Sunday 22 April 2018

Toulon fall to shock defeat in Oyonnax

Toulon fell to an agonising 29-26 defeat away to basement side Oyonnax in their penultimate Top 14 clash before their trip to Thomond Park (stock picture)
Toulon fell to an agonising 29-26 defeat away to basement side Oyonnax in their penultimate Top 14 clash before their trip to Thomond Park (stock picture)

Declan Rooney

It took a last-minute try from Steven Sykes, but Toulon fell to an agonising 29-26 defeat away to basement side Oyonnax in their penultimate Top 14 clash before their trip to Thomond Park.

The Limerick venue will be buzzing tomorrow week but the three-time European champions will seek an immediate return to winning ways after this shock defeat.

Malakai Fekitoa was a real threat in the No 13 shirt which is a welcome boost for the Mediterranean side, and his 54th-minute try had wrestled the lead back for Toulon after they trailed 19-16 at the interval.

That half-time lead came largely from the boot of Ben Botica who continued to impress for Oyonnax, while a fifth-minute try from Rory Grice set the tone for the home side.

Andre Belleau was also on form from the tee for Toulon with three first-half penalties and the conversion of Marcel van der Merwe's seventh-minute try, while he also converted Fekitoa's try for a 23-19 lead.

But Sykes crossed in the last minute and Botica brought his tally to 19 points, which helped Oyonnax leapfrog Brive at the foot of the table.

On Sunday, Munster fans can tune in to see Toulon in action at Stade Felix Mayol, when they host Clermont Auvergne. Should Munster defeat Toulon they will either face Clermont or Racing 92, who face Lyon this weekend.

  • Coverage starts at 3.45pm on Sky Sports Action.

Irish Independent

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