Home team Away Team

Toulon

  • Giteau, Smith,
    Penalty goals: Wilkinson (2),
    Drop goals: Wilkinson,
    Conversions: Wilkinson (2),
23 - 6

Saracens


  • Penalty goals: Farrell (2),

Heineken Cup final: Toulon give Jonny Wilkinson part one of dream send-off

Last updated: 24th May 2014   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Jonny Wilkinson of Toulon drops a goal during the Heineken Cup Final

Jonny Wilkinson drops a goal during his final game on British soil

Toulon s English fly half Jonny Wilkinson 2

Jonny Wilkinson hoists aloft the Heineken Cup

Related links

News

Preview

Video

Article/Blog

Teams

Also see

Toulon retained the Heineken Cup with a 23-6 victory over Saracens at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

Jonny Wilkinson was immaculate with the boot as he kicked 13 points in his final game on British soil and the World Cup-winning fly-half can complete a dream finale to his career with a first victory in France's Top 14 final against Castres next week.

Owen Farrell nudged Saracens ahead with a second-minute penalty from a scrum offence, but missed a chance to double the lead after Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe was yellow-carded for tackling Alistair Hargreaves in the air.

Toulon crossed for the first try of the game when down to 14 men, Matt Giteau kicking forward before being put in by a return pass from the leaping Drew Mitchell.

A Wilkinson drop-goal stretched the lead to 10-3 at the half, but Farrell cut the arrears with an early penalty after the break.

Wilkinson's penalty re-established the seven-point lead before a powerful burst from Mathieu Bastareaud set up a try for Juan Smith.

Wilkinson converted for the second time and sent over another penalty to push Toulon out of sight.

Wilkinson, who celebrates his 35th birthday on Sunday, will bow out of the game as a double Heineken Cup winner as Toulon emulated Leicester and Leinster in being crowned European champions for a second successive season.

Saracens, bidding to become the fifth different English club to be crowned European champions, struck an initial blow through a third-minute Farrell penalty, but Toulon asked immediate questions via some slick handling.

Given how high the stakes were, there was an understandable caution from both teams, but Toulon appeared a dangerous attacking outfit despite little initial contribution by Wilkinson.

Toulon, though, were their own worst enemies as Fernandez Lobbe was shown a yellow card following a high challenge on Saracens lock Hargreaves, but it remained 3-0 entering the second quarter of a tense battle.

Toulon eventually stirred 10 minutes before half-time when a Wilkinson pass freed Giteau, whose kick ahead was superbly gathered by wing Mitchell, and his inside ball sent supporting Giteau scampering over.

Wilkinson inevitably kicked the touchline conversion, hoisting Toulon 7-3 ahead as the clock ticked down on a first-half that lacked sustained quality, then added a trademark drop-goal with his right boot.

Stop-start

The game was largely a frustrating stop-start affair and offered little fluidity from both the players and referee Alain Rolland, while the atmosphere - or lack of it - matched a disappointing occasion.

Toulon looked to build on their advantage and they had plenty of strength on the bench as locks Ali Williams and Jocelino Suto appeared with 30 minutes of the contest still remaining.

And it was the cue for Toulon to finish Saracens off via a move that owed everything to centre Bastareaud's surging midfield power.

Saracens could not contain him and his approach play resulted in Smith and Fernandez Lobbe linking expertly, before Smith finished off a sparkling move.

Wilkinson converted and then kicked a penalty to leave Saracens with no way back as France ended 19 seasons of Heineken Cup rugby as the tournament's dominant nation above England and Ireland.

Saracens will feel deeply frustrated that they could make little impact on the contest, but with Wilkinson pulling Toulon's strings, the French club held a vice-like grip on second-half proceedings.

The result proved a hammer-blow for Saracens yet they could have no complaints on a day when they were given a clear lesson in how to win big games when pressure was at its most intense.

And Wilkinson received a standing ovation when he departed three minutes from time, his job done and Toulon ready to enjoy riotous celebrations.

Sky Bet Odds:

Click Here for Your Free Bet
Forthcoming European Rugby Champions Cup Fixtures
TimeFixture
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday 5th December
European Rugby Champions Cup
19:45Montpellier vs Bath
Saturday 6th December
13:00Sale vs Saracens
17:30Munster vs Clermont Auvergne
19:45Ulster vs Scarlets
13:00Benetton Treviso vs Northampton
15:15Ospreys vs Racing Metro 92
Sunday 7th December
13:00Castres vs Wasps
15:15Harlequins vs Leinster
17:30Leicester vs Toulon
15:15Toulouse vs Glasgow
Friday 12th December
19:45Bath vs Montpellier
Saturday 13th December
17:15Saracens vs Sale
19:45Leinster vs Harlequins
15:15Toulon vs Leicester
13:00Glasgow vs Toulouse
15:15Northampton vs Benetton Treviso
17:15Racing Metro 92 vs Ospreys
Sunday 14th December
15:15Clermont Auvergne vs Munster
13:00Wasps vs Castres
17:15Scarlets vs Ulster
Saturday 17th January
TBCSaracens vs Munster
TBCSale vs Clermont Auvergne
TBCHarlequins vs Wasps
TBCLeinster vs Castres
TBCLeicester vs Scarlets

Experts & Blogs

Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com