Wilkinson boots Toulon to victory over Ospreys

Jonny Wilkinson kicked five goals as Toulon started their Heineken Cup campaign with a 19-14 victory over the Ospreys in Pool 3.

Toulon’s other points came former England wing Paul Sackey who scored a try after being set up by Wilkinson.

England’s world cup winning fly-half Wilkinson inspired the French side to victory even though Shane Williams looked to have given the Welsh region a famous win in the South of France with an opportunist try on the hour mark before Wilkinson and Sackey struck.

Dan Biggar put the Ospreys ahead after just 90 seconds with a penalty after the hosts were penalised for handling the ball on the floor at a ruck.

The Ospreys who have reached the quarter-finals in the last three seasons of Europe’s premier competition dominated possession in the early exchanges but Biggar failed to increase their advantage, missing a drop goal and then a sixth minute penalty.

Wilkinson levelled the scores with a penalty of his own after 14 minutes, but missed three further chances for the home side.

The English play-maker made amends on the half hour mark, kicking close-range penalty to put Toulon ahead for the first time.

Biggar had the final say of a disappointing opening period with a brilliant 60-metre penalty to tie the scores at 6-6.

Jerry Collins was penalised directly from the re-start and Wilkinson restored his side’s advantage from in front of the posts.

The Ospreys defended well as Toulon repeatedly threatened and scored the opening try as Williams raced clear to score.

Williams had spotted a huge gap at the side of the ruck and stepped inside Rory Lamont to touch down. Biggar missed the conversion and then Wilkinson reduced the lead to two points with a touchline penalty in the 74th minute.

Wilkinson then spread the ball out wide to Sackey who raced in for the match winning score much to the delight of the home crowd.

Final Score Toulon (6) 19 Ospreys (6) 14


Try: Sackey
Con: Wilkinson
Pens: Wilkinson 4.

Try: S Williams.
Pens: Biggar 3

Referee: Alan Lewis (Ireland)


Toulon: R Lamont, P Sackey, M Kefu, G Messina, B Lapeyre, J Wilkinson, M Henjak, S Taumoepeau, J Orioli, D Kubriashvili, D Schofield, C Samson, O Missoup, G Smith, J Fernandez Lobbe [capt].

Replacements: M Ivaldi, B Basteres, M Merabet, ?Sourice, T May, C Marienval, L Magnaval, J Suta

Ospreys: L Byrne, T Bowe, A Bishop, J Hook, S Williams, D Biggar, M Phillips, P James, R Hibbard, A Jones, I Gough, A Jones [capt], J Collins, M Holah, J Thomas.

Replacements: H Bennett, R Bevington, C Mitchell, R Jones, J Tipuric, J Nutbrown, G Owen, N Walker


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