Rugby Union

Toulon claim famous Heineken Cup victory

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Toulon claimed Heineken Cup glory with a rousing second-half comeback against domestic rivals Clermont Auvergne in Dublin.

Jonny Wilkinson was unsurprisingly instrumental for the winners, with the captain kicking 11 points in yet another faultless display.

For 60 minutes it looked like it wouldn’t be the England legend’s day however, as Clermont forced their way ahead following a first-half dominated by the defences.

Indeed, a penalty apiece from Wilkinson and Brock James saw the sides level at the interval, with James the closest to a try as the video referee ruled out his kick-and-chase.

Clermont were the better side and made the advantage count in the opening exchanges of the second period, with tournament top try scorer Naipolioni Nalaga dancing down the left wing and going over in the corner.

Morgan Parra missed the conversion however, and a Wilkinson penalty moments later meant the advantage was only two points.

However, Clermont appeared to turn the screw when Aurelien Rougerie shrugged off Wilkinson and found his own number ten James, who had the legs to cross over near the posts.

A conversion made it 15-6, but another Wilkinson penalty on the hour mark meant a converted try would see Toulon crowned champions.

And, sure enough, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe produced a magnificent steal at the breakdown before finding Delon Armitage in space. He offered a wave to James as he flew past his opponent, touching down close enough for Wilkinson to add a comfortable extra two points.

Toulon had turned it around, and despite a late surge from their Top 14 rivals, managed to hold on for victory thanks in part to some stunning defending from man-of-the-match Mathiau Bastareaud.

Replacement David Skrela did have one chance to win it with a drop-goal, but his effort was charged down to the delight of the Toulon faithful packed inside the Aviva Stadium.

Rugby Union
Heineken Cup
Jonny Wilkinson
Clermont Auvergne
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