Thursday 21 November 2019

Lacklustre champions survive Wasps test

Ali Williams of Toulon dives over to score a last minute try
Ali Williams of Toulon dives over to score a last minute try

Error-strewn Toulon failed to convince but still maintained their quest for a record-breaking third consecutive European title by edging past Wasps 32-18 at Stade Mayol.

The Heineken Cup champions and Top 14 league title-holders started strongly, then stuttered but eventually strode home to set up a Champions Cup semi-final with Leinster.

Wasps' Tonga wing Will Helu pinched a second-half brace to give Toulon problems, but the reigning European kings kept their composure.

They will take on three-time Heineken Cup winners Leinster in the last four, but will need to improve as they were sloppy in the extreme for the majority of this game.

Frederic Michalak was his unpredictable best with ball in hand, but for once the former France fly-half was also faultless from the tee.

The 32-year-old's return of 22 points effectively separated the sides and inched Toulon into the final four.

Mathieu Bastareaud struck early for the hosts, but Wasps refused to be cowed, and somehow found a foothold in the game.

Toulon will take on Leinster in Stade Vélodrome, Marseille on April 19 at 4.15 while Clermont Auvergne will face Saracens in the other semi-final at St Etienne on April 18.

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