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Dublin: 4 °C Saturday 14 December, 2019
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Heineken Cup: Toulon jump Sharks as Metro end Edinburgh's challenge

Michael Bradley’s men will not be repeating their semi-final journey of last season.

Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe competes with Sale's Richie Vernon.
Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe competes with Sale's Richie Vernon.
Image: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

TOULON KEPT THEIR perfect start to Heineken Cup’s Pool 6 going with a hard-fought away win over Sale Sharks.

The French side defeated Sale 17-6 at Salford City Stadium thanks to four Jonny Wilkinson penalties and a 29th minute try by David Smith.

Wilkinson was off the mark with two penalty attempts in the opening half an hour of the match but his fellow countryman, Danny Cipriani, missed a couple of place-kick efforts to keep the scores tied at 3-3.

Smith finished off a sweeping move in the corner to give Toulon some breathing room before Wilkinson and Cipriani traded penalties before the break.

The Top 14 outfit boast a backline of Mathieu Bastareaud, Delon Armitage and Matt Giteau but it was a forward pack led by Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, returning to his former club, that closed the game out.

Sale emptied their bench in an effort to find a way back into the contest but Wilkinson added two more penalties to deny the home side a losing bonus point.

No more Scottish adventures

Glasgow Warriors saw their Heineken Cup participation effectively hobbled last night after a defeat against Castres.

A similar story, of three consecutive loses, also did for Edinburgh as Racing Metro won out 19-9 at Stade Yves du Manoir.

Greig Laidlaw put the Scottish side 3-0 ahead after a minute of play but missed two further chances after Olly Barkley had levelled matters.

Argentine winger Juan Imhoff ran in an excellent try on 19 minutes and Barkley added a penalty before Laidlaw finally found his range and left it 11-6 at half-time.

The Scots could not prise the French defence apart early in the second-half and Eddy Ben Arous pounced for a Racing try with 20 minutes to go before a Maxine Machenaud penalty erased any losing bonus point hopes.

Michael Bradley’s side will not qualify for the knock-out stages after reaching last season’s Heineken Cup semi-final at the Aviva Stadium.

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Patrick McCarry

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