Leigh Halfpenny nailed seven of his eight conversions. Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Toulon broke the 60-point barrier against Ulster with a devastating eight-try display

The loss also saw Paddy Jackson leave the field with an arm injury.

Toulon 60

Ulster 22

IT WAS ALWAYS going to be tough for a patchwork Ulster side to go up against the back-to-back European champions on the road but even Neil Doak probably didn’t think it would be this bad.

Despite scoring two tries in the first half and keeping it close early on, an explosive final 50 minutes from the home side saw them win by 38.

It took less than five minutes for Toulon to split the Ulster defence. Drew Mitchell got tackled in midfield but the wing was able to pop the ball to the onrushing Martin Castrogiovanni who rumbled up to the 22.

At the next ruck Sebastien Tillous-Borde hit out-half Nicolas Sanchez in stride and he glided through a gap in the defence to score under the posts.

A few minutes later Leigh Halfpenny extended the home side’s lead with a penalty before Ulster struck back.

Good interplay between Ruan Pienaar and Paddy Jackson saw Ulster break into the Toulon 22, and a few phases later the out-half crossed in the corner to get Ulster on the board.

Halfpenny restored Toulon’s two-score advantage with another penalty before Ulster fought back once again. Flanker Mike McComish was able to crash over from the back of a maul that started from a five metre lineout.

Unfortunately for Ulster, two missed conversions from Jackson meant they still trailed.

And Toulon punished those missed kicks ten minutes before half time after Mathieu Bastareaud was freed on the left wing before finding Bryan Habana on his inside shoulder to run it in.

And five minutes later Bastareaud turned scorer after collecting an offload from Sanchez to power over from close range.

There were further negatives for Ulster with Paddy Jackson and Louis Ludik leaving the field with injury, with the out-half worryingly holding his arm.

Toulon secured the bonus point early in the second half after a clever lineout move that saw Juan Smith work back towards the touchline before offloading for Castrogiovanni to score.

Then Toulon moved into top gear with both flankers, Steffon Armitage and Mamuka Gorgodze, grabbing a five-pointer each following sweeping moves that featured sublime offloads throughout.

There was time for even more misery though, with Armitage getting his second try from the back of a powerful maul.

There were two late consolations for Ulster with Jared Payne racing onto a kick through to score while McComish got his second try before Armitage rounded off the scoring by completing his hat-trick.

From the RDS to Melbourne: An ex-Leinster hooker’s ready for his Super Rugby debut

5 talking points after Munster crash out of Europe against Saracens

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.