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Heineken Cup: Toulon's Jonny Wilkinson sticks boot into Cardiff Blues
Jonny Wilkinson kicked 17 points as Toulon handed Cardiff Blues their second loss in Pool Six of the Heineken Cup.
Wilkinson's haul - consisting of five penalties and a conversion - was supplemented by a second-half try from Steffon Armitage as Toulon ran out 22-14 winners at Cardiff Arms Park.
Cardiff, looking to respond after last week's loss at Sale, scored the opening try inside two minutes after the ball was moved quickly from a scrum through the back division to Tom James on the left wing. James stretched his legs, drew his man and released Halfpenny on the inside for a run to the line.
Halfpenny failed with the conversion and Wilkinson soon showed him how it's done, landing a pair of penalties to move the French side 6-5 ahead after quarter-of-an-hour.
Cardiff suffered a further setback when outside centre Gavin Evans was stretchered off after slipping and taking an accidental blow to the face in a collision with Toulon full-back Delon Armitage.
Halfpenny's place kicking was erratic; he scuffed one penalty attempt after a lineout infringement, made amends just before half-time to give Cardiff a 9-8 advantage at the break and then slipped over and missed a third chance in the 51st minute.
A penalty exchange between Wilkinson and Halfpenny, albeit after again not making clean contact, meant the Blues held a one-point lead with less than 20 minutes remaining.
But Toulon struck the decisive blow in the 63rd minute, Matt Giteau setting up a close-range finish for Steffon Armitage after breaking the first line of defence with a show-and-go.
The conversion made it 19-11 to Toulon and Wilkinson answered a further penalty from Halfpenny to deny Cardiff even a bonus point.
Cardiff now have to break new ground to make the quarter-finals as no side has ever qualified after losing their opening two matches. Toulon sit top of Pool Six on nine points, although Sale can join them with a bonus-point success over Montpellier later on Sunday.Heineken Cup. Click here to bet.
|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|Sunday 25th January|
|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|Munster 65 - 10 Sale Sharks|
|Clermont Auvergne 18 - 6 Saracens|
|Bath 20 - 15 Glasgow|
|Montpellier 27 - 26 Toulouse|
|Saturday 24th January|
|Scarlets 3 - 26 Toulon|
|Ulster 26 - 7 Leicester|
|Northampton 8 - 32 Racing Metro 92|
|Benetton Treviso 23 - 20 Ospreys|
|Castres 19 - 47 Harlequins|
|Wasps 20 - 20 Leinster|
|Sunday 18th January|
|Ospreys 9 - 20 Northampton|
|Racing Metro 92 53 - 7 Benetton Treviso|
|Toulouse 18 - 35 Bath|
|Glasgow 21 - 10 Montpellier|
|Saturday 17th January|
|Harlequins 3 - 23 Wasps|
|Sale Sharks 13 - 22 Clermont Auvergne|
|Leinster 50 - 8 Castres|
|Toulon 60 - 22 Ulster|
|Saracens 33 - 10 Munster|
|Friday 16th January|
|Leicester 40 - 23 Scarlets|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com