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Bath Rugby secure memorable victory over Toulon at the Rec

Bath Rugby 26 v Toulon 21

Bath Rugby recorded their 100th victory in Europe, with a 26-21 European Rugby Champions Cup triumph over three-time Champions Toulon at the Recreation Ground.

Bath got off to a blistering start scoring inside a minute of play. It was Aled Brew who created the attack, stealing the ball from the kick-off. The Welsh winger then made another strong carry before offloading to Beno Obano, who bulldozed his way over the whitewash from close range. Rhys Priestland made it a seven-point score with the resulting conversion. 7-0.

It got even better for the home side as Priestland added two quickfire penalties to make it 13-0 with as many minutes on the clock.

The visitors, who spent large parts of the first 40 camped in their own half, hit back with a try of their own. It was an opportunistic score, Alby Mathewson crossing after a well-worked move from the line-out. Francois Trinh-duc added the extras. 13-7.

With the game heading into the last 10 minutes of the half, Anthony Watson created a moment of magic to extend Bath’s lead. After receiving an inside pass from Jonathan Joseph on the right wing, Watson accelerated through the challenges of two Toulon defenders before powering his way over the line. 18-10.

After Trinh-Duc reduced arrears to five points from the tee, it was left to Watson to have the final word of the half. Tom Dunn and Obano created the attacking foundation with strong carries, and then the fullback finished the move in style. The England international made his way over to the left wing searching for the gap, but it wasn’t needed as he left his opposite number, Hugo Bonneval, for dust to finish in the corner for his second of the evening. 

Half-time: Bath Rugby 23-13 Toulon

Toulon were out of the blocks quickly in the second-half, and owed their second try of the game to a superb break from Ma’a Nonu. The former All Black unlocked the Bath defence before offloading to Chris Ashton in support. With the line in his sights, the back-tracking Jack Wilson produced a try-saving tackle, however moments later the ball found its way to Samu Manoa, who bundled his way over the line, despite the brave efforts of Dunn who tried to halt the second rower. 23-18.

With 25 minutes left to play, Bath gave themselves a bit of breathing space with another Priestland penalty, much to the delight of the near-capacity crowd at the Rec. His French counterpart Trinh-Duc ensured that it would be a nervy finale with a penalty of his own. 26-21.

The three-time European Champions continued to pile on the pressure as they searched for a score that would see them claim a second victory over Bath in as many weeks. Toulon gave it their best shot, going through over 30 phases as they pressurized a resolute Bath defence, but the Blue, Black and White stood firm and closed out the game, the win taking them to the top of Pool 5.

Final score: Bath Rugby 26-21 Toulon

Match details

Recreation Ground
European Rugby Champions Cup
16 December 2017
KO 17:30

Referee: Nigel Owens
Half Time score: 23-13

Bath:
Tries: Obano (0), Watson (27, 40)
Conversions: Priestland (1)
Penalties: Priestland (9, 12, 55)
Toulon:
Tries: Mathewson (17), Manoa (41)
Conversions: Trinh-Duc (18)
Penalties: Trinh-Duc (26, 35, 64)

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MATCH STARTS

Match underway between Bath and Toulon.

1'

Try for Bath! Bath 5 - 0 Toulon

Beno Obano scores for Bath.

2'

Conversion! Bath 7 - 0 Toulon

Rhys Priestland with a conversion for Bath.

10'

Penalty Goal! Bath 10 - 0 Toulon

Rhys Priestland kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

13'

Penalty Goal! Bath 13 - 0 Toulon

Rhys Priestland kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

18'

Try for Toulon! Bath 13 - 5 Toulon

Alby Mathewson scores for Toulon.

19'

Conversion! Bath 13 - 7 Toulon

Francois Trinh-Duc with a conversion for Toulon.

27'

Penalty Goal! Bath 13 - 10 Toulon

Francois Trinh-Duc kicks a penalty goal for Toulon.

28'

Try for Bath! Bath 18 - 10 Toulon

Anthony Watson scores for Bath.

