Saint-Andre slams 'turgid' Toulon
February 19, 2011
England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson was back on domestic duty with Toulon at the weekend © Getty Images
Toulon coach Philippe Saint-André could scarcely hide his disappointment after watching his Galacticos go down 13-23 at relegation threatened Agen in the latest round of this season's Top 14.
The return of Jonny Wilkinson to Toulon colours failed to help the visitors with the England fly-half contributing eight points to a team performance that was way below the expectations of the Toulon coaching staff.
"There's little to say about that performance really. We played some pretty turgid rugby," Philippe Saint-André told Var Matin. "There were too many knock-ons and balls lost in contact. None of that helped us get a losing bonus point in the end.
"You have to congratulate the Agen lads who were better than us in their intensity and aggression. They were also really good at the breakdown for about 50 minutes. From our side of things, we're going to have to improve for the rest of the season to be in with a chance of the playoffs."
Out of sorts Clermont Auvergne struggled to a 24-19 victory over Bayonne but not before enduring whistles and jeers from their own supporters at half-time - a rarity at Stade Marcel Michelin.
"It stung us," conceded a rather shocked Julien Malzieu to Midi Olympique. "After our poor performance at Montpellier, our supporters were expecting a completely different performance from us. But that's rugby. We have to learn how to accept criticism and turn things around."
Meanwhile Toulouse backs coach Jean-Baptiste Elissalde insisted he was satisfied with his side's performance after watching his charges record a hard fought 23-19 over Biarritz at Ernest Wallon.
"The players had their own personal challenges and we're satisfied with what they achieved," Elissalde told La Depeche du Midi. "We finished up winners of a match which was a little bit like the win at La Rochelle. It was the same against Biarritz in the rain. They knew how to score points. When we get our internationals back, we'll be able to match them. The game was good for the evolution of the squad."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery
Monday Maul takes in retirement talk, England reshuffles, France's unfair advantage and Scotland's communication breakdown
John Griffiths takes an analytical look at Week 3 of ESPN Scrum's Fantasy Rugby game - who should you have picked?
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin