Saturday 1 October 2016

French media reaction to Toulon victory: 'Leinster came with no intention of playing'

Published 21/04/2015 | 07:11

19 April 2015; Cian Healy, Leinster, in action against Sebastien Tillous-Borde, Toulon. European Rugby Champions Cup Semi-Final, RC Toulon v Leinster. Stade V?lodrome, Marseilles, France. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
19 April 2015; Cian Healy, Leinster, in action against Sebastien Tillous-Borde, Toulon. European Rugby Champions Cup Semi-Final, RC Toulon v Leinster. Stade V?lodrome, Marseilles, France. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Here's how the French press reacted to Sunday's thrilling 25-20 win for Toulon over Leinster in Marseilles.

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L'Équipe

"We'd not like to be in Matt O'Connor's head this morning. In 2014, in the quarter-final at Stade Mayol, the Irish attempted to rival Toulon with a high-tempo game-plan featuring lots of passing.

"At half time, it was going well (6-6), before an implosion that was bigger than the final scoreline suggested (29-14).

"O'Connor opted for a radically different game-plan: we'll do nothing, make nothing of nothing, we'll turn the screw on Toulon. It nearly worked. Nearly, but this will be hard to swallow."

Midi Olympique

"Toulon were scared during the semi-final of the Champions Cup on Sunday to face Leinster. If they were happy to have snatched their place in the final, the Toulon players were aware they hadn't played a great game.

"Jimmy Gopperth is not (Johnny) Sexton and Ian Madigan - as strong-willed and promising as he is - doesn't have a quarter of the talent of his holiness BOD.

"Fortified by this analysis, O'Connor and his men favoured pragmatism, concentrating their efforts on the basics of the game."

La Provence

"Leinster were fuelled by the possibility of revenge and came with no intention of playing, nor making the game a spectacle."

Aujourd'hui en France

"Jonny Wilkinson no longer remains but now the metronome of a talent, Leigh Halfpenny is there.

"He almost gave his body to science under the Irish assault and saved many dangerous situations with his assured kicking game."

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