Toulon escape Treviso humiliation
CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: France flyhalf Francois Trinh-Duc kicked a last-minute penalty as three-time champions Toulon escaped a Champions Cup humiliation by edging out battling Italian minnows Treviso 30-29.
Treviso thought they had claimed a famous victory when Irish flyhalf Ian McKinley, wearing trademark goggles to protect a devastating eye injury he suffered as a student seven years ago, had knocked over his fifth penalty of the day in the 79th minute.
But Toulon, who had struggled to a 21-20 win against Scarlets in their tournament opener last weekend, powered forward on one last surge which saw a tiring Treviso penalised at a ruck.
Trinh-Duc kept cool to kick the winning points for a personal match tally of 20 points.
However, the French giants' failure to secure a bonus point could prove fatal in a tournament where just the six group winners are assured of quarter-final spots.
Treviso had lost their opening game 0-23 at Bath last week but matched their superstar visitors throughout the game scoring two first-half tries from Juan Ignacio Brex and Edoardo Gori for a 14-13 advantage at the break.
Semi Radradra crossed for Toulon in the opening period with fellow Fijian wing Josua Tusiova adding a second try for the French visitors early in the second period.
Bath lead Pool Five after seeing off Scarlets 18-13 in Wales on Friday night.
Tries: Brex, Gori
Cons: McKinley 2
Pens: McKinley 5
Tries: Radradra, Tuisova
Pens: Trinh-Duc 6
Benetton: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Nacho Brex, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Luca Sperandio, 10 Ian McKinley, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Braam Steyn, 6 Nasi Manu, 5 Dean Budd, 4 Marco Lazzaroni, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Luca Bigi, 1 Federico Zani.
Replacements: 16 Tomas Baravalle, 17 Cherif Traore, 18 Tiziano Pasquali, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Seb Negri Da Oleggio, 21 Tito Tebaldi, 22 Francesco Minto, 23 Tommaso Benvenuti.
Toulon: 15 Chris Ashton, 14 Josua Tuisova, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Semi Radradra, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Anthony Meric, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Rudy Gahetau, 6 Juan Fernandez Lobbe, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Swan Rebbadj, 3 Marcel Van Der Merwe, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Florian Fresia.
Replacements: 16 Anthony Etrillard, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Levan Chilachava, 19 Mamuka Gorgodze, 20 Anthony Belleau, 21 Hugo Bonneval, 22 Vincent Clerc, 23 Jocelino Suta.
Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant referees: Greg Macdonald (England), Roy Maybank (England)
TMO: David Grashoff (England)