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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Perpignan into the semis with win over Toulon in Spain

Perpignan into the semis with win over Toulon in Spain

Perpignan advanced to the semi final of the Heineken Cup as they came from behind to beat Toulon 29-25 in front of a packed Olympic Stadium in Barcelona on Saturday.

The first half had been a stalemate for the most part, with a few penalties exchanged amidst the cauldron in Spain, with 55 000 fans looking on. Toulon scored the first try through George Smith, a charge down which took them into a 11-6 halftime lead.

Perpignan took the lead ten minutes into the second though with a fantastic try to winger Adriend Plante following a rolling maul. Visiting captain Joe Van Niekerk then scored a try for his side as they hit back from the restart to regain the lead.

Jerome Porical took control of matters though as he kicked Perpignan into the lead, before a Perry Freshwater try from close range made the gap too big for Toulon to pull back, despite a try on fulltime by Fabien Cibray.

The game ended with Porical picking up a personal tally of 19 points, and a successful outing for the Catalan side, who produced when they needed it most.

"We fulfilled our dream of introducing rugby to Barcelona. There was a big investment by both sides. For that reason we had to win this match," coach Jacques Brunel said.

"We tried not to be overawed by the occasion, but we were weak at the beginning of the match and practically all the first half, but to our credit we knew how to channel our energies in the second half."

Toulon manager Philippe Saint-Andre said that they couldnt complain about the loss.

"Congratulations to Perpignan. They did not concede a single penalty between the 33rd and the 72nd minutes. As far as we are concerned, we lacked discipline," he said.


Time: 04:49

Posted at 4:32 pm | 44 comments

Viewing 44 comments

Anonymous April 12, 2011 3:10 pm

first...boom

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I hate ppl who write April 12, 2011 3:19 pm

I'd like to know what exactly you get out of that comment...RD, is anyway you can insert a sort of stupidity meter that eliminates comments like first...boom?
I mean what's the boom for?

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I hate ppl who write April 12, 2011 3:19 pm

I'd like to know what exactly you get out of that comment...RD, is anyway you can insert a sort of stupidity meter that eliminates comments like first...boom?
I mean what's the boom for?

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Anonymous April 12, 2011 3:22 pm

Proof that you can't buy a winning team.

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Anonymous April 12, 2011 3:22 pm

How about Big Joe? Is there anyone else in world rugby who gets as STOKED as Joe van Niekerk to score a try?

I'd like to see the man tkae a lick of acid and win the lottery, we might witness the same chemical reaction that changed monkeys to humans.

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Anonymous April 12, 2011 3:23 pm

Sixth... BANG!

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themull April 12, 2011 3:25 pm

It's gonna be one hell of a game when they come to Landsdowne Road

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I hate ppl who write April 12, 2011 3:28 pm

^^sorry about the double post.

Anyway, great to see Toulon fighting til the end even though they were out, great spectacle!

George Smith seemed to have a good game!

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Madflyhalf April 12, 2011 3:31 pm

George Smith is like good wine.
As time goes by, he's getting better and better :D

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Anonymous April 12, 2011 3:33 pm

I hope we get to see highlights of the Brive-Munster game?

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Colombes April 12, 2011 3:35 pm

10th.. bam?

It was a very boring game during the 1st half, but the catalans woke up in the 2nd and deserved it.
Perpignan and Prorical will need more precision vs Nothampton or they wont go in final.

Sad for Toulon, but it was their first quarters.

I bet on northampton as finalist and hard to find a winner between leinster and toulouse

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themull April 12, 2011 3:39 pm

Ok my bad I just realised winners of this match aren't playing Leinster..Ignore my original post

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Anonymous April 12, 2011 3:57 pm

1st AND 12th..this is shaping up to be a good day! KAPOW!

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xavier April 12, 2011 4:14 pm

number 12 you sir, are and arseholle.

Also, how about them Toulon Flyhalves? Contempomi and Wilko in the same team... Spoilt much?

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Sander April 12, 2011 4:21 pm

Wow, no comment at all about the monster hit of the Perpignan number 21 on Lovobalavu? Talk about intent...

There was unbelievable intensity in the game and the physicality looked almost scary at times.

