After 80 minutes of a bitter fight, Toulon won by a very narrow margin on the lawn of Montpellier (18-20) and returned to the level of the reigning French champion in the Top 14 classification.
Toulon had been waiting for this for almost eleven years! Since September 14, 2012, the RCT had never left Hérault with the four points of victory in the Top 14. During the penultimate poster of the 17th day, the players of Franck Azéma and Pierre Mignoni defeated the Indian sign and signed an important success on the lawn of GGL Stadium. A duel which, from the first moments, turned out to be tense between two teams who had more to lose than to win. Former Toulon player, Louis Carbonel trembled on his first attempt on foot, missing the target in the 6th minute. His successor in the exercise on the RCT side and former member of the MHR Benoît Paillaugue had far fewer scruples to open the scoring just four minutes later. Nevertheless, after a foul on the ground caused by a breakthrough from Masivesi Dakuwaqa, the Cistes striker set the sights and equalized. From then on, the two defenses muzzled the two attacks until half an hour into the game. After a new breakthrough signed Masivesi Dakuwaqa, the MHR increased the pressure on the Toulon defense.
Montpellier could not race in the lead
By dint of multiplying the playing time, the Montpellier residents used up the resistance of their opponents and the latter ended up giving in. After grabbing the ball Brandon Paenga-Amosa gave the knockout blow, flattening the first try of the game. However, Louis Carbonel did not have enough success to see the transformation pass between the poles. The Var response was almost immediate. On an action initiated by Brian Alainu’uese and relays signed Ihaia West then Duncan Paia’aua, Waisea was able to combine on the right wing with Cheslin Kolbe to open the way to the in-goal. Thanks to the transformation signed Benoît Paillaugue, the RCT was able to take the lead by two points at halftime. As the two teams started the second half with the ball slipping from their hands, George Bridge made the public of the GGL Stadium stand up. Shifted by Cobus Reinach out of the ruck, the New Zealand winger easily took the advantage over Waisea to reach the in-goal and allow the Cistes to go back in front on the scoreboard. At the hour mark, when the benches began to open up, Jiuta Wainiqolo cooled the atmosphere in Montpellier.
West gives victory to Toulon
Multiplying in turn the playing time near the in-goal, the Toulonnais put the Hérault defense in difficulty. With a little success, Ihaia West was able to shift the Fijian winger to his right. Facing defenders out of position, Jiuta Wainiqolo only had to enter the in-goal to flatten. Before Ihaia West gave the RCT a two-point lead on the conversion, Louis Carbonel left the lawn ten minutes, sanctioned with a yellow card for a voluntary forward on this action. Taking over from his number 10, Anthony Bouthier kept alive the hopes of success for the MHR in this meeting. But, as the last ten minutes approached, after a scrum foul, Ihaia West sounded the death knell. A penalty from the former La Rochelle player who sealed the fate of the meeting despite the goodwill of Philippe Saint-André’s players, who still take the offensive bonus point. With this narrow victory (18-20), the second in a row, Toulon is back up to Montpellier in the standings and has not yet said goodbye to its goal of qualifying for the final phase of the Top 14.