Glasgow Warriors v Toulon

An all-star Toulon side spearheaded by Jonny Wilkinson ended the Warriors’ Amlin Challenge Cup aspirations after they ran out 15-8 winners.

Toulon led 6-3 at half-time thanks to two kicks from their captain and in the second period, Wilkinson continued his good form and slotted over three more times to give Toulon the victory.

Glasgow attempted a late comeback and scored a try from Fusaro but failed to capitalise on their pressure late on.

The Warriors lined up with James Eddie and Ruaridh Jackson who made their 100th appearances for Glasgow.

Bernard Laporte fielded an all star cast with Matt Giteau and Andrew Sheridan among the household names who began the game.

Glasgow were stout in defence in the early exchanges but gave away a number of penalties with Wilkinson presented with his first penalty after 17 minutes.

With a hostile Scotstoun at his back, the World Cup winner skewed his kick wide.

Glasgow were buoyed by the raucous atmosphere and the crowd were on their feet after 19 minutes when Stuart Hogg made a scintillating break but he failed to provide the perfect pass to Niko Matawalu who was on the overlap.

Despite missing with his first attempt, Jonny Wilkinson made no mistake with his second, firing between the sticks after 27 minutes.

Moments later, Glasgow had their first kickable penalty and Jackson banged the ball over to draw level.

Toulon didn’t wait long before they increased their scoring tally and led at the break following a second Wilkinson penalty.

Half-time: Glasgow 3-6 Toulon

After the break, the Toulon fly-half put his side six points in front with a simple penalty.

Toulon were in the ascendency and they were soon 12-3 up following another Wilkinson penalty.

To try and turn things around, Gregor Townsend made a raft of Glasgow changes with Cusiter, Weir and Kalman replacing Pyrgos, Jackson and Low.

Toulon were then reduced to 14 men with Sebastian Tillous-Borde sent to the sin-bin for a late tackle on Alex Dunbar.

With Glasgow having an immediate chance to pile the pressure on Toulon, Weir booted his kick for touch into the dead ball area stunting the Warriors momentum.

That error allowed the visiting side to attack and put the Warriors on the back foot once again.

With Glasgow under pressure, Niko Matawalu deliberately knocked the ball on and he was yellow carded for his troubles.

Wilkinson then compounded Glasgow’s woes by kicking the penalty giving his side a 15-3 lead.

The Warriors were not out of the match though and battled back strongly scoring a try through Chris Fusaro.

After a 14 man drive from a line-out, Glasgow camped themselves on the French side’s try line before the captain crossed the white line.

The referee looked to the TMO for confirmation but the try was awarded.

Duncan Weir stepped up to take the conversion and slid it agonisingly wide.

With Glasgow pressing for more points, Townsend made more changes with Richie Vernon taking to the field at centre for the first time in his Warriors career.

As the game drew to a close, Toulon’s talisman Wilkinson had the chance to put the game out of sight but he slammed a penalty wide from 38 metres.

With the French side leading 15-8, Glasgow fought valiantly to edge their way back into the game and although they were camped on Toulon’s tryline for the remaining eight minutes, it was a case of too little, too late.

Glasgow Warriors: S Hogg, S Maitland, S Lamont, A Dunbar, N Matawalu, R Jackson, H Pyrgos, R Grant, P MacArthur, M Low, L Nakarawa, T Swinson, J Eddie, C Fusaro (capt), R Wilson.

Replacements: D Hall, JYanuyanutawa, E Kalman, T Ryder, T Holmes, C Cusiter, D Weir, R Vernon.

Toulon: D. Armitage, D. Mitchell, Bastareaud, Giteau, D. Smith, Wilkinson, Tillous-Borde, Sheridan, Burden, Hayman, Botha, Suta, J. Smith, van Niekerk, S. Armitage.

Replacements: Orioli, Chiocci, Chilachava, Bruni, Wulf, Mermoz, Michalak, Mikautadze.

Referee: JP Doyle (RFU

live commentary 3:40 PM Saturday 18 Jan 2014

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