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Dublin: 13 °C Friday 20 April, 2018

Sexton gains revenge over Wilkinson as Racing see off Toulon

The Irish out-half kicked nine points for the Parisians in their home win over the European champions.

Jonny Sexton and Racing Métro returned to winning ways.
Jonny Sexton and Racing Métro returned to winning ways.
Image: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

JONNY SEXTON WAS on the winning side against Toulon, and Jonny Wilkinson, at Stade Yves-du-Manoir this evening.

Sexton kicked three penalties and set up a try for winger Marc Andreu as Racing Métro defeated the Heineken Cup champions 14-3 in the Top 14 encounter.

The Irish out-half put his team 3-0 up after three minutes as he slotted over a penalty from just outside the 22 and to the right of the posts. The Parisian side’s forwards had the better of the Toulon scrum for most of the evening and earned another kick at the posts, which Sexton converted, on 21 minutes.

Toulon, who arrived in Paris with a team full of international stars, responded positively and Wilkinson reduced the deficit to 6-3 with a 28th minute penalty. Sexton had the opportunity to stretch the lead to six points just before his break after Juan Smith was pinged for a high tackle. His kick drifted wide and there was further bad news over half-time oranges as the home side lost the services of centre Jamie Roberts.

The turning point of the match arrived on 47 minutes when South African lock Bakikies Botha was sent to the sin bin. Racing’s Masi Matadigo cleaned Toulon scrum-half Michael Claassens out in the tackle and Botha delivered instant retribution. His rash reaction cost Wilkinson a shot at the posts and reduced the visitors to 14 men.

Racing made the man advantage count as they drove a maul deep into the Toulon 22. Maxime Machenaud found Sexton on his shoulder and the Irishman spun a superb, bullet pass to Andreu. The winger stepped inside fullback Delon Armitage and dived over.

Sexton missed that conversion, on 54 minutes, but knocked over a penalty seven minutes later to stretch the advantage to 14-3. The closest Toulon came to securing a late bonus point was through an Armitage break. He sent Drew Mitchell scampering up the ring wing but he was bundled out by two Racing players, three metres from the line.

The win was fitting revenge for Racing and their irish out-half following a 41-14 reversal at the hands of Toulon back in August.

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Patrick McCarry

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