Ospreys second half surge beats Toulon

The Ospreys hit form in the second half of their match against Toulon to win 29-17 in Heineken Cup Pool 3 at the Liberty Stadium.


Toulon qualified for the Heineken Cup quarter finals last weekend when they beat Munster and fielded a second string team after making wholesale changes with only Jonny Wilkinson keeping his place for this weekend.

Toulon travelled safe in the knowledge that they had reached the knock-out
stage, but still harbouring vague hopes of clinching a home draw.

That proved to be an unrealistic dream, but whoever ends up hosting Jonny Wilkinson
and co can expect a tough time.

Even through they made 14 changes in the match day squad from the win over
Munster they came out all guns blazing against the Magners League champions
and scored two tries in the opening quarter through Scottish full back Rory
Lamont and Australian scrum half Matt Henjak.

Wilkinson easily converted both and kept his back line moving throughout a
first half in which the Frenchmen were by far the more creative and positive
side. Dan Biggar’s boot at least kept the home team in touch, although when
he hit the post with the last kick of the half it brought back the memories
of his crucial misses at the Madejski Stadium a week earlier.

But despite falling behind to a Wilkinson penalty at the start of the second
half, the final 40 minutes were all about the Ospreys clawing their way back
into the game and extending their unbeaten Heineken Cup run at the Liberty Stadium.

The introduction of a fit again Shane Williams after 55 minutes pepped up the
home back line and it took him only six minutes to create the opening for Nikki
Walker to score.

Skipper Alun Wyn Jones crossed later on to complete the win, but after three
years in the last eight the Ospreys will be reduced to a watching brief this
season.

Final Score Ospreys 29 (9) Toulon 17 (14)


Scorers


Ospreys
Tries: Walker, AW Jones
Penalties: Biggar 3, Hook 2
Conversions: Hook


Toulon
Tries: Lamont, Henjak
Penalties: Wilkinson
Conversions: Wilkinson 2


Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)


Teams


Ospreys: L Byrne, N Walker, S Parker, J Hook, R Fussell, D Biggar, R Webb, D Jones, R Hibbard, C Mitchell, I Gough, A Jones, R Jones, J Tipuric, J Thomas.


Replacements: H Bennett, R Bevington, C Griffiths, J Collins, M Holah, M Phillips, A Beck, S Williams


Toulon: R Lamont, B Lapeyre, G Messina, M Kefu, T Brana, J Wilkinson, M Henjak [capt], S Taumoepeau, J Genevois, C Hayman, J Suta, D Senekal, O Missoup, T Sourice, F Auelua


Replacements: M Ivaldi, B Basteres, M Merabet, J van Niekerk, J El Abd, T May, L Magnaval, K Chesney

With thanks to ERCRugby.

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