Toulon knock Wasps out of Europe

Wasps fought their way back in the second half only to be eventually beaten 32-18 at Stade Felix Mayol by former European Champions Toulon who progress to the Semi-finals.

Star-studded French club Toulon are bidding to become the first team to win three successive European Cup titles and had to survive a battling Wasps second half comeback before moving a step closer to another showpiece final.

It took 22 points from the boot of returning hero Frederic Michalak to steer the French champions into the last four, the international outside half only just registered for the tournament after recovering from injury.

With Leigh Halfpenny ruled out and Matt Giteau returning to the bench, Toulon were looking for someone to kick their goals and he landed six penalties and two conversions.

That punished Wasps for their ill discipline, especially in the first half when five Michalak penalties and a conversion of Matthew Bastareaud’s fifth minute try gave the home side’s a commanding22-6 interval lead.

Wasps coach Dai Young claimed after the game his side had “shown too much respect to Toulon in the first half,” but it was a different story after the break.

England hopefuls Joe Simpson and Elliot Daly got the Wasps backline moving and the visitors managed to outscore Toulon 2-1 in ties and 12-10 on points in the second period.

Both tries went to Tongan wing Willie Helu and replacement Andy Goode converted one of them to bring Wasps back to within a score with eight minutes to go.

At that stage anything was possible and livewire Simpson almost grabbed a third sensational score.

But Toulon kept their composure, as befits the reigning champions of France and Europe, and a corner flop over by Ali Williams made the game safe with four minutes to go and ensured that clash with former triple champions Leinster at the Stade Velodrome.

Final Score Toulon32 (22) Wasps 18 (6)


Tries – Bastareaud, Williams
Pen – Michalak 6
Con – Michalak 2
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Helu 2
Pen – Lozowski 2
Con – Goode
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland),
Assistant ref: Dudley Phillips (Ireland),
Assistant ref: Gary Conway (Ireland),
TMO: Marshall Kilgore (Ireland),
Citing Commissioner: Maurizio Vancini (Italy)


RC Toulon

Delon Armitage; Josua Tuisova, Mathieu Bastareaud, Maxime Mermoz, Drew Mitchell; Frederic Michalak, Sebastien Tillous-Borde; Alexandre Menini, Guilhem Guirado, Carl Hayman (c), Bakkies Botha, Ali Williams, Mamuka Gorgodze, Steffon Armitage, Chris Masoe

Replacements: Jean-Charles Orioli, Xavier Chiocci, Levan Chilachava, Juan Fernandez Lobbe, Rudi Wulf, Matt Giteau, Michael Claassens, Jocelino Suta


Rob Miller; William Helu, Elliot Daly, Andrea Masi, Tom Varndell; Alex Lozowski, Joe Simpson; Matt Mullan, Edd Shervington, Lorenzo Cittadini, Bradley Davies, Kearnan Myall, Ashley Johnson, James Haskell (c), Guy Thompson

Replacements: Carlo Festuccia, Simon McIntyre, Jake Cooper-Woolley, James Gaskell, Thomas Young, Charlie Davies, Andy Goode, Alapati Leiua

With thanks to EPCRugby.

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