36'

Substitution

Jack Wilson replaces Ben Tapuai for Bath.

36'

Penalty Goal! Bath 18 - 13 Toulon

Francois Trinh-Duc kicks a penalty goal for Toulon.

41'

Try for Bath! Bath 23 - 13 Toulon

Anthony Watson scores for Bath.

43'

HALF TIME

Match score: Bath 23 - 13 Toulon.

SECOND HALF STARTS

We’re underway again.

42'

Try for Toulon! Bath 23 - 18 Toulon

Samu Manoa scores for Toulon.

51'

Substitution

Henry Thomas replaces Max Lahiff for Bath.

51'

Substitution

Kahn Fotuali'i replaces Chris Cook for Bath.

53'

Substitution

Juandre Kruger replaces Romain Taofifenua for Toulon.

56'

Penalty Goal! Bath 26 - 18 Toulon

Rhys Priestland kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

56'

Substitution

JP Pietersen replaces Ma'a Nonu for Toulon.

56'

Substitution

Raphael Lakafia replaces Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe for Toulon.

57'

Substitution

Eric Escande replaces Alby Mathewson for Toulon.

57'

Substitution

Swan Rebbadj replaces Samu Manoa for Toulon.

65'

Penalty Goal! Bath 26 - 21 Toulon

Francois Trinh-Duc kicks a penalty goal for Toulon.

65'

Substitution

Anthony Etrillard replaces Guilhem Guirado for Toulon.

65'

Substitution

Emerick Setiano replaces Marcel Van der Merwe for Toulon.

65'

Substitution

Laurent DelBoulbes replaces Florian Fresia for Toulon.

66'

Substitution

Nick Auterac replaces Beno Obano for Bath.

66'

Substitution

Zach Mercer replaces Paul Grant for Bath.

67'

Substitution

Levi Douglas replaces Elliott Stooke for Bath.

78'

Substitution

Freddie Burns replaces Matt Banahan for Bath.

82'

FULL TIME! It’s a win for Bath.

Final score: Bath 26 - 21 Toulon.

Bath Player Scorecard
NameTriesConvPenDropPts
Rhys Priestland013011
Anthony Watson200010
Beno Obano10005
Toulon Player Scorecard
NameTriesConvPenDropPts
Francois Trinh-Duc013011
Samu Manoa10005
Alby Mathewson10005
Bath v Toulon
P D C T Pos Player   Player Pos T C D P
   1PBeno
Obano
1Florian
Fresia
P    
    HTom
Dunn
2Guilhem
Guirado
H    
    PMax
Lahiff
3Marcel
Van der Merwe
P    
    LElliott
Stooke
4Samu
Manoa
L1   
    LCharlie
Ewels
5Romain
Taofifenua
L    
    FLMatt
Garvey
6Juan Martin
Fernandez Lobbe
FL    
    FLFrancois
Louw
7Facundo
Isa
FL    
    8Paul
Grant
8Duane
Vermeulen
8    
    SHChris
Cook
9Alby
Mathewson
SH1   
3 1 FHRhys
Priestland
10Francois
Trinh-Duc
FH 1 3
    WMatt
Banahan
11Chris
Ashton
W    
    CBen
Tapuai
12Ma'a
Nonu
C    
    CJonathan
Joseph
13Mathieu
Bastareaud
C    
    WAled
Brew
14Josua
Tuisova
W    
   2FBAnthony
Watson
15Hugo
Bonneval
FB    
Replacements
    RMichael
Van Vuuren
16Anthony
Etrillard
RH    
    RPNick
Auterac
17Laurent
DelBoulbes
RP    
    RPHenry
Thomas
18Emerick
Setiano
RP    
    RLLevi
Douglas
19Raphael
Lakafia
RFL    
    R8Zach
Mercer
20JP
Pietersen
RC    
    RSHKahn
Fotuali'i
21Swan
Rebbadj
RL    
    RWFreddie
Burns
22Eric
Escande
RSH    
    RCJack
Wilson
23Juandre
Kruger
RL