@ Anonymous

Maybe it's proof you can't buy a winning team, but from the impression the likes of Wilkinson, Contepomi and especially van Niekerk give, the biggest Toulan stars are anything but mercenaries or the like.

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Ronan April 12, 2011 4:29 pm

anyone know around how much has been spent on the toulon team?
i dont dislike them but glad they lost, id hate to see the game of rugby turning too how much money clubs have......
(look what happend to soccer)
for starters it would kill rugby in ireland, wouldnt be a fraction of the money in irish clubs compaired to the french.....

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cheyanqui April 12, 2011 4:55 pm

Man Law should be that a "First" comment only counts if you say something cogent and useful for the class.

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TheThirstToBeFirstIs April 12, 2011 5:15 pm

So close yet so far

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Stuart April 12, 2011 5:21 pm

@ Ronan

I think rugby is just the same as football in terms of it being about how much money you have - Toulouse are the richest team and have had the most sucess in Europe.
English clubs have been struggling in Europe since the salary cap.
And lets not forget about when Newcastle won the Premiership.

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John F April 12, 2011 6:18 pm

Before this turns into a debate about money, it's worth remembering that Toulon is a traditional rugby town and that small traditional rugby towns in France will never have successful teams now unless backed by big money. Traditional names like Begles, Colombies, Dax, Pau etc can't compete with the muscular finances of the biggest sides. I'm not a fan of buying a whole new team, but as many have observed van Nierkerk and Wilko look anything but mercenaries. They enjoy playing for the side, that is the truth whether it be for loads of money or not.

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Anonymous April 12, 2011 6:38 pm

Ronan, True and the IRFU are considering for the 2012/13 season to change province rules whereby you can only have 4 foreign players now instead of 5 (which is the current amount). In a way it will encourage even more indigenous rugby players coming through the ranks.

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Anonymous April 12, 2011 6:48 pm

cant wait to see what hook can do behind a pack like that

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Anonymous April 12, 2011 6:50 pm

where the hell did schofield come from there!

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Flipje April 12, 2011 7:42 pm

Perpignan front row has no equal in the Top 14......

This game was about Catalan pride, perfectly summed up by their captain Nicolas Mas. The first half was terrible in term of rugby. I felt both team were under pressure, having difficulty to cope with the event.

Toulon did not play their game and I expected more from their back rows. When USAP found their rhythnm up front, it was very difficult. I found Joe Niekerk and especially Mr. Smith, what a game he had, the best players by far from Toulon.

USAP does not have a fantastic team and all the season they had/have continiously injured players. Still they seem to have been able to develop a very strong team spirit and are clearly one of the french team on the upturn nowadays.
I believed if Northampton mixes a bit more their front/back row game and especially do not try to head purely for a confrontational forward game, they will come on top. But be careful with the Catalan pride......

Also good to see Mr. Rolland to his "real"level. He was tough but fair and made the right decisions (even if his touch judges did not help him much....)

Gret game, great ads for rugby

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Anonymous April 12, 2011 8:05 pm

"catalan pride"

ha ha ha wot a load of crocks...

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Anonymous April 12, 2011 9:01 pm

in two quarter finals three tries from charged down kicks

pretty weird

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Aymeric April 12, 2011 10:52 pm

Awesome game despite a poor first half (probably the pressure with all the "first rugby game in Barcelona" thing). The second half was so intense! Big hits, class tries and so much commitment from both sides...

On a side note, the money thing might be worrying even for french supporters like me coz it might prevent some young talent from getting a spot in one of the big teams.
Nevertheless, don't forget that Toulon, Toulouse and Clermont (some of the 3 biggest spenders in Europe) are also the biggest providers of young talents thanks to the quality of their rugby academies. So I'm not too worried... yet.
Plus, if there is so much money in France it's mainly because the attendance rate is very high and constantly growing which is a pretty good thing!

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mise April 12, 2011 11:18 pm

is it true that toulon have no reserve/a/2nd team? Hardly good for the development of the game in the region if so (notwithstanding youth structures)

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Jono April 13, 2011 2:39 am

Magnificent crowd.

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Jono April 13, 2011 2:47 am

In regards to money, it's not the be all and end all. NZ certainly isn't the richest union, and they definatly don't have the richest clubs, but they produce the ebst players and best teams.

