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Bastareaud bashes through to put Toulon back in control of Pool 3

Ulster are now seven points adrift of the back-to-back Champions.

File photo of Big Matt.
File photo of Big Matt.
Image: Joe Giddens

Toulon 23

Leicester Tigers 8 

TRIES FROM ALI Williams and Mathieu Bastareaud gave Toulon an avenging victory over Leicester Tigers in this afternoon’s Pool 3 clash in Stade Mayol.

The back-to-back Heineken Cup champions had been derailed in Welford Road last week with a 25 – 21 defeat giving Tigers a foothold in the scramble to qualify from a pool that also contains Ulster and Scarlets.

The win sees the reigning champions extend their lead over Leicester to five points while Ulster will kick off in Parc y Scarlets tomorrow seven points off the pace.

Fullback Leigh Halfpenny kicked 13 points to add to his side’s total, his first penalty of the day coming before All Black lock Williams grounded the first try of the game after a fine break from Maxime Mermoz and Halfpenny fired the hosts 10 – 0 ahead after 10 minutes.

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The Welsh goal-kicker slotted two further penalties before the Tigers got on the scoresheet through Blaine Scully. Though the resulting conversion was missed by Owen Williams and the sides went in at half time with the board reading 16 – 5.

15 minutes into the second period Toulon landed another hammer blow. A period of pressure on the Leicester line was ended emphatically by Bastareaud, picking the ball off the turf and diving under the posts.

Williams would chip in with another three-point penalty within minutes, but the final quarter was a matter of holding on for the Tigers. To their credit, they managed to do just that and frustrated Bernard Laporte’s side, denying them a third try and a chance of a winning bonus point.

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