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RugbyDump RugbyDump
Monday Apr 20, 2015

Toulon set for yet another final following tense victory over Leinster

Toulon set for yet another final following tense victory over Leinster
12
Comments

Arch poacher Bryan Habana broke the deadlock in extra time as Toulon got the better of Leinster 25-20 in a see-saw battle of a Champions Cup Semi Final on Sunday. They will face Clermont in the final, and are on track for what would be a sensational treble.

It was far from pretty, but the tension of a European Cup semi final provided a fascinating game of rugby, one that at one stage was very close to ending with penalties.

Toulon had to dig deep, but through the boot of Leigh Halfpenny, and a very well taken intercept try by Habana, the defending champions got home, and will contest their third straight European Cup final. It will be an occasion that requires far more precision and according to the South African star, discipline.

“If we want to be contenders to win the European title, we will have to go back to the drawing board. As a team, we are going to have to look really hard at ourselves after that performance,” Habana said.

“Our discipline needs to be better and we can’t afford to make as many errors. Mentally, I think we turned up and thought it was going to be a walkover, but the game ended up being on a knife-edge.

“We have the chance to make it a special end to the season for players like Carl Hayman, Ali Williams and Bakkies Botha, who are retiring. We’ve got 80 minutes – or maybe 100 – to try to put them into the history books as legends with a third successive European win.”

For Leinster coach Matt O’Connor, it was a tough loss but he said he was proud of the effort.

“The overwhelming emotion is one of pride. The effort the lads put in was fantastic and we are obviously incredibly disappointed to come second. Habana’s intercept was the turning point – he is world-class – but the positive for us was the effort. It was second to none.

“A lot of people had written us off coming into this game, but we will back ourselves to go anywhere and beat anybody.”

Toulon face Clermont in the Champions Cup Final at Twickenham on May 2nd.

Highlights wrap below, with the option of highlights with commentary on the next page

12 Comments

  • stroudos
    10:48 AM 21/04/2015

    I'd go with that, with your amendment of droppies being only 2 points.

    Reply
  • drg
    9:36 AM 21/04/2015

    You have indeed said it before and you will deservedly say it again! I cannot believe how such an obvious overlook is being done...

    Reply
  • themull
    10:59 PM 20/04/2015

    Wayne barnes just continues to baffle me as a referee... Botha should ahve been carded for a cycnical when he killed the ball as lenster were in absolutely amazing position to launch a counter attack from a bad Toulon clearing kick...Suto should have been yellow/red carded for his choke hold..he missed numerous scrum infringments by leinster and toulon and then he goes and yellow cards Ali Williams for a nothing challenge as he went to catch the ball in the air... he is so inconsistent from game to game and within games its just infuriating to watch when you add in the bad calls which he makes far too often for a ref at this level...Just golook back to the Ire Welsh game, then take a look at this game..His interpretation of the breakdown was completely different? i'm not giving out about either interpretation since the IRB refuse to state clearly how a ref should manage that aspect of the game, but at least stick to one... On the game itself it was very exciting and in the end was decided by a mistake as many tight knockout games are..Madigan was poor enough for leinster, especially if he hopes to cement his spot as the irish number 2 (personally prefer keatley)...Michilak wa also poor but Toulon could take him off before he lost them the game.. That match would have been won long before extra time if either team had had a ten who could stamp his authority in the match... I reckon Clermont will beat Toulon, an in fairness they're long overdue some european silverware

    Reply
  • oliver
    10:20 PM 20/04/2015

    oh man don't get me started on continuity....you took the words right out of my mouth! Parra/Trin Duc should have remained our first choices after that final in 2011. Have I said it before? I'll probably say it again in the coming months.......

    Reply
  • eddie-g
    9:33 PM 20/04/2015

    Maybe there's some truth, but it's not like there's a shortage of Frenchmen playing in the Top 14. I'd look at continuity of selection as one problem (often self-inflicted by Saint-Andre), and my old favourite, half-back problems. France really don't seem to have any certainty over who is their best 9-10... you can have a great pack, and exciting backs, but if your half-backs aren't international quality, you're going nowhere against top sides. (For most teams, fly-half is the key position, France historically have had a very influential scrumhalf... but right now both positions are a problem, and that amounts to a huge problem)

    Reply
  • drg
    8:58 PM 20/04/2015

    Wouldn't like to really jolt up the points that much, but there could be something like: Try 6 points, Conversion 1, Drop goal 3, Penalty kick 2, Or keep the try and conversion the same as usual and just drop penalty kicks to 2 points rather than 3... Place kicks and conversions are more or less the same thing these days anyway...

    Reply
  • oliver
    8:46 PM 20/04/2015

    well yes, but it's not that simple. Clermont had 15 French players, out of their 23, so you can't say it's the same recruitment strategy as Toulon.

    Reply
  • reality
    8:35 PM 20/04/2015

    Some truth? It's undeniably the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    Reply
  • notawelshdavies
    8:04 PM 20/04/2015

    It was a really poor game to watch. Slippy ball meant that the game stopped every 30 seconds; the one time either side did try to spread the ball, Habana took his interception. I hope top level rugby will see more tries than this in the World Cup, because seeing Leinster and Saracens not even score a try (and Toulon not scoring one until extra time) was almost painful. Question: What if tries were worth more points? eg. an unconverted try= 7points and a converted one=9? Would that encourage more attacking rugby?

    Reply
  • oliver
    7:51 PM 20/04/2015

    I only saw the second half and extra time, but god that was tense! I agree Suta should have been carded (a yellow IMO), but that yellow for Ali Williams was total bullshit. He was going for the ball and the Irish player only fell badly because his teamates were almost building some type of circus pyramid beneath him. anyway, here we are, 2 French teams in the final while Les Bleus are way down in the pits. there might be some truth to the idea the French clubs are ruling the show at the federation level, at the expense of the national squad......

    Reply
  • stroudos
    4:34 PM 20/04/2015

    That Armitage effort looked as if he'd kicked three pounds of haggis. Don't get why Halfpenny didn't have a crack himself, he's usually pretty decent from long range. There was an interview after the game with Halfpenny - he sounded like he was still groggy from concussions to me. I don't know how he speaks usually, maybe he's a bit slow generally but on this evidence alone there's an argument that he shouldn't have been playing...

    Reply
  • katman
    4:01 PM 20/04/2015

    Looks like a pretty good game. Not so sure about the narration of this video though.

    Reply


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Toulon set for yet another final following tense victory over Leinster | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos