Paris - Despite
the return of barn-storming France centre Mathieu Bastareaud, Toulon's
season continued to crumble as they were thrashed 40-14 in Edinburgh in
the European Champions Cup on Saturday.
On Saturday, even with the
imposing figure of Bastareaud back at centre after a five-week
suspension, Edinburgh repeatedly sliced through the Toulon defence,
finding inviting gaps and breaking tentative tackles.
burst over for the first home try after 14 minutes. Although Romain
Taofifenua powered across the line for Toulon in the 20th minute, tries
by Henry Pyrgos and Stuart McInally and three penalties by Jaco van der
Walt put Edinburgh in control by the 45th minute.
scored Toulon's second try in the 72nd minute, but three minutes later
Francois Trinh-Duc, attempting to attack from deep, threw a pass to
Chris Dean, presenting the centre with Edinburgh's bonus point try.
"Of course, the lack of confidence is there," said Bastareaud. "We are not far from being eliminated."
Scottish team moved to the top of Pool 5 ahead of Newcastle and
Montpellier, the two first-week winners, who meet on Sunday.
are bottom of the pool after two losses. The triple European champions
have managed only two wins in their opening seven Top 14 games and last
week suffered a humiliating one-point loss to Newcastle, who became only
the second team after Saracens to notch up a European win on Toulon
Earlier, Danny Cipriani completed a bad week when he was sent off after 29 minutes as Gloucester lost 36-22 away to Munster.
his team trailing, the Gloucester fly half, omitted again from the
England squad earlier this week, led with his shoulder as he tackled the
onrushing Rory Scannell and saw red.
Johan Ackermann, the Gloucester coach, made clear he thought the red card was harsh.
"It's one of those decisions we have to live with," Ackermann told the BBC. "We've lost the empathy and integrity in rugby."
touched down five times, through Mike Haley, Rhys Marshall, Sam Arnold,
Andrew Conway and Joey Carberry. Late tries by Gerbrandt Grobler, Jason
Woodward and Ben Morgan gave the score a more respectable for the
The victory lifted Munster to the top of Pool 2, two
points ahead of Castres who beat Exeter, 29-25, despite playing 34
minutes a man short.
Exeter grabbed an early 14 point lead in France with tries by Santiago Cordero and Matt Kvesic.
fought back with a try by centre Florian Vialelle, a drop goal and two
penalties by Julien Dumora and another penalty by Dumora's replacement
Yohan Le Bourhis that put them five points ahead.
The home team seemed to have undone all their good work in a disastrous final three minutes of the half.
Ma'ama Vaipulu smashed his shoulder into Luke Cowan-Dickie's chin, even
though the Exeter hooker did not even have the ball. The Tongan No. 8
"The red card allowed us to tighten up. We were able to
raise our level," said Vialelle. "We have the heart to do well in the
European Cup... The 23 players responded and gave given everything."
Gareth Steenson charged down a kick by Le Bourhis and touched down to level the score.
Castres regained the lead early in the second half when Steve Mafi burst through the Exeter defence to score.
Exeter played the last nine minutes with 14 after Henry Slade received a yellow card.
In a game of wild momentum swings in Pool 1, Wasps and Bath drew 35-35 in Coventry.
teams scored five converted tries but this time Freddie Burns, who
missed a potential winning penalty and then dropped a certain winning
try last week, had limped off, after kicking 10 points.
Bath had the chance to win it but Alex Davies missed a penalty from near the left touchline in the final minute.
The draw left them in the bottom two places in the pool.
92 comfortably beat error-prone Ulster to move to the top of Pool 4,
scoring five tries in Paris to move four points clear in Pool 4.
Saracens scored four tries as they beat Lyon 29-10 to cement their grip on first place in Pool 3.
European Champions Cup results on Saturday:
Wasps (ENG) 35 v Bath (ENG) 35
Castres (FRA) 29 Exeter (ENG) 25
Munster (IRL) 36 Gloucester (ENG) 22
Saracens (ENG) 29 Lyon (FRA) 10
Racing 92 (FRA) 44 Ulster (IRL) 12
Edinburgh (SCO) 40 Toulon (FRA) 14
Playing on Sunday
Toulouse (FRA) v Leinster (IRL)
Cardiff Blues (WAL) v Glasgow (SCO)
Newcastle (ENG) v Montpellier (FRA)
Played on Friday
Leicester (ENG) 45 Scarlets (WAL) 27
Note: Five pool winners plus three best runners-up qualify for knock-out phase
Round 3: December 7/8/9
Round 4: December 14/15/16
Round 5: January 11/12/13
Round 6: January 18/19/20
Quarter-finals: March 29/30/31
Semi-finals: April 19/20/21
Final: May 11, at St James' Park, Newcastle, England