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January 17, 2014
Glasgow Warriors 8 - 15 RC Toulon
Heineken Cup match played at Scotstoun on Saturday January 18th 2014 | No comments
Chris Fusaro grabbed Glasgow's try Glasgow Warriors went down to Toulon in this afternoon's Heineken Cup match at Scotstoun.
The French team led 6-3 at half-time thanks to two penalties from their captain, and Jonny Wilkinson slotted over three more times after the interval to see the visitors over the line.
Glasgow, whose only first-half points came courtesy of a Ruaridh Jackson penalty, attempted a late comeback and scored a try through Chris Fusaro, but failed to capitalise on their pressure in the closing stages.
The home side were stout in defence throughout but gave away a number of penalties in the opening exchanges.
Wilkinson skewed his first attempt wide in the 17th minute, but made no mistake with his second 10 minutes later.
Glasgow had their first kickable penalty on the half-hour mark, and Jackson banged the ball over to draw level.
Toulon did not have to wait long to restore their advantage, though, and ensured they led at the break thanks to a second Wilkinson penalty in the 37th minute.
The Toulon fly-half put his side six points in front with a simple penalty two minutes into the second half, and they were soon 12-3 up courtesy of the Englishman's boot nine minutes later.
Glasgow coach Gregor Townsend made a raft of changes in a bid to turn things around, with Chris Cusiter, Duncan Weir and Ed Kalman replacing Henry Pyrgos, Jackson and Moray Low.
Toulon were then reduced to 14 men when Sebastien Tillous-Borde was sent to the sin-bin for a late tackle on Alex Dunbar.
But the hosts failed to take advantage of their extra man, as Niko Matawalu deliberately knocked the ball on two minutes later and was yellow-carded for his trouble.
Wilkinson then compounded Glasgow's woes by kicking the resulting penalty, giving his side a 15-3 lead.
The Warriors were not out of the match, though, and battled back strongly, scoring a try through Fusaro - the referee awarding the score after looking to the TMO for confirmation.
Weir stepped up to take the conversion and slid it wide, much to the frustration of the Scotstoun crowd.
With the French side leading 15-8, Glasgow fought valiantly to edge their way back into the game and, although they were camped on Toulon's try-line for the remaining eight minutes, it was a case of too little, too late.
Gregor Townsend told glasgowwarriors.org: “I was very proud of the players. I thought they showed what we are about as a rugby team and put their bodies on the line.
“Against a team who are notorious for winning turnovers, our willingness to carry the ball was great and our attacking intent in poor conditions was magnificent.
“We really put Toulon under pressure and I’m just disappointed that we didn’t get anything out of it.
“I was frustrated that we sat off Toulon when we played them earlier in the season but we didn’t today which was really pleasing.
“To hear the crowd as loud as they were was a massive boost.
“Especially at the end, they were magnificent and really made a difference.”