Gorgodze saves Toulon

Date published: September 25 2016

Toulon were able to come from behind to beat Clermont 23-21 at the Stade Félix Mayol in the Top 14 on Sunday.

It was an incredibly valuable win for Toulon as it sees them jump from 11th on the table to fifth, proving to be incredibly important. Clermont stay put in third place despite gaining a losing bonus point, as Montpellier have a higher points difference.

Toulon took the lead first before an incredible brace of tries from Argentine fly-half Patricio Fernández pushed his side back in front, before another individual try from Toulon second-row Mamuka Gorgodze eventually won it for the French giants.

The first ten minutes of the game was typified by great defence but there was not much to say about the attack as the only points were penalties from Clermont's Fernández and Toulon's Leigh Halfpenny.

The crowd had to wait until the 23rd minute for the first try of the game. But it was worth the wait. Toulon kicked the ball high and long, winning it in the air. The kick bunched the Clermont defence on the one side of the field which gave Toulon a massive overlap on the left, spreading it wide to number eight Charles Ollivon who stepped inside and dotted the ball down. 

Toulon held a healthy lead at half-time with 10 points over their opponents as it was 16-6. But it wasn't long before Clermont closed the gap with a penalty from replacement back-line player Camille Lopez.

Clermont crept back into the game after an incredible effort from the visitors. Lopez received the ball just outside the 22 before giving a beautifully weighted cross kick to Fernández who was able to collect the ball and touch down. 

Fernández wasn't satisfied with just one though as minutes afterwards he got his in the lead after another incredible try. Clermont played it wide to their number eight Damien Chouly, who gave a pop pass inside to the Argentine number ten who chipped over the Toulon full-back Halfpenny, collected his own kick and scored in the corner. 

It seemed as though Fernández's brace was enough to secure the visitors the win but in the dying minutes of the game Toulon were pressing on the Clermont 22 metre line before Gorgodze picked the ball up from the back of the ruck, powered through three Clermont defenders before falling over the line to win the match.

The scorers:

For Toulon
Tries: Ollivon, Gorgodze
Cons: Halfpenny, Bernard
Pens: Halfpenny 3

For Clermont
Tries: Fernández 2
Con: Lopez
Pens: Fernández 2, Lopez

Toulon: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Josua Tuisova, 13 James O'Connor, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Axel Muler, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Sebastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Charles Ollivon, 7 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 6 Liam Gill, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Mamuka Gorgodze, 3 Marcel Van der Merwe, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Xavier Chiocci
Replacements: 16 Anthony Etrillard, 17 Laurent DelBoulbes, 18 Samu Manoa, 19 Juandre Kruger, 20 Matt
Carraro, 21 Pierre Bernard, 22 Eric Escande, 23 Levan Chilachava

Clermont: 15 Scott Spedding, 14 Adrien Plante, 13 Remi Lamerat, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Nick Abendanon, 10 Patricio Fernández, 9 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Julien Bardy, 5 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Aaron Jarvis, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Raphael Chaume
Replacements: 16 Yohan Beheregaray, 17 Etienne Falgoux, 18 Paul Jedrasiak, 19 Judicael Cancoriet, 20 Charlie Cassang, 21 Camille Lopez, 22 Benson Stanley, 23 Clement Ric

Referee: Pascal Gauzère