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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Toulon host Castres for a big hitting 25-25 Top 14 draw

Toulon and Castres played out a fascinating 25-25 draw on the weekend, a match that featured some lovely tries and a whole lot of physical confrontations. Below are extended highlights, and we also have a quick look at some of the latest player transfers and signings in the Top 14.

Home side Toulon led 25-6 after half an hour following three quick tries in 15 minutes, scored by Steffon Armitage, Matt Giteau, and David Smith. Armitage will soon be joined by his brother, Delon.

Castres came back via a Romain Martial try before the break, and the excellent kicking by namesake Romain Teulet in the second half.

The draw leaves Toulon in third place on the table, with Castres in fifth.

Castres were led by former All Black, Chris Masoe, who made big hits and strong runs throughout. He will join Toulon next season on a three year deal. They have also confirmed the signing of current Sharks back Frederick Michalak, and Perpignan centre Maxime Mermoz.

Other signings in the Top 14

Montpellier - Pedrie Wannenburg, Shontayne Hape, Matt Carraro, Johnnie Beattie
Lyon - Sebastien Chabal, Lionel Nallet
Clermont - Nopolioni Nalaga, Damie Chouly, Benson Stanley

Posted by Rugbydump at 9:36 am | View Comments (20)

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 20 comments

manly April 24, 2012 2:17 pm


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Alex April 24, 2012 2:27 pm

Awesome game!

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Hendogo April 24, 2012 5:42 pm

Who is the number 8 for Castres? He was destroying fools, on both offense and defense.

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Fettsack April 24, 2012 6:15 pm

Castres' n8 is Chris Masoe, ex-all black and rib breaker!
Many thing to take out of this match: the hairdressers in Toulon should be harshly punished! On a rugby note, Toulon can do brilliant attacking rugby but they still look like a mercenary team.
Castres on the contrary doesn't have big names (except for Masoe) and has been playing quality rugby quite consistently theses past few seasons.
I love the way Marc Andreu (Castres n11) acts like he didn't touch the ball after that enormous knock on! Someone should tell him that dodging two opponents is cool but going forward is better.

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moddeur April 25, 2012 9:09 am

Tiny Marc Andreu is a slippery player, I remember this one match where he played for France and in which he literally wiggled his way between the opposing tackler's legs. In the video here he went overboard as you correctly point out, but on a good day it's interesting to see Shane-Williams-sized players scoring some awesome tries.

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kiwi April 26, 2012 4:39 am


Is "looking like a mercenary team" necessarily a bad thing? It's kind of a Harlem Globetrotters / Barbarians / B & I Lions look.

I always check their results from the other side of the world, so it can't be all bad?

Also, how has been Chris Masoe been going since he's been up that way?

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Grant April 24, 2012 8:25 pm

Man wilko still has some skills!!! Wish the guy had played more in the U.K and could pass his knowledge over especially after watching the adidas competition/promo thing. He is such a good ambassador for not only rugby but could be for English rugby???

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Pretzel April 25, 2012 5:57 am

I actually think Canadian content sort of hit the nail on the head "without boundaries"...

I think England put JW on train tracks and he was unable to switch around much. I get the feeling that his huge boot was the only thing they wanted to see because it racked up points, the other "stuff" was just extras that were handy but not really cared about.

The England pack in 2003 was "big and strong" and bullied their way up to 22, then it was Wilkinsons job to get the 3 points and not be risky by playing..

So in one sense it playing in France probably freed him from those shackles and allowed him to play. I think the JW TODAY could teach a thing or two in England, but only because he moved to France...

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Grant April 25, 2012 8:16 am

Never really thought of it that way (he was there for the boot only) but I suppose that test rugby for you, grind out the win...... cant blame him for going over to France and he must be enjoying it or he would have left long ago. Would still be great if he could be involved in the England camp/ setup- maybe as a kciking or backs consultant.

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Pretzel April 25, 2012 8:40 pm

Yeup, as you said "grind out the win"...We all look forward to world cups but generally it is some of the most "boring, conservative" rugby there is, no one wants to cough up the ball doing something extravagant.

I re-read my comment and it sort of sounds like I feel England did a JW an injustice, that isn't the case, I just feel that what happened in a couple games worked for him and the team and then they stuck with it.

I think JW has a lot of tutoring to offer to whatever teams he ends up working with/for, especially in the kicking side of things. It would be nice for England if JW could put some of his knowledge back into the team one day. I just hope for Englands sake it doesn't impart some sort of 10 man rugby style which they appear to have overcome slightly, (judging by their recent games)

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Canadian content April 25, 2012 1:47 am

Let's see,an opportunity to play with some of the best players from around the world, for good money in front of a passionate crowd in th. South of France. Yes those Toulon boys really should criticized for their choices.

Agreed about jonny, seems France has given him a new lease on rugby life. Rugby the way it's meant to be played, without boundaries.

Amazing offload by van niekerk on the giteau try.

Armitage has looked pretty awesome every time I see clips of him.

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Omar le Homard April 25, 2012 4:23 am

I can't wait for the return of a 100% Juan Fernandez Lobbe. This team will have a world class forward pack:
Andrew Sheridan - Sebastien Bruno - Davit Kubriashvili
Simon Shaw - Bakkies Botha
Steffon Armitage - Chris Masoe - Juan Fernandez Lobbe
Tillous Borde - Jonny Wilkinson
Alexis Palisson - Maxime Mermoz - Matt Giteau - David Smith
Alex Cuthbert

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morich April 25, 2012 9:36 am

+ Gethin Jenkins, Van Niekerk, Michalak, Hayman, Bastareaud. Woof!

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Omar le Homard April 25, 2012 10:27 am

& Nicolas Durand too.. Unfortunately I heard Hayman would go to Japan for 1 big contract

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Chrismasoe April 25, 2012 11:52 am

Wannenburg is joining Castres in replacement of his highness Chris Masoe

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lg3 April 25, 2012 12:58 pm

Any Francophones know what that guy was saying at the start?

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Ad April 25, 2012 1:08 pm

Here's a translation of the "pilou pilou", sung before every game at Mayol :


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doubleJB April 25, 2012 2:06 pm

Aaaah! We, the frightening warriors of the Pilou-Pilou!
Pilou! pilou!
Going down from the mountain to the sea
Pilou! Pilou!
With our ruffled haired wives,giving breast to our children
In the shadow of big coconut trees
Pilou! Pilou!
We, the frightening warriors howling our terrific battle cry
Because TOULON
Because TOULON
Because TOULON

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Juggernauter April 29, 2012 1:53 am

It was pretty amusing to hear "Armitage to Wilkonson, to van Niekerk, to Giteau".

Damn this is like a great world XV. But they are definitely finding their identity

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