Eddie Butler on Jonny Wilkinson career


Jason Rutledge's great tryline defence


Bloody Florian Fritz returns to play


Catch up with Sam Warburton


George Pisi hit makes Shane Geraghty ill


Japanese player loses ball over tryline


Ma'afu banned for punch on Tom Youngs


Carlos Spencer & Stephen Larkham fight


Tameifuna's huge hit on Michael Hooper

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sonny Bill Williams scores on Top 14 debut

Sonny Bill Williams scores on Top 14 debut

Coming off the bench, controversial Toulon signing Sonny Bill Williams scored on his debut in the Top 14 as Tana Umaga's newcomers recovered from a half-time deficit to beat Clermont 22-16 last night.

Williams hadn't been on for more than a few minutes, so his first touch of the ball in the French championship was a good one. It was the first of three tries on the night for Toulon, as the home side went on to record a famous win, after not being in the top flight for two years.

They couldn't have asked for a better start to their 2008/2009 campaign, and with coach Umaga, All Black veteran Jerry Collins, young gun league superstar Sonny Bill Williams, and a whole host of home-grown and foreign talent, they'll be looking to integrate experience with youth as they march on towards what they're hoping will be a successful season.

Their nightmare first half last night changed with Williams' try, as he got the ball rolling towards an impressive victory. The try itself was fairly soft, but Williams showed good pace to get away, with it being a a pretty big moment for Toulon, Sonny Bill, and of course those in the NRL, who were no doubt watching on with interest.

The off-field issues with Williams have now been settled, with him supposedly having paid out a fixed amount as part of the settlement. He is also not allowed to play for another NRL club until the end of the 2012 season, when his contract was originally meant to end.

Well try our best to bring you other Top 14 action as the season gets into full swing. If the first night is anything to go by, we're in for a cracking few months.

Time: 02:03

Posted at 5:28 pm | 19 comments

The international flavour of the Top 14 2008/2009

Sonny Bill Williams debut for Toulon defies court order

Sonny Bill Williams leaves League, goes to Toulon

Viewing 19 comments

Anonymous August 27, 2008 5:24 pm

He was lucky, the defender thought it was a knock on. Still tho, you take em where you can get em.

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Anonymous August 27, 2008 5:31 pm

What position is he playing?

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Anonymous August 27, 2008 5:41 pm

can you post the full highlights?

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RD August 27, 2008 5:51 pm

Use a name please guys, that way you have less change of being ignored. Secondly, the requests section serves a purpose, so please use it. All requests as comments will more than likely be deleted and disregarded.Those are just two of our simple rules that make things run smoothly for everyone involved, including the site visitors. Thanks.

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Cheis August 27, 2008 5:52 pm

centre.. he replaced the fullback, then number 12 i believe went to play fullback, williams at inside centre!Toulon had a solid 2nd half, but in the first, their scrum got demolished like they were schoolkids!!

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stan August 27, 2008 6:48 pm

Lol..Clermont's half back thought it was a knock on.Until you hear a whistle blown don't look at the ref and expect him to do so.I thought Rougerie would have caught or at least ankled tapped him.

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Welshallblack August 27, 2008 6:54 pm

Nice to see him settling well at Toulon, hope to see him at Ospreys some day, Henson and Williams.Oh scary :p.

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opfazonk August 27, 2008 8:17 pm

yeah, i thnik league players are a lot better at "ignoring" the ref than unions players :-Dand you gotta atleast give him some cretid for getting away from that ankle-tap/tackle attempt. that kinda-side-step-looking-thingy somehow worked out...

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thibault August 27, 2008 8:37 pm

only 4 frenchies in the toulon team... it's not enough!

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jeroz August 27, 2008 11:17 pm

didn't even put in a fend......, nice swirl to get away from the defender though. looking forward to see him score some spectacular tries in the season to come.and how big is his hand!?

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holla August 28, 2008 12:18 am

Is that Obama on the off-pitch guy's T-shirt?

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breakaway August 28, 2008 12:24 am

I hope Sonny Bill does well, although he won't get many easier tries in his union career. The ball bobbled into his hands and he had no one to beat, but he did the job.

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Stevo August 28, 2008 12:42 am

I watched the match and tbh he didnt have a huge impact as i would of though he played great support but there was never a moment when he got the ball and i thought heres trouble in fact most of the time i didnt even notice getting hte ball

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Ulf August 28, 2008 10:27 am

"only 4 frenchies in the toulon team" True, but one of them is Andreu who had a fantastic game ! He's looking like a "French Shane Williams" : )SBW did the job. In fact, his try looks easy, but I think it is also because he's really quick and no one could grab him back.

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Anonymous August 28, 2008 2:14 pm

The small Toulon winger was awesome.

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Benot August 28, 2008 4:50 pm

We did it!Parce que toulon!Awesome game!Loving it!

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Peej August 29, 2008 2:38 pm

Poor ole Mignoni, the Clermont 9, went to make the tackle, and then clearly thought "actually, I'll appeal to the ref for a knock on instead." He completely bottled it, lol!

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Freddy August 29, 2008 2:56 pm

Its good to see sonny making something of himself, it was a fairly straightforward try but thats rugby. I honestly thought he would struggle in union but seems to be settling in well. good on him cant wait til he plays for the all blacks and gets wasted playin real opposition

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Killian March 06, 2009 5:45 pm

does anybody think that tana umaga looks a little bit like the lion from the wizard of oz in this video... if you freeze at 55 seconds!!! Ireland to win grand slam

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