Rugby Union

Brian O'Driscoll's Heineken Cup career ended by terrific Toulon

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Wilkinson edged O'Driscoll in a battle of modern Rugby greats (©GettyImages)
Wilkinson edged O'Driscoll in a battle of modern Rugby greats (©GettyImages).

Heineken Cup holders Toulon roared past Leinster this afternoon to end Brian O'Driscoll's dream of a club swansong to match his Six Nations success, with an early injury to Jonny Wilkinson failing to stop the hosts completing a relatively comfortable 29-14 victory.

Much of the pre-match focus revolved around Wilkinson and O'Driscoll's final duel at the highest level of club rugby, but the veteran England fly-half only had time to contribute two early penalties before withdrawing through injury midway through the opening period.

Leinster replied with two Jimmy Gopperth efforts to level at 6-6 heading into the break, but Toulon turned up the intensity after the interval and pulled clear in convincing fashion.

Xavier Chiocci scored the game's opening try and home pressure finally told early in the second half, crashing over the line to stun the visitors.

A poor line-out cost the Leinster dear soon after, with Toulon taking full advantage of indecision as Steffon Armitage kicked ahead for Australian wing Drew Mitchell to give the French giants a 10-point cushion.

Leinster mounted a response 11 minutes from time as Jordi Murphy crossed the line, with any fleeting hopes of rousing late response ended by a whopping penalty from distance converted by Delon Armitage.

Toulon can now turn their thoughts to a semi-final against Munster on April 27, but Wilkinson faces a race against time to be fit the for that clash, while O'Driscoll is left to reflect on an Heineken Cup hat-trick as the highlight of a glittering club career.

Brian O'Driscoll
Jonny Wilkinson
Rugby Union
Heineken Cup
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