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Courageous Bath Rugby denied at the death in Toulon

Toulon 12 v Bath Rugby 9

Bath Rugby produced their best performance of the season at the Stade Mayol this afternoon, only to lose the Champions Cup tie 12-9 following a late Frederic Michalak penalty. 

Fly-half George Ford and Toulon scrum-half Eric Escande traded penalties in the opening quarter of an hour to level an edgy but lively start to this much-anticipated match.

Ford produced some outstanding tactical kicks in the first half, not to mention some dazzling breaks, whilst his teammates showed equal endeavour in putting on an entertaining but purposeful performance. 

Approaching the half-hour, Ford and wing Matt Banahan jolted the Bath attack to life with some excellent linking play in the middle of the field. Bolstered by the support of fullback Anthony Watson and centre Kyle Eastmond, it moved the action into Toulon's 22, but with progress slow, scrum-half Chris Cook passed to Ford in the pocket for a dead-straight drop goal. 3-6. 

Escande, who had just missed with a penalty from the right-hand channel, made amends with his second attempt before half time to level things once again. 

Half time: Toulon 6-6 Bath Rugby 

Thanks to a firm platform from Bath's abrasive forwards, it was another Ford drop goal - and another neat delivery from Chris Cook - that gave Bath the lead once again as the second half got underway. 

Bath were then penalised at the scrum which, for the third time in the match, allowed Escande level the score with the boot. 9-9. 

Time and again in the second half Bath found reserves of energy that allowed them to thwart several potential Toulon tries when a score looked a sure thing.

Toulon made their one real second-half opportunity count when, with five minutes left in the match, replacement Frederic Michalak stroked over the penalty which gave his side the lead for the first time in the match.

It ultimately proved the definitive moment of the game for Toulon as Bath tried valiantly - but vainly - to get themselves into a match-drawing position with only a minute or so left in the match.

Bath leave the Cote d'Azur with their heads held high, in the knowledge that the ability to replicate such performances will take them far this season.

Full time: Toulon 12-9 Bath Rugby

Match details

Stade Félix-Mayol
European Rugby Champions Cup
10 January 2016
KO 15:15

Referee: George Clancy
Referee: Nigel Owens
Half Time score: 6-6

Toulon:
Penalties: Escande (15, 34, 45), Michalak (75)
Bath:
Penalties: Ford (2)
Drop goals: Ford (27, 41)

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MATCH STARTS

Match underway between Toulon and Bath.

3'

Penalty Goal! Toulon 0 - 3 Bath

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

16'

Penalty Goal! Toulon 3 - 3 Bath

Eric Escande kicks a penalty goal for Toulon.

28'

Drop Goal! Toulon 3 - 6 Bath

George Ford scores for Bath.

35'

Penalty Goal! Toulon 6 - 6 Bath

Eric Escande kicks a penalty goal for Toulon.

41'

HALF TIME

Match score: Toulon 6 - 6 Bath.

SECOND HALF STARTS

We’re underway again.

41'

Substitution

Frederic Michalak replaces James O'Connor for Toulon.

42'

Drop Goal! Toulon 6 - 9 Bath

George Ford scores for Bath.

46'

Penalty Goal! Toulon 9 - 9 Bath

Eric Escande kicks a penalty goal for Toulon.

53'

Substitution

Xavier Chiocci replaces Florian Fresia for Toulon.

53'

Substitution

Anthony Etrillard replaces Guilhem Guirado for Toulon.

53'

Substitution

Ross Batty replaces Rob Webber for Bath.

53'

Substitution

Thibault Lassalle replaces David Wilson for Toulon.

53'

Substitution

Henry Thomas replaces David Wilson for Bath.

61'

Substitution

Steffon Armitage replaces Juan Smith for Toulon.

61'

Substitution

David Denton replaces Dominic Day for Bath.

61'

Substitution

Nathan Catt replaces Max Lahiff for Bath.

69'

Substitution

Sebastien Tillous-Borde replaces Eric Escande for Toulon.

72'

Substitution

Maxime Mermoz replaces Mathieu Bastareaud for Toulon.

73'

Substitution

Charlie Ewels replaces Matt Garvey for Bath.

76'

Penalty Goal! Toulon 12 - 9 Bath

Frederic Michalak kicks a penalty goal for Toulon.

78'

Substitution

Konstantin Mikautadze replaces Jocelino Suta for Toulon.

82'

FULL TIME! It’s a win for Toulon.

Final score: Toulon 12 - 9 Bath.

Toulon Player Scorecard
NameTriesConvPenDropPts
Eric Escande00309
Frederic Michalak00103
Bath Player Scorecard
NameTriesConvPenDropPts
George Ford00129
Toulon v Bath
P D C T Pos Player   Player Pos T C D P
    PFlorian
Fresia
1Nick
Auterac
P    
    HGuilhem
Guirado
2Rob
Webber
H    
    PLevan
Chilachava
3David
Wilson
P    
    LSamu
Manoa
4Stuart
Hooper
L    
    LJocelino
Suta
4Stuart
Hooper
L    
    LRomain
Taofifenua
5Dominic
Day
L    
    LKonstantin
Mikautadze
5Dominic
Day
L    
    FLJuan
Smith
6Matt
Garvey
FL    
    FLJuan Martin
Fernandez Lobbe
7Francois
Louw
FL    
    8Duane
Vermeulen
8Leroy
Houston
8    
    SHJonathan
Pelissie
9Chris
Cook
SH    
3   SHEric
Escande
9Chris
Cook
SH    
    FHQuade
Cooper
10George
Ford
FH  21
    WBryan
Habana
11Matt
Banahan
W    
    CMa'a
Nonu
12Kyle
Eastmond
C    
    CMathieu
Bastareaud
13Jonathan
Joseph
C    
    WJosua
Tuisova
14Semesa
Rokoduguni
W    
    FBDelon
Armitage
15Anthony
Watson
FB    
    FBJames
O'Connor
15Anthony
Watson
FB    
Replacements
    RHAnthony
Etrillard
16Ross
Batty
RH    
Replacements
    RBastien
Soury
16Ross
Batty
RH    
    RPXavier
Chiocci
17Nathan
Catt
RP    
    RMohamed
Boughanmi
18Henry
Thomas
RP    
    RFLSteffon
Armitage
19Charlie
Ewels
RFL    
    RTheo
Belan
20David
Denton
RL    
1   RFBFrederic
Michalak
20David
Denton
RL    
    RTom
Taylor
21Nikola
Matawalu
R    
    RCMaxime
Mermoz
21Nikola
Matawalu
R    
    RSHSebastien
Tillous-Borde
22Rhys
Priestland
R    
    RPThibault
Lassalle
23Tom
Homer
R