Fixtures - Top Bar

Toulon overpower Clermont to secure Champions Cup glory

MathieuBastereaud15SB1005

RC Toulon stormed to a 24-18 Champions Cup victory over French rivals Clermont Auvergne to become the first team ever to claim three European titles in a row.

It was a shaky first quarter for the defending champions with Wesley Fofana scoring the first try of the final for Clermont but three Leigh Halfpenny penalties and a conversion after Mathieu Bastareaud went over gave Toulon a half-time lead.

A brilliant solo try by Nick Abendanon gave Clermont hope but Drew Mitchell put the game out of reach for Toulon.

And Clermont were forced to resign themselves to yet another final defeat at the hands of Toulon after the heartbreak of Dublin in 2013.

Clermont suffered a blow before the game when fly-half Brock James was ruled out after injuring his thigh in the warm up.

But all the pressure was on Toulon’s try line early on with only a try-saving tackle from Bryan Habana preventing Napolioni Nalaga from putting them ahead.

And it didn’t take long for James’ replacement Camille Lopez to adjust to his surprise inclusion, kicking The Massif Central club into a deserved six-point lead with 12 minutes on the clock.

Halfpenny reduced the deficit for Toulon, converting a penalty from right in front of the posts.

Then the man who scored Clermont’s only try in their semi-final scored their first in the final – Fofana taking advantage of Toulon confusion after the ball was charged down to accelerate away for the try.

But two penalties from the boot of Halfpenny pulled Toulon to within two points of Clermont and on the stroke of half-time the champions completed their comeback.

Clermont couldn’t cope with the overlap and Bastareaud forced his way over the line, with Halfpenny adding the extras to make it 11-16 at the interval.  

Clermont struggled to get retain meaningful possession at the beginning of the second half and Halfpenny stretched Toulon’s lead to eight points with another penalty.

Franck Azéma’s side seemed to lack ideas and struggled to find the kind of form that saw them secure impressive victories over Aviva Premiership sides Northampton Saints and Saracens in the knockout stages.

But then came a moment of sheer brilliance from Nick Abendanon, who showed superb vision and individual skill to chip the ball over Carl Hayman and drive over the line for the score.

Ali Williams thought he’d extended the lead for Toulon shortly after when he gathered the ball and plunged over in the corner but he was judged to have lost control in the grounding.

Toulon’s fan’s didn’t have to wait long for the score though because Mitchell broke free moments later at the line-out and showed excellent footwork to dodge Clermont’s desperate tackles and go over for the decisive score amidst jubilant scenes at Twickenham.

 

Latest News

Premiership Rugby backs Newcastle’s bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup Finals

Premiership Rugby today confirmed its “100% support” for Newcastle’s bid to become host city for European club rugby union's showpiece…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Newcastle launches bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup finals

Newcastle is bidding to become the host city for European club rugby union's showpiece weekend in May 2018. The aim…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Aviva Premiership Rugby wrap: Round 10

Maro Itoje could not mark his return to a Saracens jersey with a victory – but his director of rugby…

BATH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03:  Maro Itoje of  Saracens is tackled by Max Lahiff of Bath during the Aviva Premiership match between Bath Rugby and Saracens at the Recreation Ground on December 3, 2016 in Bath, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Pat Lam confirmed as Bristol Rugby head coach

Bristol Rugby is delighted to announce the appointment of Pat Lam as the Club’s new Head Coach. The 48 year-old…

Pat Lam

Newcastle Falcons v Saracens kick-off time change

Premiership Rugby can confirm that the kick-off time for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 17 Newcastle Falcons v Saracens fixture…

Aviva Premiership ball

Match Reaction: Worcester Warriors 12 Wasps 26

Wasps maintained the pressure on Aviva Premiership Rugby leaders Saracens with success over Worcester Warriors – a victory Dai Young…

Rob Miller deputised in sterling fashion (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Match Reaction: Newcastle Falcons 38 Harlequins 32

Dean Richards’ Newcastle Falcons side are evolving according to the director of rugby, after he saw his side run in…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match Report: Newcastle Falcons 38 Harlequins 32

Newcastle Falcons ran in six tries in a thriller of a game at Kingston Park with Juan Pablo Socino starring…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match Report: Worcester Warriors 12 Wasps 26

Wasps moved to within one point of the Aviva Premiership Rugby summit but missed out on a bonus point in…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match Reaction: Gloucester Rugby 26 Bristol Rugby 18

Director of rugby David Humphreys believes Gloucester Rugby showed their battling qualities as they went through the gears in the…

henrypurdyglobri16sb1111