Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | Heineken Cup

Jonny Wilkinson © Gallo Images

Toulon made to work for victory



Jonny Wilkinson's Toulon made it three wins out of three in Heineken Cup Pool Six but did little to justify their tag of favourites with an unconvincing 17-6 victory against struggling Sale.

Filthy conditions at the Salford City Stadium did much to bridge the gulf in class between a star-studded side leading the French Top 14 and one propping up the Aviva Premiership, but the visitors did just enough to secure the crucial points, with winger David Smith scoring the only try and Wilkinson kicking four penalties from seven attempts.

A second defeat to French opposition ahead of next week's re-match on the Cote D'Azure leaves the Sharks with little hope of qualification for the knockout stages, but their priority is survival in the Premiership and new director of rugby John Mitchell will doubtless be encouraged by the gritty display.

Sale's points came from the boot of Danny Cipriani, who was promoted to the starting line-up following the late withdrawal of Cameron Shepherd through illness and the switch of Rob Miller to full-back.

Miller had a superb game in his regular position while Cipriani held his own against the vastly experienced Wilkinson, but the Sharks were unable to carve out a single clear-cut tryscoring chance.

This video is not available in your region

Cipriani drew first blood in the duel of former England fly-halves, landing a 45-metre penalty after seven minutes to put his side into the lead, five minutes after the Toulon captain had been wide with a 40-metre kick.

Wilkinson levelled the scores with a penalty from in front of the posts on 16 minutes as the game developed into a kicking contest.

With conditions worsening in the constant drizzle, Cipriani attempted to secure further points with the boot but was narrowly off target with two ambitious penalty attempts from the halfway line.

Wilkinson also fluffed a third goal-kick on 29 minutes but the visitors scored the game's first try immediately afterwards after Smith found some rare space out on the Sale right.

Cipriani kept the Sharks well in contention with another penalty seven minutes before the interval but Wilkinson responded with his second successful kick three minutes later to make it 11-6 at half-time.

Sale enjoyed the better of the third quarter but Toulon number eight Chris Masoe broke up a promising move by intercepting Cipriani's pass and his 50-metre break set up the position for Wilkinson to kick his third penalty on 51 minutes to open up an eight-point lead.

That gave Toulon, who included a trio of former Sale favourites in Andrew Sheridan, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe and Sebastian Bruno, a useful cushion to become more adventurous.

They almost scored a second try when flanker Steffon Armitage was driven over the line but he was unable to ground the ball, while replacement scrum-half Sebastien Tillous-Borde had a last-minute try disallowed by the television match official.

Wilkinson was wide with a drop-goal attempt but he wrapped up the scoring with a fourth penalty.

Shop

The Poisoned Chalice
The Springboks have had several post-isolation coaches, and if they agree on nothing else, they will concur that everyone in the job suffers enormous pressure
R157.00
Coach - Marco Botha
At 34, Heyneke Meyer was fired as head coach of a Super Rugby team for the second time
R114.00
South Africa XV Ball
South Africa XV Ball Now: R119 Was: R200 Format:Sport EquipmentProduct type:SportDelivery:Dispatched within 24 hours (1 working day) This fan ball...
R119.00


More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Sports Talk



Tony Johnson
Australian sideshow not good for rugby
Much as we like to beat each other, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and now Argentina need...

Gavin Rich
No choke for Province this time
With this being the week of a Newlands Currie Cup final, there is sure to be one question...

Alistair Hargreaves
Who's that kid at No 10 for the Boks?
I’m writing this column sitting on a London overground train as I make my way home from a long day...

Brendan Venter
Boks come of age
While the Springboks must be commended for ending their Rugby Championship campaign with...