FULL-TIME: London Irish 13 Toulon 19By Alan Manicom
December 12, 2010
Jonny Wilkinson kicked 14 points as his Toulon side condemned London Irish to their sixth straight defeat in all competitions.
And despite an excellent try by Delon Armitage, Exiles now have a mountain to climb if they are to qualify from Pool 3 of the Heineken Cup.
Ryan Lamb converted Armitage's try and kicked a penalty, while his replacement Dan Bowden secured a bonus point with a late penalty.
But Toulon led from the moment Wilkinson booted over the first of four penalties and probably should have scored more than their solitary try by winger Rudi Wulf.
Irish will now need to win all their remaining three games - away to Toulon next Saturday and at home to Ospreys and away to Munster in the New Year - if they are to have any chance of making the quarter-finals.
To see how today's game at Madejski Stadium unfolded, just click below.
Exiles made five changes to the team that started last Saturday's 23-14 defeat at home to Leicester Tigers.
Bob Casey, James Buckland were both recalled, while Sailosi Tagicakibau, Seilala Mapusua and Steffon Armitage got the nod after coming on as replacements last weekend.
Kieran Roche, Topsy Ojo, George Stowers and Dan Bowden dropped to the bench, while David Paice is out for the next two months with ankle-ligament damage.
Despite feeling under the weather, Jonny Wilkinson started at fly-half for Toulon.
The cash-flush French club travelled across the Channel without loose forwards Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe and George Smith, but the starting 15 featured former England and London Irish wing Paul Sackey, Springbok No.8 Joe van Niekerk and All Black prop Carl Hayman.
London Irish: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Jonathan Joseph, 13 Elvis Seveali'i, 12 Seilala Mapusua, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 Chris Hala'ufia, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Richard Thorpe, 5 Bob Casey, 4 Nick Kennedy, 3 Faan Rautenbach, 2 James Buckland, 1 Clarke Dermody (captain).
Replacements: 16 Brian Blaney, 17 Alex Corbisiero, 18 Paulica Ion, 19 Kieran Roche, 20 George Stowers, 21 Topsy Ojo, 22 Dan Bowden, 23 Darren Allinson.
Toulon: 15 Benjamin Lapeyre, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Geoffroy Messina, 12 Gabi Lovobalavu, 11 Rudi Wulf, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Pierre Mignoni, 8 Joe van Niekerk, 7 Joe El Abd, 6 Olivier Missoup, 5 Dean Schofield, 4 Kris Chesney, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Sebastien Bruno, 1 Saimone Taumoepeau.
Replacements: 16 Mickael Ivaldi, 17 Benjamin Basteres, 18 Mehdi Merabet, 19 Christian Loamanu, 20 Thomas Sourice, 21 Tom May, 22 Laurent Magnaval, 23 Jocelino Suta.
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)