Wilkinson kicks Toulon to Top 14 title
May 31, 2014
Toulon secured their second trophy in eight days with an 18-10 victory over Castres in the Top 14 final at Stade de France, with Jonny Wilkinson bringing down the curtain on his remarkable career four penalties and a drop-goal in one last near-perfect performance.
Castres rarely threatened an upset, struggling as much as Saracens did a week ago to make any impression on the Toulon defence, and the longer the game went on the less likely they looked to find a way back into the match.
It was a scrappy stop-start affair with few real highlights and that, allied to his kicks and leadership, meant the attention in the final minutes was all on Wilkinson. His popularity on and off the pitch at Toulon, and the respect in which he is held, was evident as he was mobbed at the full-time whistle.
A symbolic passing on the baton to the next era came in the dying minutes when Wilkinson stood aside to allow Delon Armitage to kick the penalty from almost halfway which finally put Castres to bed.
Castres started brightly and scored the game's only try - and took a 7-3 lead - after 12 minutes when Max Evans gathered his kick over the top as the Toulon backs made a meal of dealing with it.
But after that openings were rare and Castres failed to take the penalty chances when they came while Toulon took theirs. Toulon only led 12-10 at the break but the writing was on the wall.
The second half failed to come to life, Castres' options exhausted and Toulon happy to grind them down. Wilkinson made another tough kick look easy to give them a six point lead and Armitage applied the coup de grace.
Jonny Wilkinson prepares for one of his last kicks © Getty Images
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Mark Williams finally ended his Ronnie O'Sullivan hoodoo as the Welshman secured his place in the International Championship semi-finals with a 6-5 victory in Chengdu
Andy Murray secured his place at the ATP World Tour Finals in London with a commanding victory against Grigor Dimitrov, the man who ended his Wimbledon title defence in the quarter-finals at SW19 last July
Racing Metro coach Laurent Travers has bemoaned a series of failures during Dan Lydiate's time with the club, but insisted the Wales flanker leaves on good terms
Brendan Rodgers has defended two of his struggling summer signings and insisted that they will deliver for Liverpool
Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons admits he has never seen an injury list like the one currently hanging in the Murrayfield physio room