Dan Biggar's Toulon put the Cheetahs to the sword
RC Toulon secured a comfortable 36-21 victory over the Toyota Cheetahs in their Challenge Cup encounter at the Stade Mayol.
The hosts opened the scoring in the 12th minute through Thomas Salles, who crashed over the line after a period of sustained pressure. Salles duly converted his own try to give Toulon an early 7-0 lead.
Cheetahs’ Rynier Bernardo was shown a yellow card in the 29th minute, and the home side took full advantage of their numerical superiority when Teddy Baubigny powered over for Toulon’s second try just moments later. Salles added the extras to make it 12-0.
Toulon continued to dominate proceedings and added a third try shortly after the restart through Aymeric Luc. The conversion attempt was missed, but the French side still held a commanding 17-0 lead.
The Cheetahs finally got on the scoreboard in the 42nd minute when Marko Janse van Rensburg crashed over for a try, which was converted by Ruan Pienaar to reduce the deficit to 19-7.
But Toulon responded almost immediately, with Facundo Isa crossing the whitewash just five minutes later with a brilliant individual effort that saw him beat Cheetahs’ fullback Tapiwa Mafura on the outside to restore their 24-point advantage.
Just Facundo Isa burning the fullback off on the outside ?
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 1, 2023
Jiuta Wainiqolo then extended the hosts’ lead with a try in the 53rd minute, which Salles converted to make it 31-7.
The Cheetahs fought back and managed to score two tries of their own through Cohen Jasper and Rynier Bernardo, but Toulon sealed the win with a sixth try from Jiuta Wainiqolo in the 67th minute. Salles added the conversion to take the score to 36-21.
Matthias Halagahu was shown a yellow card in the 73rd minute, but Toulon held on for a comfortable victory.
The match saw a number of substitutions, with Toulon bringing on Dany Priso, Christopher Tolofua, Beka Gigashvili, Jules Danglot, and Mathieu Bastareaud, while the Cheetahs introduced Mox Mxoli, Marko Janse van Rensburg, Alulutho Tshakweni, Daniel Maartens, Sibabalo Qoma, and Cohen Jasper.
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