Ford: ‘We have plenty of work to do’

Date published: October 23 2016

Toulon can still improve despite their Champions Cup win over Sale Sharks, says assistant coach Mike Ford.

The French giants secured a 15-5 victory over Sale to get their Champions Cup campaign back on track follwing their opening loss to Saracens. Toulon scored all their points in the first 12 minutes of the game but held on for a hard-fought win.

“First and foremost it’s a win. But after those first 20 minutes we will be disappointed with the rest of the game – there is plenty of work for us to do,” said Ford.

“We scored 15 points when Magnus Lund was in the sin-bin ad at half-time we said we needed another good start to the second half. Our discipline had been good in the first half, but Sale’s pressure and our indiscipline in the second half got them into the game.

“In the end, what won us the game, was our line-out defence. That enabled us to keep out Sale’s driving maul. There were one of two things that I thought we had put in place in training that didn’t come off, so there is more work to do in our preparation. There is a lot of improvement to come from this team and, hopefully by January when we meet Saracens again, we will be a different team.”

Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny scored 10 points for the visitors to take his tally in the tournament to 367 points in 41 games for Cardiff Blues and Toulon.

“We were good in patches, especially in the first 20 minutes. We stuck to the game plan brilliantly in that period, but we then slipped off for the rest of the half,” said Halfpenny.

“That put pressure on us and, credit to Sale, they took it to us after that and there were some desperate times for us to keep them out. We are happy with the win and now we will look to the next one.”