Bath Rugby denied by late Toulon try

Toulon 24 v Bath Rugby 20

Bath Rugby fell to a late Anthony Belleau try, as Toulon maintained their 100% start in the European Rugby Champions Cup with a 24-20 victory at Stade Mayol. 

Bath got the first points of the afternoon from the boot of Rhys Priestland. It came after Ben Tapuai pounced on a fumble from Francois Trinh-Duc, before hacking up field from his own 22. The Australian and his midfield partner Jonathan Joseph gave chase and forced Semi Radradra into conceding a penalty. Priestland made no mistake, and put his side into a 0-3 lead with 12 minutes on the clock. 0-3

It got even better for the visitors two minutes later, with Anthony Watson finishing off a well-worked try. Joseph spread the ball wide to Aled Brew and the Welsh winger bulldozed his way through the tackle of Josua Tuisova before offloading to the on-rushing Watson, who extended Bath’s lead. Priestland made it a seven point score with the successful conversion. 0-10

With six minutes to play in the half, Toulon scored a try of their own. The home side piled on the pressure in attack, which created the numbers out wide for Ma’a Nonu to finish under the posts. 7-10

With the clock in the red, Priestland added another penalty to give his side a six-point advantage going into the interval.

Half-time – Toulon 7-13 Bath Rugby

Bath were reduced to 14 men nine minutes into the second-half, with Chris Cook seeing yellow for an infringement at the breakdown. In the set piece that followed, Alby Mathewson picked up from the back of the scrum and powered his way over the try line. Trinh-Duc’s conversion put Toulon in the lead for the first time in the game. 14-13

With a little less than 20 minutes to play, Bath found themselves back in front on the scoreboard, taking advantage of a sliced kick from Chris Ashton. Pegged back in the in goal area, the former England international aimed his kick for touch, but instead found its way into the hands of Joseph, who put Bath back in control on the scoreboard. 14-20

Trinh-Duc kicked his side to within three points, which meant a tense final 15 minutes at the Stade Mayol. Toulon were a fraction from their second try, but for a superb last-ditch tackle from Paul Grant, who managed to stop Ashton after a breakway move from the home side. 17-20

Toulon continued to press the Bath defence, and despite some resolute defending, French side managed to find their way through. It was a touch of magic from replacement Anthony Belleau, who pounced on his own grubber kick from five metres out to put Toulon in the driving seat with four minutes remaining. 24-20

Bath weren’t ready to throw in the towel, giving everything in the closing minutes with one final assault on the Toulon line. However, the three-time European winners stood firm and maintained their unbeaten start in the competition.

Full-time – Toulon 24-20 Bath Rugby

Tickets for next Saturday's return fixture at the Recreation Ground (kick-off 17:30) are still available and can be purchased by clicking here

 

Match details

Stade Félix-Mayol
European Rugby Champions Cup
9 December 2017
KO 15:15

Referee: Andrew Brace
Half Time score: 7-13

Toulon:
Tries: Nonu (33), Mathewson (50), Belleau (75)
Conversions: Trinh-Duc (35, 51), Belleau (77)
Penalties: Trinh-Duc (66)
Bath:
Tries: Watson (14), Joseph (60)
Conversions: Priestland (15, 61)
Penalties: Priestland (12, 41)

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MATCH STARTS

Match underway between Toulon and Bath.

13'

Penalty Goal! Toulon 0 - 3 Bath

Rhys Priestland kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

15'

Try for Bath! Toulon 0 - 8 Bath

Anthony Watson scores for Bath.

16'

Conversion! Toulon 0 - 10 Bath

Rhys Priestland with a conversion for Bath.

31'

Substitution

Marcel Van der Merwe replaces Levan Chilachava for Toulon.

34'

Try for Toulon! Toulon 5 - 10 Bath

Ma'a Nonu scores for Toulon.

36'

Conversion! Toulon 7 - 10 Bath

Francois Trinh-Duc with a conversion for Toulon.

42'

Penalty Goal! Toulon 7 - 13 Bath

Rhys Priestland kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

42'

HALF TIME

Match score: Toulon 7 - 13 Bath.

SECOND HALF STARTS

We’re underway again.

49'

Substitution

Zach Mercer replaces Taulupe Faletau for Bath.

50'

Yellow Card!

Bath lose Chris Cook for ten minutes.

51'

Try for Toulon! Toulon 12 - 13 Bath

Alby Mathewson scores for Toulon.

52'

Conversion! Toulon 14 - 13 Bath

Francois Trinh-Duc with a conversion for Toulon.

58'

Substitution

Juandre Kruger replaces Romain Taofifenua for Toulon.

60'

Substitution

Henry Thomas replaces Max Lahiff for Bath.

60'

Substitution

Charlie Ewels replaces Luke Charteris for Bath.

60'

Substitution

Kahn Fotuali'i replaces Chris Cook for Bath.

61'

Try for Bath! Toulon 14 - 18 Bath

Jonathan Joseph scores for Bath.

62'

Conversion! Toulon 14 - 20 Bath

Rhys Priestland with a conversion for Bath.

64'

Substitution

Nick Auterac replaces Beno Obano for Bath.

64'

Substitution

JP Pietersen replaces Josua Tuisova for Toulon.

64'

Substitution

Xavier Chiocci replaces Florian Fresia for Toulon.

66'

Substitution

Facundo Isa replaces Raphael Lakafia for Toulon.

67'

Penalty Goal! Toulon 17 - 20 Bath

Francois Trinh-Duc kicks a penalty goal for Toulon.

73'

Substitution

Jack Wilson replaces Matt Banahan for Bath.

73'

Substitution

Anthony Belleau replaces Francois Trinh-Duc for Toulon.

76'

Try for Toulon! Toulon 22 - 20 Bath

Anthony Belleau scores for Toulon.

78'

Conversion! Toulon 24 - 20 Bath

Anthony Belleau with a conversion for Toulon.

83'

FULL TIME! It’s a win for Toulon.

Final score: Toulon 24 - 20 Bath.