Toulon toil to victory at the Rec

Bath Rugby 14 v Toulon 19

A fortnight after narrowly edging out Bath Rugby in Toulon, the three-time European Champions repeated the act at the Recreation Ground with a 14-19 victory. 

Bath had the opportunity to draw first blood shortly after the starting whistle, but their penalty kick at goal came up short. A minute later it was Toulon fullback James O'Connor doing the honours for his team as Bath were penalised at the breakdown. 0-3. 

O'Connor then doubled Toulon's lead with a penalty from out on the right. 0-6 became 3-6 shortly thereafter as French scrum-half Sebastien Tillous-Borde illegally dislodged the ball from opposite number Chris Cook's hands in front of the Toulon posts; Ford notching up Bath's first points from the tee. 

As the first quarter reached its close, Toulon were in possession inside Bath's 22 and looking dangerous. It was England international Steffon Armitage, after an overhead pass from Toulon captain Jocelino Suta, who made good on the threat as he powered over for the try. O'Connor missed the conversion.

Half-Time: Bath Rugby 6-11 Toulon

The Bath Rugby archivists might be making room for the team's 45th-minute try as fantastic vision and passing from Jonathan Joseph, then Kyle Eastmond, in Toulon's 22 put Horacio Agulla into space. The former Pumas winger darted forward and was brought down just shy of the try line, only for Anthony Watson to snatch the ball from the base of the ruck and dive over.

Ford was unable to convert that excellent team effort, but with the scores at 11-11, he made amends (and then some) with a penalty in the 50th minute, Bath taking the lead for the first time in the match. 14-11. 

Almost on the hour, Toulon hoisted the ball into Bath's 22, only for both them and Bath to fumble possession. Regardless of the errors, it was the opportunist Bryan Habana who took hold of the ball to run over in the corner for Toulon's second try. O'Connor missed from the tight angle. 14-16. 

There were moments between then and the final whistle that might have offered Bath a way back into the match, but it was replacement Eric Escande's 77th-minute penalty kick that sealed the win for Toulon. 

Full Time: Bath Rugby 14-19 Toulon

Match details

Recreation Ground
European Rugby Champions Cup
23 January 2016
KO 15:15

Attendance: 13,285
Referee: John Lacey
Half Time score: 6-11

Bath:
Tries: Watson (45)
Penalties: Ford (16, 26, 50)
Toulon:
Tries: Armitage (18), Habana (57)
Penalties: O'Connor (4, 11, 76)

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MATCH STARTS

Match underway between Bath and Toulon.

5'

Penalty Goal! Bath 0 - 3 Toulon

James O'Connor kicks a penalty goal for Toulon.

12'

Penalty Goal! Bath 0 - 6 Toulon

James O'Connor kicks a penalty goal for Toulon.

17'

Penalty Goal! Bath 3 - 6 Toulon

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

19'

Try for Toulon! Bath 3 - 11 Toulon

Steffon Armitage scores for Toulon.

27'

Penalty Goal! Bath 6 - 11 Toulon

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

34'

Substitution

Romain Taofifenua replaces Samu Manoa for Toulon.

42'

HALF TIME

Match score: Bath 6 - 11 Toulon.

SECOND HALF STARTS

We’re underway again.

46'

Try for Bath! Bath 11 - 11 Toulon

Anthony Watson scores for Bath.

51'

Penalty Goal! Bath 14 - 11 Toulon

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

51'

Substitution

Xavier Chiocci replaces Florian Fresia for Toulon.

51'

Substitution

Manasa Saulo replaces Levan Chilachava for Toulon.

51'

Substitution

Mamuka Gorgodze replaces Juan Smith for Toulon.

55'

Substitution

Alafoti Faosiliva replaces Guy Mercer for Bath.

56'

Substitution

Matt Garvey replaces Dominic Day for Bath.

58'

Try for Toulon! Bath 14 - 16 Toulon

Bryan Habana scores for Toulon.

59'

Substitution

Jean Charles Orioli replaces Guilhem Guirado for Toulon.

59'

Substitution

Thibault Lassalle replaces Jocelino Suta for Toulon.

62'

Substitution

Nathan Catt replaces Nick Auterac for Bath.

62'

Substitution

David Wilson replaces Henry Thomas for Bath.

63'

Substitution

Tom Ellis replaces David Denton for Bath.

66'

Substitution

Ollie Devoto replaces Kyle Eastmond for Bath.

72'

Substitution

Mathieu Bastareaud replaces Maxime Mermoz for Toulon.

72'

Substitution

Eric Escande replaces Sebastien Tillous-Borde for Toulon.

75'

Substitution

Tom Dunn replaces Ross Batty for Bath.

76'

Substitution

Rhys Priestland replaces Horacio Agulla for Bath.

77'

Penalty Goal! Bath 14 - 19 Toulon

James O'Connor kicks a penalty goal for Toulon.

83'

FULL TIME! It’s a win for Toulon.

Final score: Bath 14 - 19 Toulon.