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Wilkinson puts the boot into Brumbies

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Article Published: Thursday 6 August 2009

The CA Brumbies completed their four-match French tour with a 20-6 loss to Top14 club, RC Toulon, at Stade Mayol.

England's 2003 Rugby World Cup hero Jonny Wilkinson was the chief destroyer for the home side, kicking four penalty goals before he was replaced in the 59th minute.

Wilkinson's chore was made easier with the CA Brumbies gifting a number of opportunities on the back of a problematic set piece. In total the ACT lost seven tighthead scrums and gave away an additional five free kicks on their own feed.

Wilkinson, who was without teammate Sonny Bill Williams for the match, took little time to impose himself, pushing a drop goal attempt wide in the opening minute of the match before landing a penalty three minutes later when CA Brumbies scrumhalf Nic White was sinbinned for a ruck infringement.
The English flyhalf added three further penalties in the ninth, 52nd and 58th minutes before leaving the field midway through the second term.
In response the CA Brumbies could only manage a 37th minute drop goal through Christian Lealiifano with his side's malfunctioning scrum and lineout starving themselves of possession and field position throughout the match.
Despite the significant set piece woes, the visitors had an opportunity to level the half-time scores at 6-all with flyhalf Matt Toomua pushing the penalty attempt wide from 35 metres out and in front as the half-time siren sounded.

Lealliifano, who covered flyhalf, centre and fullback during the match and was among the CA Brumbies best, added a penalty goal of his own in the 54th minute after a 40-metre bust by replacement fullback Pat McCabe.

RC Toulon landed another penalty goal in the 66th minute before pushing over for a try from a close-range lineout to close out the match with five minutes remaining.

McCabe confirmed his appointment as 'Player of the Tour' with another standout display and made the most of his limited chances in attack, predominantly through his ability to make ground on the back of his kick return.

The tour's other awards were won by Andrew Smith (Best Back) and Stephen Hoiles (Best Forward), who along with lock Ben Hand toiled hard for the CA Brumbies throughout this morning's match.
Flanker Colby Faingaa continued the form that saw him take out 'Best Newcomer' and was again tough at the breakdown, played well beyond his 18 years of age and highlighted his match with a bone-rattling tackle on the opposing No.8.

Hooker Anthony Hegarty was the only injury concern out of the match with a suspected syndesmosis injury to his ankle.

The CA Brumbies finish the tour with one win over Top14 Champions, USA Perpignan (17-0) alongside losses to CS Bourgoin-Jallieu (20-12), Aviron Bayonnais (37-21) and today's result against RC Toulon.

Despite this morning's loss, CA Brumbies Head Coach Andy Friend said the tour was a valuable learning experience for the playing squad and coaching staff.

"We're really happy [with the overall success of the tour]," he said.
"We may have only won one out of four games but it's put us three months ahead of what we would've been if we didn't come on the tour.

"It proved to be a great chance for the squad to bond, particularly with the younger members, and the integration of these young players and the way in which they took their opportunities was a real positive.

"It was also a great chance to experience a different style of rugby and a different culture and it's given us a fantastic read on what we need to do to improve individuals as well as the team."

The side will return to Australia on Sunday.

RC Toulon 20 defeated CA Brumbies 6 (Christian Lealiifano penalty goal, drop goal) at Stade Mayol, Toulon Half time: RC Toulon 6-3

Crowd: Approx 10,000

CA Brumbies

1. Jerry Yanuyanutawa 2. Anthony Hegarty 3. Guy Shepherdson 4. Ben Hand 5. Sitaleki Timani 6. Henry Vanderglas 7. Colby Faingaa 8. Stephen Hoiles (c) 9. Nic White 10. Matt Toomua 11. Francis Fainifo 12. Tyrone Smith 13. Andrew Smith 14. Afusipa Taumoepeau 15. Christian Lealiifano

Reserves:16. Nathan Charles 17. Salesi Ma'afu 18. Steven Noriega 19. Sokai Tai 20. Patrick Phibbs 21. Pat McCabe 22. Shaun Foley 23. Robbie Coleman 24. Josh Valentine 25. Ed Gower

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