RC Toulon Clinched EPCR Challenge Cup Outclassing Glasgow Warriors


RC Toulon clinched the EPCR Challenge Cup for the first time in their history after outclassing Glasgow Warriors in an assured 43-19 victory in Dublin on Friday night.

The French heavyweights, playing in the final of the competition for a fifth time, crossed five times in front of 31,514 fans at the Aviva Stadium, through Baptiste Serin (2), Sergio Parisse, Jiuta Wainiqolo, Waisea Nayacalevu and Ihaia West.

Glasgow endured a difficult first half and although they improved after the break, scores from Kyle Steyn (2) and Sebastian Cancelliere came too little too late.

There was an early setback for Toulon as influential fly-half Dan Biggar was forced off with a head knock, but they were undeterred, scrum-half Serin grubbering through before gathering and dotting down for a superb opening try on four minutes.

Glasgow produced an error-strewn first half and conceded again with just over a quarter of an hour played, legendary No.8 Parisse crashing under the posts for a fitting score on his final club appearance.

As Glasgow continued to lack accuracy and composure, Toulon made it three tries inside the opening 25 minutes courtesy of Serin’s second effort.

The Scottish region saw a lineout go awry just inside their own half and Toulon pounced, shifting the ball out to the right before Serin dummied and darted over with ease.

Glasgow gradually improved towards the end of the first half but a series of scrums in front of the Toulon posts produced no reward and they went into the break without any points on the board.

In the absence of Biggar, Serin converted all three tries to put his side 21 points up, but he too would be forced off after landing awkwardly when making a tackle in the final play of the first half.

Glasgow enjoyed the better start to the second half but found themselves 24 points adrift on 50 minutes when Toulon replacement scrum-half Benoit Paillaugue slotted a penalty from 40 metres.

Another lineout error then looked to have handed Toulon a fourth try through Charles Ollivon, but the TMO spared Glasgow’s blushes when the flanker was spotted in an offside position.

Wing and captain Steyn then handed Warriors a lifeline as he cut inside to finish clinically, scrum-half George Horne’s conversion reducing the margin to 17 points on 56 minutes.

But Toulon would respond ruthlessly and instantly to that score, with wing Wainiqolo jinking through the contact for a cracking try before centre Nayacalevu fired over from close range five minutes later.

Glasgow would notch two further tries before 74 minutes as wing Cancelliere dived over in the corner before another excellent Steyn finish.

But the trophy had already slipped from the grasp of Franco Smith’s team by that stage, and Toulon signed off a terrific EPCR Challenge Cup campaign when replacement fly-half West glided through in the dying seconds.


Glasgow Warriors: Tries: Kyle Steyn (2), Sebastián Cancelliere. Conversions: George Horne (2)
RC Toulon: Tries: Baptiste Serin (2), Sergio Parisse, Jiuta Wainiqolo, Waisea Nayacalevu, Ihaia West. Conversions: Baptiste Serin (3), Baptiste Paillaugue (2). Penalties: Ihaia West, Baptiste Paillaugue.

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Ollie Smith, 14 Sebastián Cancelliere, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Sione Tuipulotu, 11 Kyle Steyn (captain), 10 Domingo Miotti, 9 George Horne, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Sione Vailanu, 6 Matt Fagerson, 5 Scott Cummings, 4 Jean-Pierre du Preez, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Jamie Bhatti. Replacements: 16 Johnny Matthews, 17 Nathan McBeth, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Richie Gray, 20 Lewis Bean, 21 Rory Darge, 22 Alistair Price, 23 Stafford McDowall.

RC Toulon: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Jiuta Wainiqolo, 13 Waisea Nayacalevu, 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Gabin Villiere, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Charles Ollivon, 6 Cornell du Preez, 5 Brian Alainu’uese, 4 Mathieu Tanguy, 3 Beka Gigashvili, 2 Teddy Baubigny, 1 Dany Priso. Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Jean-Baptiste Gros, 18 Kieran Brooks, 19 Facundo Isa, 20 Mathieu Bastareaud, 21 Baptiste Paillaugue, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Jeremy Sinzelle.