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Blinded by the light!

Basking in the Toulon glory

Will Greenwood Posted 19th January 2011 view comments

After round five of the Heineken Cup four teams booked their place in the quarter-finals. Northampton Saints, Toulouse, Leinster and debutants Toulon are safely through. With another four spots still up for grabs the final round will be a nail-biting affair.

Leicester kept their hopes alive by subduing a feisty Scarlets side but neither Wasps or the Ospreys lived up to their own high expectations, however it was the rugby and the occasion down in Toulon that certainly caught Will Greenwood's eye...

TEAM: Toulon

Mercenaries was the name Munster lock Donncha O'Callaghan called Toulon last year...well the Magnificent 15 made a mockery of the accusations that Toulon's whole could not be greater than their sum as they bested the Irish giants at every turn. Munster needed to hold their line under the barrage of the Toulon pack up front. The host's aggressive defence forced mistake after mistake from Munster giving Toulon the chance to turn the screw even further with even more scrums. They are building something special down by the Côte d'Azur - these hired guns are here to stay!

A moment to savour in the sun

A moment to savour in the sun

PLAYER: Joe Van Niekerk

The former Springbok No.8 was outstanding for Toulon as he led his band of brothers to their biggest win since their 2008 victory over Racing Metro that secured them promotion to the Top 14. Van Niekerk led from the front with same massive hits that repeatedly put Munster on the back foot, on top of that he was always dangerous with ball in hand. His turn of pace and sharp rugby brain had kept Munster guessing. A great performance.

Wearing sunglasses with Paul Wallace and Simon Lazenby in Toulon on air, listening to pilou pilou the Toulon war cry and watching owner Mourad Boudjellal stalking the field after the match like Maximus. Rousing stuff.

Will Greenwood
Quotes of the week

VILLAINS: Wasps and Ospreys for taking excitement out of two groups

The Ospreys failed to make Pool 3 a three way battle by one again under performing in Europe. They have blamed poor decision making for their shock 24-12 defeat to London Irish. A win would have set up a winner-takes-all clash against Toulon on Saturday in Swansea, but all the Magners League champions have to play for now is pride. The same goes for Wasps who should have been playing for the top of Pool 6 against Toulouse; however a hopeless display against Glasgow put paid to that. Theoretically they could still make it however what are the chances of both Ulster and Leicester losing to Italian opposition?

TRY: Ben Youngs for Leicester

Scarlets fans may complain that Thomas Waldrom was off his feet when he forced the turnover but the try still stands. It was clever work from the Thomas the Tank Engine as Leicester had conceded their fair share of turnovers in the very competitive tackle area. Youngs took the pass from Waldrom and immediately turned on the gas to race 40 metres to dive over the corner for Leicester's second try. It put Leicester 19-13 up heading into the final quarter and took the wind right out of Scarlet's sails. Young's celebrations may have been a tad early as the video ref had a look but it certainly quietened down the home fans.

MOMENT: Sundowners in Toulon

Wearing sunglasses with Paul Wallace and Simon Lazenby in Toulon on air, listening to pilou pilou the Toulon war cry and watching owner Mourad Boudjellal stalking the field after the match like Maximus. Rousing stuff.

Comments (3)

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Barrie Down says...

I honestly thought when the celtic league was formed i thought that this would help the rugby in the northern hemisphere to creep up with the southern hemisphere. I THOUGHT THE FORMATION OF THE CELTIC LEAGUE WOULD DO THIS . If u cant keep all your players playing rugby in the country that they play for then we should give up.There are too many players from other countries playing for these sides ,diluting them. I understand these clubs are a bussiness,but for us to improve international players need to play together week in anmd week out.

Posted 13:40 20th January 2011

Josh Stewart says...

Everyone seems to off written off Bath's chances of success in the HC, but they are still in with a shout of a quarter final place. As I see it they require the following (please correct me if i'm wrong), A win in Biarritz of 8+ Saracens to beat Clermont Toulouse to beat Wasps OR A 4 try bonus win in Biarritz Clermont not to get a 4 try win Toulouse to beat Wasps I've seen stranger things happen, so why has everyone written them off?

Posted 13:09 20th January 2011

Tom Beaconsfield says...

Nice one Will, I wished I had gone to Toulon for the Munster game - looked like a real day to saviour and could become one of those rugby moments where people boast that 'They were there!'

Posted 10:50 20th January 2011

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