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Top 14, r22: Teulet out-kicks Wilkinson as Castres dent Toulon hopes with 18-12 win

25 March 2011

Toulon fly-half Jonny Wilkinson in action
Toulon's Jonny Wilkinson:
Potentially crucial late penalty
Photo: Michael Paler

Castres 18 (15)
Toulon 12

In-form Castres beat Toulon 18-12 at the Stade Pierre Antoine on Friday night.

Home full-back Romain Teulet kicked all 18 of Castres' points, with Top 14's leading scorer taking his season's tally to 278 as he landed six out of seven penalty attempts.

Top 14 League Table

Five of those successes came in the opening 23 minutes as Toulon paid dearly for ill-discipline, with English lock Kris Chesney capping an unfortunate week by getting yellow-carded.

Two Jonny Wilkinson penalties narrowed the gap back to 15-6 by the break, but the England international missed with two further attempts early in the second half (one hit the post) after Teulet had made it 18-6.

The Toulon fly-half did manage to claw another three points back with 14 minutes to go, and he then earned the Cote d'Azur side what could yet prove a crucial losing bonus when he landed his fourth success with the very last kick of the game.

Castres' victory lifted them (temporarily at least) level on 63 points with second-placed Racing-Métro, and it also maintained their perfect home record as they made it 12 wins from 12 in the league this season. Three of their last four games are away, but having broken their travelling duck at Brive earlier this month they will certainly hope for further wins at SU Agen and Bourgoin.

Leading try and point-scorers in Top 14

Should they do that then co-coaches Laurent Travers and Laurent Labit could be preparing their impressive side for a straight trip through to the Top 14 semi-finals.

The outlook for Toulon is far more precarious, with Philippe Saint-André's side now facing the possibility of being five points adrift of the play-off zone by the end of the weekend. They will, however, take heart from the fact their next three games are all at home, although the opposition is stiff indeed with successive matches against Stade Francais, Stade Toulousain and Perpignan. There is also the small matter of a Heineken Cup quarter-final against Perpignan in two weeks' time, so the moneyed Var side is now in a series of make-or-break games.

They certainly have the players to still make it, especially with the backing of the ferocious Stade Felix Mayol. Whether Welsh international Gavin Henson will feature remains to be seen. The former British Lion was in Toulon's travelling squad for this match but didn't make the bench, and is still awaiting his club debut nearly two months after joining in a blaze of publicity from Saracens.

  Castres Toulon
Tries - -
Conv - -
Pens Teulet (6) Wilkinson (4)
Drop-goals - -


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