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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Toulon go one point clear at the top of the table with thumping of Bordeaux

Toulon have stormed to the top of the Top 14 table with four impressive wins to start their 2012/2013 campaign. They beat Bordeaux Begles 42-12 in their first home match of the season, which included five tries and a bonus point.

The Stade Felix Mayol was as intimidating as ever as Toulon, after wins over Perpignan, Racing Metro, and Mont de Marsan, were in the mood to turn it on against the visiting Bordeaux.

Flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson, who has already been mentioned as a possible British & Irish Lions tourist for next year, was forced off the field with a head knock after just 20 minutes. He was replaced by Frederic Michalak following a David Smith try.

The halftime score was just 13-6, but Delon Armitage and Mathieu Bastareaud both scored in the second half, with Maxime Mermoz picking up a double. Michalak kicked 3 penalties and conversions.

"Wilkinson was slightly dazed but without seriousness," Toulon said. He will be rested for their Friday night game against Montpellier though, with Michalak likely to be starting at number ten. 

He will more than likely be up against incumbent France flyhalf, Francois Trinh-Duc, which will give national coach Phillipe Saint Andre a good chance at assessing the form of both players.

The highlights below include some scrappy tries, some slick play, and some good power at the end.

Over to you:
- What are your thoughts on Michalak as the possible France number ten in future?
- Do you think Jonny Wilkinson is a realistic option for the Lions tour next year
?
- Should bulky Mathieu Bastareaud be playing as a forward?

Posted at 8:45 am | 10 comments

Viewing 10 comments

Demosys September 13, 2012 10:30 am

Nice game. Toulon really has a talented and very powerfull team this year. Semi final at least.

I think the pass at 1:04 is just a bit forward :D

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stroudos September 13, 2012 12:55 pm

Bordeaux #14 had a shocker, didn't he!? Poor bar steward.

Bastareaud is fatter than Caucau! Looks more like a prop every time I see him. Anyone know what his scrummaging's like? What position did he play in this game?

Meanwhile I was shocked to see Steffon Armitage had suddenly lost about 3 stones, before realising Delon's down there now too.

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Will.F September 13, 2012 4:13 pm

Agreed; bad night for the Bordeaux #14. The faceplant at 2:56 is pretty classic, though.

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BarryT September 13, 2012 5:33 pm

Over to you:
- What are your thoughts on Michalak as the possible France number ten in future?
I doubt michalak will be future french out half, france need a good distrubutor of the ball to release their insane backs
- Do you think Jonny Wilkinson is a realistic option for the Lions tour next year?
I wouldn't be opposed to the idea, i think he's re-found his form with Toulon, but he's playing french rugby and i don't think it would fit into the lions style
- Should bulky Mathieu Bastareaud be playing as a forward?
Yes definatly

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Leadbitter September 13, 2012 6:00 pm

Wilkinson should go to Australia. There will be solid arguments for why he should and why he should not, but I expect they will be based on past achievements or under achievements depending on your stance. The Lions is about assembling the strongest squad of players to get and get a test match job done. Wilkinson is a British in form fly half playing at the top level, he simply warrants his place on form. I'm not saying test match starting 10, but to have a player of his calibre in the mix will in my view will set a bench mark and bring out the best in players kicking for the 10 shirt.

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Merlin September 13, 2012 10:16 pm

2.56
Sniper got the Covering winger.... *argh*
#headhitsdirt#

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Pretzel September 14, 2012 8:45 am

- What are your thoughts on Michalak as the possible France number ten in future?
I was actually shocked to find Michalak is 29 years old, I thought he was an age old player, saying that his birthday is in october, so really he is as good as 30 years old. I can't see him having much of a FUTURE in the game, especially not at test level. Only in the sense that he is no spring chicken, but you never know. It is not like he doesn't have the skill, after all he was a brilliant 10 for France years ago... I just hope his body holds out, I'm pretty sure he had career altering injuries years ago which I assume took a long time to recover from so it would be a shame to see him damage himself.

- Do you think Jonny Wilkinson is a realistic option for the Lions tour next year?
Yes and no, again I googled him, and he is 33, will be 34 by the lions tour. Would the lions realistically consider taking him? Again, much like Michalak, he has the skill and the calibre to play at the top level, but injuries etc.... He is on brilliant form, but that is in France... I found in the world cup he looked out of place in the England team, the impression I got was that Wilkinson > England team... and they just couldn't play to his standard. Maybe that is very unfair and I will have to stand corrected by another RD fan, but I truly felt that Wilkinson was hindered by his surrounding players, I suppose sort of like if you stuck Dan Carter into my rugby team, he'd want to do things that we just don't understand and aren't ready for... But then saying that ROG is 35 and he went on the lions tour, and I'd pick JW over him...So why not...

- Should bulky Mathieu Bastareaud be playing as a forward?
Well...why?... I mean Cau Cau is what? 35 stone? and he is still blitzing the backs, or was the last time I checked... If MB has lost some of his edge because of weight then yeh maybe stick him in the back row, but otherwise he's just another "big ass back".......literally...

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Facepalm September 14, 2012 8:47 pm

For the most part I agree with everything you've mentioned here. But the wilkinson > england thing I'm not so sure about. Agreed he definitely looked out of place at the World Cup but I don't think it's because he was trying things others weren't ready for. Personally I felt he was too afraid to really try anything other than: pass-kick-pass-pass-kick-pass-pass-pass-kick-kick etc.

Regarding the Lions I can't see Johnny getting there. I'm a huge admirer of the man but unfortunately I take Stuart Barnes' view that he is no longer capable of running an international test game. Talented though he is, world class he isn't (anymore). Similar to a certain Brian O'Driscoll I feel.

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bunn September 14, 2012 5:03 pm

I don't think Toulon have a fitness coach cos stefan has got a bit fat as well!
The problem with being that big as a back is in defence, you just can't turn quickly enough and will get run around, that's why he got dropped by france

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Facepalm September 14, 2012 8:53 pm

Like a shorter, slightly tubbier Mr.T.

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