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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.
|Thursday 1st January|
|14:05||Dragons vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 10th January|
|14:40||Cardiff Blues vs Leinster|
|Wednesday 14th January|
|TBC||Munster vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 17th January|
|European Rugby Challenge Cup|
|TBC||Cardiff Blues vs Rovigo|
|Saturday 24th January|
|TBC||Grenoble vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 31st January|
|15:00||Wasps vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Cardiff Blues vs Leicester|
|Saturday 21st February|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 28th February|
|TBC||Cardiff Blues vs Edinburgh|
|Saturday 7th March|
|TBC||Cardiff Blues vs Connacht|
|Saturday 28th March|
|TBC||Ulster vs Cardiff Blues|
|Friday 26th December|
|Cardiff Blues 17 - 23 Dragons|
|Friday 19th December|
|Cardiff Blues 21 - 9 Scarlets|
|Saturday 13th December|
|European Rugby Challenge Cup|
|London Irish 34 - 23 Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 6th December|
|Cardiff Blues 24 - 14 London Irish|
|Friday 28th November|
|Cardiff Blues 36 - 25 Treviso|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff Blues|
|Friday 14th November|
|Cardiff Blues 19 - 13 Scarlets|
|Friday 7th November|
|Newcastle 21 - 22 Cardiff Blues|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com