Jonny’s boots hand Toulon vital away win in Cardiff

Jonny WilkinsonA second half try from Steffon Armitage and a kicking lesson from Jonny Wilkinson helped Toulon to their second win in as many games to put the French giants in control of their Heineken Cup group.
They didn’t offer much in attack for most of the game relying on their huge pack to carry the ball while Wilkinson’s boot did the damage when he had the opportunity to clinch the away win so important in Heineken Cup.
In a very physical game, Cardiff did more than stand their ground and would have deserved a losing bonus-point for their effort.
They were outstanding in defence while putting Toulon under pressure every time they went wide but they struggled to break the Toulon well-organised defensive line and the usually reliable Leigh Halfpenny wasn’t on song from the tee with an average three from six to capitalise on their field position.
Toulon started the game well but it was Cardiff who draw first blood with a superb try from a scrum inside their own 22 finished off by Halfpenny.
The Wales full-back missed the conversion but the home side were leading 5-0 after only three minutes.
Wilkinson put the French outfit in front with two penalties but the Blues went into the break in the lead thanks to a Halfpenny penalty just before time.
The two goalkickers resumed their contest early in the second half but Wilkinson was successful on two attempts to put the French 12-11 in front with 20 minutes to go.
As the game started to get loose, Toulon managed to put some good phases together to go on the front foot and see Armitage crossing the line to increase the lead to 19-11.
Halfpenny made it a five-point game with five minutes to go with his third penalty of the game but Wilkinson sealed it with his fifth penalty of the game.
For Cardiff Blues
Try: Halfpenny
Penalties: Halfpenny 2
For Toulon
Try: S. Armitage
Conversion: Wilkinson
Penalties: Wilkinson 5
Cardiff: Halfpenny; Cuthbert, Evans, Roberts, James; Sweeney, Williams; Filise, Breeze, Bourrust; Davies, Reed; Navidi, Warburton, Pretorius (capt.).
Replacements: Kyriacou, Trevett, Andrews, Down, Copeland, Jones, Tovery, Hewitt.
Toulon: D. Armitage; Martin, Bastareaud, Giteau, Smith; Wilkinson, Michalak; Jenkins, Ivaldi, Kubriashvili; Botha, Suta, Fernandez Lobbe,  S. Armitage, Masoe.
Replacements: Orioli, Sheridan, Hayman, Gunther, Mermoz, Lapeyre, Durand, Shaw.
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Attendance: 9,624
Star man: Steffon Armitage – Toulon
NICK VERDIER

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