HC: Toulon 24, Munster 16

Toulon, the reining champions take on Munster – who have tasted European Cup glory themselves twice – in the first semifinal match at the Stade Vélodrome.
The french side are so far unbeaten in the competition and received good news earlier in the week when star flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson, as well as South African-born hooker Craig Burden, were declared fit. Toulon will be taking form as well as historical impotence into the clash, at the same stage last year the french side dispatched fellow semifinalists Saracens, which saw them march on to take the Cup. Munster are not strangers to the business end of the European cup either, having played in 11 semifinals in their hostory – a record they took from Toulon.
In a knock-out game such as this it is very hard to call a out-and-out favorite, however Toulon coach Bernard Leporte believes his team’s home ground advantage will be the thing that edges it for them. “The match is 51-49 percent in our favour, we have a slight advantage in that we are playing at home, at the Velodrome, even if one recalls that last year we went away to Saracens in the semi-finals and won,” Laporte said.
Munster’s Paul O’Connell realises the challenge that they are up against in facing the giants of French rugby, comparing them to the All Blacks. The caliber of players on the Toulon side is something that could make Munster’s day very difficult. They will have to get the better of the likes of Jonny Wilkinson, Matt Giteau, Bryan Habana, Drew Mitchell, Carl Hayman, Juan Smith and Juan Fernandez Lobbe if they are to keep their European dream alive.
“It’s kind of like the feeling you get the week before you play New Zealand,” O’Connell said. “If you’re not [at your best], if guys aren’t prepared to go beyond where they’ve been all season, you know you could almost end up getting embarrassed. “Mentally they’re probably a team that will challenge you more than any other.
“They can push you around the place with sheer power but they’ve incredible talent then, incredible steppers, incredible footballers and they’ve obviously got massive gas all over the pitch as well. 
“Not just in the backline but in the pack as well. You know you’re going to be challenged every single way possible.”
Toulon: : 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Drew Mitchell, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Jonny Wilkinson (captain), 9 Sebastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Steffon Armitage, 7 Juan Fernandez Lobbe, 6 Juan Smith, 5 Jocelino Suta, 4 Danie Rossouw, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Xavier Chiocci.
Replacements: 16 Jean-Charles Orioli, 17 Alexandre Menini, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Virgile Bruni, 20 David Smith, 21 Maxime Mermoz, 22 Michael Claassens, 23 Konstantine Mikautadze.
Munster:  15 Felix Jones, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 James Downey, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Conor Murray, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Sean Dougall, 6 CJ Stander, 5 Paul O’Connell, 4 Dave Foley, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Damien Varley (captain), 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Duncan Casey, 17 James Cronin, 18 John Ryan, 19 Donncha O’Callaghan, 20 Tommy O’Donnell, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Denis Hurley.
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant Referees: JP Doyle, Luke Pearce 
TMO: Graham Hughes 

  41 comments for “HC: Toulon 24, Munster 16

  1. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 4:27 pm
    Should be another cracker……
  2. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 4:30 pm
    Habana can achieve a double winning the Super Rugby trophy with the Bulls and the HC with Toulon….
  3. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 4:32 pm
    Bad start for Toulon as Smith knock the ball 7 meters from their line
  4. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 4:33 pm
    Penalty in the scrum gives Toulon a change to get out of their 22
  5. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 4:36 pm
    Wilkinson with the first penalty of the game and to give Toulon the early lead….


    Toulon lead 3-0

  6. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 4:39 pm
    Munster gets a penalty straight away to level the score again….


    Keatley don’t miss and scores are level 3-3

  7. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 4:44 pm
    Munster bullying Toulon on defence and win field with the pressure they apply
  8. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 4:46 pm
    Scrum is a mess not one of three has gone without penalty or free kick…..
  9. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 4:49 pm
    High tackle by Munster and another penalty for Toulon which Wilkinson can slots over…..


    Toulon lead 6-3 after 18 min

  10. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 4:53 pm
    Another scrum and another penalty against Munster……referee gives the Munster prop a warning….

    Toulon kicks for attacking lineout

  11. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 4:54 pm
    Penalty Toulon after Munster sacked the maul and this one is kickable for Wilkinson……
  12. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 4:56 pm
    Wilkinson miss a sitter
  13. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 4:58 pm
    Penalty Toulon again for offside at the ruck by Munster….


    Toulon leads 9-0 after 26 min

  14. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 5:06 pm
    Munster turn on the speed and gets a penalty inside Toulon 22…..

