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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 18 April, 2019
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Toulon conceded four tries to Jackman's Grenoble (but still won) before Leinster clash

The champions welcomed Leigh Halfpenny back from concussion, but he picked up a shoulder knock before being replaced.

Image: Colm O'Neill/INPHO

TOULON WARMED UP for their Champions Cup semi-final clash with Leinster next Sunday by recording a measured 24 – 35 away win over Grenoble in the Top 14.

The Alpine club famously beat the European champions when they hosted them early last season, but there was to be no repeat today. Europe’s richest club showed off their wealth of resources from the kicking tee with Leigh Halfpenny kicking them to a half-time lead before Freddy Michalak and Delon Armitage took over in the second half.

Though Grenoble would take a the lead twice in the first half through tries from Rory Grice and Alipate Ratini. However, they were pegged back each time. Matt Giteau’s try made the score 7 – 7 after 14 minutes before the boot of Halfpenny kept RCT’s score ticking upward before Bryan Habana’s try boosted the visitors in to a 14 – 23 advantage at half-time.

Halfpenny was replaced in the second half — medics focusing some attention on a shoulder knock on the sideline. Jackson Willison scored Grenoble’s third try of the day six minutes after the restart. But the missed conversion allowed Michalak to restore a seven-point advantage with a 51st minute penalty.

Michalak’s second penalty came after two long-range efforts from Armitage had pushed Toulon beyond the 30-point mark, clinically punishing errors from anywhere within opposition territory.

Consolation

At 19 – 35, Toulon were out of sight coming in to the final 10 minutes, but there was one last blast from Grenoble with prop Albertus Buckle claiming the consolation of a bonus point fourth try.

The reigning European champions now sit top of the Top 14 as they look forward to an eight-day turnaround before hosting Leinster in Marseille next Sunday (19 April). Matt O’Connor’s men are away to the Dragons tomorrow having opted to keep the likes of Sean O’Brien, Rob Kearney and Cian Healy on ice with a day less to prepare before the crunch semi-final.

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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