Toulon lose 22-13 against Racing 92
Rugby Club Toulonnais lost the away game against Racing 92 22-13, last Saturday, on day 14 of the Top 14, and remain in tenth spot in the league. Racing 92 are back into the top six.
Toulon had to put in a strong performance at the Paris La Défense Arena and started the game quite well, as they kept the ball and went into the Racing side. Anthony Belleau kicked the ball to young Simon Moretti who went into the in-goal area for the first try, but Teddy Iribaren, the Racing scrum-half, was there to dive under the Toulon wing and prevent him from grounding the ball. The video referee ruled out the try.
However, Toulon were rewarded for their good start to the game, as François Trinh-Duc scored two penalties at the 12th and 17th minutes, making it 6-0.
However, things became very complicated for Toulon in the rest of the first half, as the visiting team had to cope with the repeated attacks of the Racing players, making several mistakes as well. Racing fly-half Finn Russell scored a penalty at the 22nd minute and, a few minutes later, Rhys Webb did not find a line-out when kicking from his side. Vakatawa made a few moves inside the Toulon backline and passed the ball to Teddy Thomas, who scraped through three tackles and grounded the ball in the Toulon in-goal area. Racing then took the lead, 10-6.
Just before half-time, Racing were given a scrum, five metres from the in-goal area. Claassen made a charge, followed by Nakarawa, who powered through the backline and scored the game’s second try, which Russell did not convert. Toulon had started the game well and had put Racing under pressure, but the latter progressively took control of the ball and scored two tries. 15-6 at half-time, it was.
In the second half, no point was scored for thirty minutes and, despite the Toulon players showing their skills in defence, Racing were more efficient and scored a third try through Olivier Klemenczak, which enabled Racing to hold a bonus point temporarily and lead 22-6. The Toulon players dominated the final ten minutes: Racing prop Ben Tameifuna picked up a yellow card after a dangerous tackle on François Trinh-Duc and the visiting team scored a try through Brian Alainu’uese, who powered through the Racing backline after a cleverly played line-out. Toulon came back within nine points of Racing.
Toulon had possession of the ball and strove to grab a bonus point for a narrow defeat, but they were eventually penalised five meters from the in-goal area.
Racing 92 thus won 22-13 and started off the year in fine style, but the Toulon players never gave up and their performance was really encouraging. They will now play at home against Edinburgh, next Saturday, on day 5 of the Champions Cup.