Giteau inspires Toulon to win over Clermont
October 5, 2013
Bakkies Botha tries to get to grips with Damien Chouly © Getty Images
In the Top 14's game of the weekend, despite dropping Jonny Wilkinson to the bench, Toulon saw off Clermont Auvergne 25-19 in front of a packed Allianz Riviera crowd.
It was a good old-fashioned arm wrestle of a game with Matt Giteau's boot eventually proving to be the difference between the two sides. Wilkinson was conspicuous in his absence with Toulon coach Bernard Laporte dropping the World Cup-winner to the bench but there was no indication of whether this was due to him being rested or a criticism of his recent form.
However, Toulon showed no ill effects and got the valuable four-point win over Les Jaunards, who were twice reduced to 14 men due to their ill-discipline. There were just two tries in the match with Damien Chouly grabbing the first for Clermont but Toulon replied with Maxime Mermoz crashing over the in the corner. The away side very nearly got another before the break but Toulon's Delon Armitage did superbly to bundle Thierry Lacrampe into the touch just centimetres from the tryline.
But it was Giteau who emerged the hero as he slotted 20 points to take Toulon top in the Top 14 as the league heads into a two-week break due to European action.
At the other end of the table, Guilhem Guirado scored the only try of the game as Perpignan extended Biarritz's poor season with a 16-12 win. The defeat was Biarritz's fourth home loss of the season - and their eighth in total - leaving them eight points adrift at the foot of the table.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Download ESPN's new UK multisport app, a fresh and powerful new way to follow your favourite UK sports news, scores and video.
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league