But it is a bit of a problem. Ronan, what you fear may happen to Ireland, is already happening to Australia and New Zealand, and South Africa. Alot of the best players are leaving for the cash in Europe and Japan.

On that note, it's great to see George Smith doing so well.
He's one of the best no 7s of all time. As good as he is now for Toulon, he used to be even better.
And guess where he's going next year? Japan, for a big fat paycheque before he retires.

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Anonymous April 13, 2011 8:33 am

I wouldn't bet on Smith going to Japan next year given the context...

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Anonymous April 13, 2011 8:53 am

All the Heineken quarters were epic, the Saints/Ulster game was great to watch.

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Von April 13, 2011 9:49 am

My favourite bits from this video:
2:02 - good view of the Toulon lock basically ignoring a gap in favour of smashing an opposition player instead and creating his own space.
2:27 - Bosh. Great tackle.

I think there's a lot more to Toulon than the money. The players who turn up there seem to have a real passion for the game and the team ethic seems very strong. And the fans are awesome.

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themull April 13, 2011 10:37 am

Anybody else notice the Punches being thrown in the maul towards the beginning of the video?

Now I would be totally against any action being taken but I've seen people get bans for much much less than that

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Canadian Content April 13, 2011 11:33 am

Name me one other country in the world that can match this region for passion, intensity and atmosphere for a rugby crowd?

Wales you are close, but this may sound out of place, but the pageantry of this spectacle is just awesome!

I think I'd rather go to one of these games than most test matches. Fantastic!

Well done to the Toulon and Perpignan fans, you do not get the credit you deserve.

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moddeur April 13, 2011 12:18 pm

@Canadian Content

Actually, most of the bigger venues in the Top14 exhibit vibrant spectators. French spectators only seem to go mute when France plays.

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Antoine April 13, 2011 12:41 pm

To "mise" : it isn't true at all. Toulon is one of the top3 teams in France in youth categories.

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Aymeric April 13, 2011 12:51 pm

@ Mise

About Toulon not having a second team, that's definitely untrue.
They developed a regional network for young rugby players by merging several local teams to improve the technical and financial means. They also improved the links between those local teams and the professional one and even developed a structure to help young rugby players struggling in school...
I think they are on the contrary creating a strong and healthy system similar to the Stade Toulousain's.

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4LC4TR4Z April 13, 2011 1:52 pm

Toulon is 1st to the board in -20 yo
1st in -18 yo
2nd in -16 yo.

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Guy April 13, 2011 2:50 pm

what happened at the 72nd minute try? Referee seemed to play advantage Toulon...

Anyway, great to see so many people turn up for a game of rugby!

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Veji1 April 13, 2011 4:22 pm

In terms of audience, Rugby is really doing great in France at the club level. The only problem we have is our demented calendar that means our best players play 35/40 games per year between club and country !

If only we could lower that number to a more reasonnable 25/30 or so, the french national team would be a lot more competitive. Let's hope we can sort it out, because such great crowds deserve a better game.

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Flipje April 13, 2011 7:25 pm

"Name me one other country in the world that can match this region for passion, intensity and atmosphere for a rugby crowd?"

Passion, intensity.....on regional/provincial level.... in NH, I would add Munster at least...no?

I will probably add to your comment the most chauvinistic/biased rugby crowd too.....(in a positive way of course;-))
For the most knowledgeable, I will probably looked over the channel at Leiscester????

As for the SH crowds, I am sure there is some pretty great place too.

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Jono April 13, 2011 11:23 pm

Yeah, the South africans are pretty amazing when they get going.
A test match in Ellis Park is intense.
In Australia, Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane gets pumping when the Wallabies play.
And the kiwis get pretty roudy when the All Blacks play at Eden Park.
But in terms of club matches, only the saffers can come close to the passion you see at every Toulon game.

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Van Hel April 14, 2011 4:23 am

Agree with Sander and Von: That tackle at 2:40 was like a mixture of heavy metal, a cement truck and poetry. I don't know, but I always find it strangely beautiful when someone gets totally unearthed with a perfectly executed tackle. Must be why I love this game...

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