Armitage brace powers Toulon past Montpellier
October 14, 2012
Toulon's Delon Armitage is embraced by his brother Steffon after scoring at the Stade Mayol
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Toulon kicked off their Heineken Cup campaign in style with a 37-16 bonus point victory over Montpellier at the Stade Mayol on Sunday night.
Fullback Delon Armitage led the way with two tries and fly-half Jonny Wilkinson notched 10 points with the boot as Bernard Laporte's side powered to the top of Pool 6 and sounded a warning to their European rivals. First half tries from flanker Pierrick Gunther and lock Bakkies Botha put the hosts in control of the contest against their under-strength Top 14 rivals with replacement centre Mathieu Bastareaud setting the seal on the win three minutes from time.
Llian Perraux opened the scoring after Wilkinson failed to roll away from a ruck but the Toulon playmaker quickly made amends with a penalty of his own before creating the opening try for Gunther with a perfectly-weighted grubber kick.
The home side hammered home their dominance on the half hour following a sweeping counter-attack sparked by Delon Armitage. The England international linked up with winger Vincent Martin who release Botha and the veteran second row dummied Montpellier fullback Pierre Berard for a try on his Heineken Cup debut, which Wilkinson converted.
Wilkinson kept the scoreboard ticking but Montpellier began the second-half in similar fashion to the first, with a Perraux penalty. But it only served to spark Toulon back into life with Delon Armitage cruising over and he completed his brace just past the hour mark with Wilkinson converting.
Replacement Mamuka Gorgodze hit-back for Montpellier in the final ten minutes and Benoit Pailaugue added the extras but it was too little too late and Toulon had the final word with a try from Bastareaud, converted by Matt Giteau.
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