Toyota Cheetahs Second Half Comeback Too Little And Too Late Against Toulon


French giants Toulon knocked the Toyota Cheetahs out of the EPCR Challenge Cup with a 36-21 (half-time 19-0) victory at the Stade Félix Mayol in the south of France on Saturday.

The team from Bloemfontein did well to reach the playoffs, but the trip to France proved to be one step too far for them this season, with Toulon - three-time Heineken Champions Cup winners and four-time EPCR Challenge Cup finalists - scoring six tries to the visitors' three, all of which came after the break.

The Free Staters started well and were on the attack early on and Oupa Mohoje lost the ball on the tryline, after which Toulon escaped and Thomas Salles scored a few minutes later to get the scoreboard rolling.

It was evenly matches until the 29th minute, when Rynier Bernardo was yellow carded, and Toulon immediately scored again to stretch their lead, through Teddy Baubigny.

When Aymeric Luc went over at the death of the first half, the hosts were firmly in control. Although the Free Staters had more possession and enjoyed territorial advantage, their discipline let them down and they ended up conceding 16 penalties.

The second half started well for the Toyota Cheetahs when Marko Janse van Rensburg went over in the 42nd minute, but Toulon hit back again through tries by Facundo Isa and Jiuta Naqoli Wainiqolo to keep their grip on the encounter.

Cohen Jasper and Bernardo also went over for the visitors, but it was too late and Toulon booked their spot in the quarter-finals.

RC Toulon 36 (19) - Tries: Thomas Salles, Teddy Baubigny, Aymeric Luc, Facundo Isa, Jiuta Naqoli Wainiqolo (2). Conversions: Thomas Salles (3).
Toyota Cheetahs 21 (0) - Tries: Marko Janse van Rensburg, Cohen Jasper, Rynier Bernardo. Conversions: Ruan Pienaar (3).


Toulon: 15. Thomas Salles, 14. Jiuta Naqoli Wainiqolo, 13. Jérémy Sinzelle, 12. Waisea Vuidravuwalu, 11. Aymeric Luc, 10. Dan Biggar, 9. Benoit Paillaugue, 8. Sergio Parisse (c), 7. Facundo Isa, 6. Jules Coulon, 5. Adrien Warion, 4. Swan Rebbadj, 3. Kieran Brookes, 2. Teddy Baubigny, 1. Bruce Devaux. Replacements: 16. Christopher Tolofua, 17. Dany Priso, 18. Beka Gigashvili, 19. Matthias Halagahu, 20. Mathieu Bastareaud, 21. Jules Danglot, 22. Maëlan Rabut, 23. Ihaia West

Toyota Cheetahs: 15. Tapiwa Mafura, 14. Daniel Kasende, 13. David Brits, 12. Robert Ebersohn, 11. Munier Hartzenberg, 10. Reinhardt Fortuin, 9. Ruan Pienaar, 8. Jeandré Rudolph, 7. Teboho Mohoje, 6. Gideon van der Merwe, 5. Victor Sekekete (c), 4. Rynier Bernardo, 3. Hencus van Wyk, 2. Marnus van der Merwe, 1. Schalk Ferreira. Replacements: 16. Marko Janse van Rensburg, 17. Alulutho Tshakweni, 18. Nqobisizwe Mxoli, 19. Mzwanele Zito, 20. Daniel Maartens, 21. Sibabalo Qoma, 22. Rewan Kruger, 23. Cohan Jasper