Wilko wins it for Toulon

Fly-half finally settles semi with his fourth attempt at a winning kick

Last updated: 28th April 2012  

Steffon Armitage toulon

Steffon Armitage scores the opener for Toulon

Jonny Wilkinson toulon

Jonny Wilkinson: kicked 27 points including the match-winner

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Jonny Wilkinson slotted over a last-minute drop goal to take Toulon into the Amlin Challenge Cup final after a thrilling all-French showdown.

The former England fly-half scored 27 points in total to add to Steffon Armitage's first-minute try, as Toulon beat Stade Francais 32-29.

Stade Francais led for most of the first half and edged ahead once more on the hour, and Wilkinson needed four attempts in the closing stages to kick the winning points.

Toulon took the lead through Armitage's superb score and they almost had another inside four minutes following more good work by the flanker, only for scrum-half Sebastien Tillous-Borde to drop the ball as he tried to offload from a tackle.

But poor tackling let Morgan Turinui through to set up full-back Hugo Bonneval for a converted score in the 12th minute which nudged Stade ahead.

Fly-half Jules Plisson kicked two penalties and a drop goal to extend the visitors' lead to 16-5 but Wilkinson was on target with penalties in the 32nd and 40th minutes, either side of Plisson's third, to leave the half-time score at 19-11 to Stade.

Wilkinson took his side into the lead with three penalties and a drop goal in the first 15 minutes of the second half but Turinui rounded off a wonderful passing move from the base of a scrum to restore the visitors' advantage, Plisson adding the extras to make it 26-23.

Two Wilkinson penalties countered by a Plisson drop goal left the scores level at 29-29 going into the final 10 minutes - but with Stade winger Julien Arias in the sin-bin for cynically preventing a try after Plisson's kick was charged down.

Wilkinson missed the resulting penalty and then a drop-goal attempt before putting a 30-metre effort wide from a central position - but he kicked the crucial drop goal from just over 40 metres a minute from time to ensure his side will face Biarritz or Brive in the final on May 18.

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