    Toulon gets a yellow card for the stupidest decision by Barnes…. player goes for the ball and knock the player with the knee against his head after his foot touch the ball….this is the dumbest decision I have see from a referee ever……

    Meanwhile Munster kick the penalty over and pull the lead back to 9-6 and Wilkinson straight away slots a drop goal to give Toulon the lead 12-6

  15. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 5:08 pm
    Ok here come a scrum lets see if this one will finish…..no this time Barnes give the penalty against Toulon……he is one of the referees which I believe should not be on a rugby field…….

    Munster with penalty kick for points……


    Toulon lead 12-9

  16. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 5:10 pm
    Toulon with brilliant defence in Munster 22 and force another penalty with Wilkinson going for points again…..


    Toulon lead 15-9

  17. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 5:16 pm
    Toulon gets a penalty with in their own half and Delon Armitage going for post……

    OVER!!!! Brilliant kick!!!

    Toulon lead 18-9 at half time, no tries yet just the kickers troubling the scoreboard

  18. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 5:34 pm
    TRY !!!!! Toulon !!!!! after Habana charge down a akick and take the ball down field….TMO ………..

    Foot in touch lineout Munster….

  19. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 5:37 pm
    Habana brilliant on defence as Toulon keep Munster in their 22….
  20. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 5:39 pm
    Habana is busy taking the game full on…..brilliant play from the Springbok
  21. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 5:41 pm
    David Smith on for Habana looks like he hurts his leg
  22. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 5:43 pm
    Munster gets penalty from scrum….and they go for the attacking lineout…
  23. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 5:45 pm
    Munster over the line and surely going to TMO…..

    No referee gives the try……WOW….brave call

  24. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 5:46 pm
    Toulon still lead 18-16
  25. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 5:50 pm
    Toulon penalised in scrum looks like Barnes is now penalising Toulon after he penalised Muster in the first half…..

    Muster going for points…….

    He miss it and scores stay the same…

  26. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 5:52 pm
    Toulon silent after that try by Munster and will have to put in a huge effort in now as Munster is on a roll now
  27. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 5:54 pm
    Munster playing a better tactical game and showing off their skills with ball in hand….
  28. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 5:56 pm
    Michael Claasens on for Toulon now
  29. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 5:59 pm
    Munster with all the attack and lose the ball with Toulon kicking forward and no ball tackle by Munster and Earls gets yellow card and penalty to Toulon…..another touchy decision from Barnes…..

    Wilkinson going for points……


    Toulon extend their lead to 21-16 with 15 min to go

  30. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 6:00 pm
    Matt Giteau with a brilliant kick down field and back into Munster 22 after kickoff
  31. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 6:09 pm
    Munster their own worst enemy…firstly going for the line and not for points with 10 min to go and secondly knock-ons spoiling their attack….dumb rugby from Munster in a semi-final
  32. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 6:10 pm
    Munster playing stupid rugby in their own 22 ……almost stand off a try ……..
  33. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 6:12 pm
    Munster lose their lineout and Toulon meters out and Wilkinson tried the drop goal and it is charge down….Munster kick out to half way line
  34. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 6:13 pm
    Toulon with all the pressure now
  35. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 6:15 pm
    4 min to go and Toulon lead 21-16……
  36. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 6:17 pm
    Penalty Toulon for Muster player on the wrong side of the ruck and this will seal it for the champions Toulon……

    Wilkinson going for points…..with 1 and half min to go….

  37. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 6:18 pm
    OVER!!!! Wilkinson!!!!!

    Toulon in the final against Sarries and Toulon lead 24-16

  38. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 6:22 pm
    Munster try a last time to score a try ……..TIME UP!!!!!

    Toulon take the ball off and give a penalty to Toulon to kick it out and win the game and pack their bags for the Final against Sarries in Cardiff

    Great game…what a Semi!!!!

  39. avatar
    Cheetah Glory
    April 27, 2014 at 6:37 pm
    Great match. Makes such a difference that fans can easily travel. Every big game in Heineken is a bit like Lions series.

    Just that extra spice because of 10 000 travelling fans…

    Saracens Toulon a dream final. Expect Cardiff to be swamped!

  40. avatar
    April 27, 2014 at 6:38 pm
    @Cheetah Glory: Gonna be a good one
  41. DavidS
    April 27, 2014 at 9:41 pm
    @Cheetah Glory:

    Well well well

    The boring Seffer side up against Brendon’s Irish orgasms and the result… yet again the boring Boere copiers do the job against the television friendly losers from Ireland.


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