Toulon power to victory over Glasgow Warriors

Heineken Cup Champions Toulon opened the defence of their title with a 51-28 smashing of Glasgow Warriors at Stade Felix Mayol .

The star-studded Toulon side, bankrolled by comic book magnate Mourad Boudjellal,
dominated the first-half, scoring four converted tries for a 34-0 lead.

But it was a tale of two halves as Glasgow gallantly responded with four tries
of their own in the second period to claim an unexpected bonus point.

“We worked hard, built pressure and were able to get easy tries,”
Toulon centre Matt Giteau said of the first 40 minutes before adding of the
second period: “Glasgow started playing a lot more.”

Their victory in the Heineken Cup last season had left Toulon craving more
success, the Australian added.

“We’ve got a taste for it now,” he said.

“It’s something we talked about today, to get back out there and perform
as a team year-in, year-out.”

Toulon captain Jonny Wilkinson kicked a seventh-minute penalty just after Glasgow
winger Nikola Matawalu had a breakaway try disallowed.

The Englishman was then in decisive action catching an up-and-under and quickly
setting the backline free, full-back Delon Armitage crossing in the corner.

It was one-way traffic for Toulon as Maxime Mermoz was next on the scoresheet,
the France centre merely having to fall over the line after a Josua Tuisova
pass following great hands from Matt Giteau and Joe van Niekerk.

Wilkinson converted both tries from the touchline and then another as Chris
Masoe went over to make it 24-0 after 25 impressive minutes.

Mermoz crossed for his second as Frederic Michalak, on as a replacement for
Wilkinson, played the centre in through a weak midfield defence, Giteau hitting
the extras and Michalak kicking a penalty on the stroke of half-time for a 34-0
lead at the break.

Canadian back DTH van der Merwe gave the Scots immediate hope in the second
period, however, holding off Danie Roussouw to bundle over for a try converted
by Ruaridh Jackson.

Things were soon back to normal when Giteau ghosted through for a five-pointer.

But Glasgow responded with three tries through Matawalu, lock Jonny Grey and
a second from Van der Merwe to make it 41-28 in an incredibly feisty riposte.

Michalak kicked a penalty with Toulon nerves frayed and Giteau crossed for
his second try to wrap things up.

Final Score Toulon 51 (34) Glasgow 28 (0)


Tries – Armitage, Mermoz 2, Fernandez Lobbe, Giteau 2
Pen – Wilkinson, Michalak 2
Con – Wilkinson 3, Giteau, Michalak 2
Drop –

Tries – Van der Merwe 2, Matawalu, Gray
Pen –
Con – Jackson 4
Drop –

Match Officials
: Greg Garner (England),
Assistant ref: Andrew Small (England),
Assistant ref: Robin Goodliffe (England),
TMO: Graham Hughes (England),
Citing Commissioner: Peter Larter (England)

Toulon: Delon Armitage; Josua Tuisova, Maxime Mermoz, Matthew Giteau, David Smith; Jonny Wilkinson (c), Michael Claassens; Emmanuel Felsina, Jean-Charles Orioli, Martin Castrogiovanni, Bakkies Botha, Ali Williams, Juan Fernandez Lobbe, Joe van Niekerk, Chris Masoe

Replacements: Benjamin Noirot, Xavier Chiocci, Carl Hayman, Steffon Armitage, Mathieu Bastareaud, Drew Mitchell, Frederic Michalak, Danie Rossouw

Glasgow Warriors: Sean Maitland; Tommy Seymour, Mark Bennett, Alex Dunbar, Niko Matawalu; Ruaridh Jackson, Henry Pyrgos; Ryan Grant, Doug Hall, Jon Welsh, Jonny Gray, Al Kellock (c), Tim Swinson, Chris Fusaro, Josh Strauss

Replacements: Pat MacArthur, Moray Low, Ed Kalman, James Eddie, Richie Vernon, Duncan Weir, Byron McGuigan, DT

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