Wasps cruise to victory over European champions Toulon

Nathan Hughes has extended his contract with Wasps

English rugby club Wasps cruised to a 32-6 bonus point European Rugby Champions Cup victory over three time champions Toulon at the Ricoh Arena.

Last week’s Toulon’s season opener against Bath was postponed so this was their first match of the European season while Wasps comfortably beat Leinster in Ireland last week.

The result is indicative of Wasps revival in recent times as a few short seasons ago Wasps were struggling on and off the field and they have now beaten the champions in front of a 20,050 strong.

Wasps now sit firmly on top of Pool 5 on 9 points with Bath second, Leinster third and Toulon last.

The result completes an extraordinary weekend for English rugby as every team finished in Europe as the winning side.

Wasps, the 2004 and 2007 champions, seized control of the match at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena with two tries in two minutes to leave the champions shell-shocked.

No 8 Nathan Hughes powered over in the left corner with Ruaridh Jackson adding the conversion.

Jackson then initiated and finished the second try with a smart kick ahead. The ball was collected by scrum-half Joe Simpson who released Joe Launchbury.

Simpson was back in support to find Jackson, who raced the length of the 22 for a try which the Scottish fly-half converted himself.

A Jonathan Pelissie penalty gave Toulon their first points with a penalty but Wasps quickly restored their 14-point advantage thanks to a monster Elliot Daly kick from the half-way line.

Jackson and Pelisse exchanged penalties as Wasps took a 20-6 lead into the interval.

There was no letting up after the break as Wasps grabbed a third try after 50 minutes when winger Frank Halai slipped through a gaping hole in the Toulon defence and sprinted to the line despite the close attentions of the pursuing Delon Armitage.

Wasps added a fourth score when Hughes powered over from a maul for his second try of the game.

The English side played the last seven minutes with 14 men after clearing their bench but Toulon, with Australian fly-half Quade Cooper enduring a frustrating tournament debut, could still not register a point in the second half.

James Gaskell was named European Rugby Champions Cup man of the match.

Final Score Wasps 23 (20) Toulon 6 (6)


Tries – Hughes (2), Jackson, Halai
Pen – Daly, Jackson
Con – Jackson (3)
Drop –

Tries –
Pen – Pelissie (2)
Con –
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland),
Assistant ref: Dudley Phillips (Ireland),
Assistant ref: Leo Colgan (Ireland),
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland),
Citing Commissioner: Peter Ferguson (Ireland)


Wasps: Charles Piutau; Christian Wade, Elliot Daly, Ben Jacobs, Frank Halai; Ruaridh Jackson, Joe Simpson; Matt Mullan, Carlo Festuccia, Jake Cooper-Woolley, Joe Launchbury, Bradley Davies, James Haskell (c), George Smith, Nathan Hughes

Replacements: Ashley Johnson, Simon McIntyre, Lorenzo Cittadini, James Gaskell, Sam Jones, Dan Robson, Alex Lozowski, Sailosi Tagicakibau

RC Toulon: Delon Armitage; Josua Tuisova, Mathieu Bastareaud, Maxime Mermoz, Bryan Habana; Quade Cooper, Jonathan Pelissie; Xavier Chiocci, Anthony Etrillard, Matt Stevens, Samu Manoa, Romain Taofifenua, Juan Smith (c), Juan Fernandez Lobbe, Steffon Armitage

Replacements: Bastien Soury, Florian Fresia, Levan Chilachava, Duane Vermeulen, Mamuka Gorgodze, Theo Belan, Sebastien Tillous-Borde, Konstantine Mikautadze

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