Having secured a try bonus point by half time, when they led 34-0, they conceded four tries as they lost the second half 28-17 to a resurgent Glasgow Warriors side who came back from the dead to pick up a priceless try bonus themselves.
Given how hopelessly overrun they had been in the first half it was an amazing turn around by Gregor Townsend’s team, especially as Toulon had only conceded seven tries in nine games in the Top 14 this season.
Jonny Wilkinson returned to the home starting line-up and orchestrated a brilliant opening period in which the home side scored 17 points in as many minutes. He then converted skipper Chis Masoe’s try to make it 24-0, but then left the field with an ice pack on his right hand.
Such is the strength in depth of the Toulon squad that Wilkinson’s departure led to the arrival of Frederic Michalak. Toulon started with a team containing 956 caps, and had new signing Bryan Habana watching from the stand.
There were four tries for the home side by the break, with French international Maxime Mermoz grabbing two of them, and they led 34-0. Glasgow had been unable to get their hands on the ball and spent most of the opening 40 minutes chasing shadows.
But that all changed in the second half, which they won 28-10, when they finally got to the pace of the game and began to gain some possession. Canadian international wing DTH van der Merwe was introduced at half-time and Niko Matawalu moved off the wing to scrumhalf.
They made a massive impact and scored three of the four tries between them. Van der Merwe crossed within two minutes of coming on and that gave Glasgow the confidence to throw caution to the wind.
Matt Giteau grabbed one back for Toulon, but then it was all Glasgow and Matawalu, Jonny Gray and van der Merwe again crossed for tries all of which Ruardhi Jackson converted to cut the gap from 34 points at the break to 13 with 20 minutes to go.
A Michalak penalty steadied the ship for the a and then Giteau, who started at centre and ended up at flyhalf, scampered over for his second try to round off a magnificent match.
Tries: Delon Armitage, Mermoz 2, Masoe, Giteau 2
Cons: Wilkinson 3, Giteau, Michalak 2
Pens: Wilkinson, Michalak 2
Tries: Van der Merwe, Matawalu, Gray
Cons: Jackson 3
Other matches played on Sunday:
Exeter Chiefs 44-29 Cardiff Blues
Racing Métro 13-9 Clermont