Cardiff stun champions Toulon

2013-10-19 17:23
Gareth Davies (Getty Images)

Paris - Replacement Gareth Davies scored a try three minutes from time to give Cardiff a famous 19-15 win over champions Toulon in the Heineken Cup on Saturday.

Toulon had led through most of the Pool 2 game as Jonny Wilkinson kicked five penalties.

But a Rhys Patchell penalty and three from Leigh Halfpenny had kept the Welsh hosts - who had opened their campaign with a disappointing defeat by English side Exeter - in the game until the dramatic finale.

Toulon No 8 Chris Masoe was at fault with a clumsy knock-on when under no pressure on his own 22.

Cardiff attacked from the resulting scrum with centre Owen Williams making a barnstorming run that took him through several tackles before he was brought down five yards out.

The Blues recycled the ball quickly and Davies danced through two tacklers and then managed to go over Frederic Michalak's shoulder before stretching out to touch the ball down over the line.

Halfpenny kicked the extras condemning Toulon to their first defeat in the competition since their final group game away to Montpellier last season.

"We made too many mistakes with the ball in hand, we couldn't get out of our own half and our alignment was catastrophic," said angry Toulon coach Bernard Laporte.

Try-scorer Davies was overjoyed by the shock win.

"The players were magnificent today. They fronted up superbly," said Davies. "It was a great win against a very good team."

Toulon's defeat was the precursor for a bad day for French clubs as French champions Castres and 2011 French championship finalists Montpellier also went down to defeat to Leinster and Ulster respectively.

Castres were beaten 19-7 by three-time winners Leinster in Dublin, although they were well in contention to cause an upset until centre Remi Lamerat was sin-binned in the 57th minute for a shoulder charge.

Leinster took advantage by scoring a try through prop Jack McGrath which was converted by man of the match Jimmy Gopperth to give them a 16-7 lead.

Gopperth added a penalty, his fourth of the game, to give them victory.

"We wanted to get two wins from our first two games and we have achieved that," said Leinster and Ireland No 8 Jamie Heaslip.

"It was scrappy and we have a tired changing room but a happy one."

Ulster's win - based largely round five penalties by South African scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar - was especially creditable as it was only their second win in France in the history of the Heineken Cup.

Ireland wing Tommy Bowe, who played a crucial role in their only try by Andrew Trimble, said that it was a result they would treasure.

"This is an amazing result for us," said the 29-year-old former Ospreys star.

Munster, the 2006 and 2008 champions, were also winners, seeing off Gloucester 26-10 in Pool 6, a week after losing 29-23 against Edinburgh.

Johne Murphy's 67th-minute try proved decisive at Thomond Park although the Irish side were unable to carve out a bonus point.

Another Irish province Connacht had also won earlier on Saturday as former Scottish international flyhalf Dan Parks kicked 23 points to keep their qualification hopes alive with a thumping 33-6 win at Italian side Zebre.

No 8 George Naoupu and centre Mata Fifita scored tries while Parks kicked seven penalties and a conversion for the weakest of the Irish provinces.

Scarlets and Racing Metro drew 26-26 in Pool 4.

Flyhalves Rhys Priestland and Jonny Sexton kicked 16 points apiece with both sides also scoring two tries each with Scott Williams and Rhodri Williams going over in the first half as the home side led 20-10 at the break when the French side had two players in the sin-bin.

Racing's tries came in each half from Wenceslas Lauret and Sakiusa Matadigo.

On Friday, a late Louis Picamoles try help Toulouse to a 17-16 victory at Saracens in front of more than 60 000 people at Wembley, leaving the four-time winners in charge of Pool 3.

Leicester wing Adam Thompstone's last minute try earned the Tigers a bonus point in their 34-3 thrashing of Treviso in Pool 5.

Heineken Cup results on Saturday:

Pool 1
Leinster (IRL) 19 Castres (FRA) 7

Pool 2
Cardiff Blues (WAL) 19 Toulon (FRA) 15

Pool 3
Zebre (ITA) 6 Connacht (IRL) 33

Pool 4
Scarlets (WAL) 26 Racing Metro (FRA) 26

Pool 5
Montpellier (FRA) 8 Ulster (IRL) 25

Pool 6
Munster (IRL) 26 Gloucester (ENG) 10

Playing on Sunday

Pool 1
Northampton (ENG) v Ospreys (WAL) (1145)

Pool 2
Glasgow (SCO) v Exeter (ENG) (1300)

Pool 4
Clermont (FRA) v Harlequins (ENG) (1400)

Pool 6
Perpignan (FRA) v Edinburgh (SCO) (1145)

Played on Friday

Pool 3
Saracens 16 Toulouse 17

Pool 5
Leicester 34 Treviso 3

Read more on:    heineken cup  |  rugby

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