Tuesday 21 August 2018

Toulon devour rivals in Euro warm-up

New Zealand's Malakai Fekitoa put in a man-of-the-match performance for Toulon. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
New Zealand's Malakai Fekitoa put in a man-of-the-match performance for Toulon. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

Toulon warmed up for tomorrow's Champions Cup quarter-final with Munster by devouring rivals Clermont on a 49-0 scoreline in the Top 14.

The record win over another of Europe's powerhouses serves as a major warning to Munster ahead of the Thomond Park clash, with plenty of Toulon's top players showing their best form a week out from Limerick.

All of the damage to Clermont was done before the break in this Stade Felix Mayol clash.

Five tries arrived before half-time, all of which were converted by Andre Belleau, for a 35-0 interval lead.

The first score came after six bruising minutes as Eric Escande crossed, while Romain Taofifénua, Chris Ashton, Josua Tuisova and Malakai Fekitoa added their names to the scoring list by the break.

Fekitoa was in inspired form and bagged his second try six minutes after the restart in what proved to be a man-of-the-match performance, while Mamuka Gorgodze rounded off the scoring with his 69th-minute try.

The win sees Toulon sitting in fourth place in the standings, and sets them up nicely for a run at the title they last won in 2014. After tomorrow's clash they return to action away to Racing 92.

Should Munster win tomorrow they will face Clermont or Racing 92 in the semi-final, which will take place at a French venue.

Irish Independent

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