

Replacements: 16 Guilhem Guirado, 17 Alexandre Menini, 18 Chris Masoe, 19 Konstantin Mikautadze, 20 Rudi Wulf, 21 James O'Connor, 22 Michael Claassens, 23 Levan Chilachava.

Date: Friday, August 15
Venue: Stade Jean Dauger
Kick-off: 20.45 local (19.45 GMT)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès
Assistant referees: Nicolas Datas, Christophe Malterre

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , November 1
Barbarians vs Australia14:30
USA vs New Zealand20:50
More International Match fixtures
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Northampton vs Newcastle16:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs Munster17:15
Scarlets vs Zebre18:00
Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gons19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615