Toulon begin title defence with win over Bayonne
August 15, 2014
Mathieu Bastareaud takes the ball into contact © Getty Images
Toulon began the defence of their Top 14 title with a 29-15 victory over Bayonne in the season's curtain-raiser at the Stade Jean Dauger.
In their first game as champions, they were level at 12-12 with Bayonne at the break after Martin Bustos Moyano and Matt Giteau had exchanged four penalties each.
Toulon, who had the upper-hand for much of the first-half, made the pressure count come the second 40 as Delon Armitage gave them a narrow three-point lead with a long-range penalty. The away support soon had a try to cheer when Mathieu Bastareaud went over in the 50th minute to make the scoreline 22-12.
Moyano reduced the deficit with his fifth penalty of the evening, but Bayonne's joy proved to be short-lived as David Smith soon grabbed Toulon's second try. However, despite the TMO checking the grounding of the ball, it was lucky to be given as the winger looked to be offside when he started to chase Bastareaud's grubber into the dead-ball area.
Despite late pressure on Toulon's line as Bayonne chased the losing bonus point, the away side's defence stood firm to keep their 14-point advantage.
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