Terrific Toulon ease into quarterfinals
CHALLENGE CUP WRAP: Toulon came from behind to beat Scarlets – and progress from Pool Two to the quarterfinals.
The French side led the pool going into the match, and Scarlets had won their previous three home games in European competition.
However, they had never beaten Toulon – and knew that they had to achieve a club first if they were to qualify for the knock-out stages.
The hosts started well, with a try in the first minute from Gareth Davies, and Leigh Halfpenny making amends for missing the conversion by adding a penalty nine minutes later.
After that, though, Toulon looked like they would be the only side to trouble the scoreboard, with first-half tries from Anthony Etrillard, Masivesi Dakuwaqa, Julian Savea and Bastien Soury. Anthony Belleau added two conversions and a second-half penalty.
Scarlets piled on the pressure in the closing stages, and their effort was rewarded with a 73rd-minute try from Steff Evans, converted by Halfpenny.
The match was marred by what looked to be a serious injury to Etrillard in the lead-up to Toulon’s second try.
Toulon has now won 11 of their last 12 pool games in the Challenge Cup, including their last eight in a row.
* In other Round Five action Bayonne stopped London Irish from making it three in a row, as they notched a 27-10 win at Stade Jean-Dauger in Pool Two.
Irish had won their previous two Challenge Cup meetings, winning a 2006 quarterfinal and the Round Two clash in November.
But the hosts came out on top, dominating from the off.
* Bordeaux-Begles prevailed 32-17 over Edinburgh, Calvisano lost 19-47 to a rampant Pau, Stade Francais slumped to a shock 24-29 loss to Zebre, Castres Olympique won 42-14 against the Dragons, Agen lost 24-52 Wasps, Bristol Bears smashed Brive 52-3 and Worcester Warriors demolished Enisei-STM 66-10.
Scores and scorers
Castres 42 Dragons 14
Tries: Fortunel, Dumora, Jelonch, Hounkpatin, Combezou, Firmin
Cons: Dumora 6
Tries: Rosser 23
Cons: Davies 2
Referee: JP Doyle
Worcester Warriors 66 Enisei-STM 10
For Worcester Warriors:
Tries: Van Breda, Shillcock, Lawrence 3, Mama, Miller, Heward 2, Butler
Cons: Shillcock 8
Referee: Craig Evans
Bayonne 27 London Irish 10
Tries: Ordas, Robinson, Monribot, Baget
Cons: Ordas 2
For London Irish:
Tries: Campbell, Williams
Referee: Andrea Piardi
Scarlets 15 Toulon 27
Tries: Davies, Evans
Tries: Etrillard, Dakuwaqa, Savea, Soury
Cons: Belleau 2
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Bordeaux-Begles 32 Edinburgh 17
Tries: Radradra, Cordero, Lesgourgues, Kovekalou
Cons: Jalibert 3
Pens: Jalibert 2
Tries: Van Der Merwe, Bennett
Cons: Van der Walt, Hicke
Pen: Van der Walt
Referee: Christophe Ridley
Agen 24 Wasps 52
Tries: Correa 2, Lamoulie
Cons: Vincent 3
Tries: Johnson, Bassett, Alo, Cruse, Gopperth 2, Wolstenholme
Cons: Sopoaga 6
Referee: Sean Gallagher
Stade Francais 24 Zebre 29
For Stade Francais:
Tries: Naivalu 2, Feuteu
Cons: Segonds 3
Tries: Elliott, Walker, Bruno, Biagi
Cons: Biondelli 2, Palazzani
Referee: Nika Amashukeli
Bristol 52 Brive 3
Tries: O’Conor, Attwood, Leiua, Bedlow, Hamilton, Capon, Protheroe
Cons: Sheedy 7
Referee: Ben Blain
Calvisano 19 Pau 47
Tries: Michelini, Van Zyl, Susio
Cons: Pescetto 2
Tries: Dumoulin, Lebail, Tugaye, Pourailly, Pinto, Barrett, Daubagna
Cons: Lebail 6
Referee: Joy Neville