Paris (AFP/APP): Big-spending Toulon were hammered 39-17 by promoted Brive on Saturday who moved off the bottom of the French Top 14 table thanks to a perfect goal-kicking display from Thomas Laranjeira.
Toulon, who have signed the likes of South Africa’s Eben Etzebeth and Italy’s Sergio Parisse for this campaign but are without the pair due to their Rugby World Cup commitments, fell to their third defeat of the season. Fellow new arrivals in Olympic gold medallist Masivesi Dakuwaqa and one-time South Africa international Louis Schreuder both made their first starts for Patrice Collazo’s outfit at Stade Amedee-Domenech.
A minute’s silence was held before kick-off for former French president Jacques Chirac, a former member of parliament for the local Correze region for almost 30 years, who died midweek. Kitione Kamikamica and Franck Romanet crossed and full-back Laranjeira kicked two penalties for Brive while Christopher Tolofua responded for the visitors who trailed 20-7 at the break.
Toulon closed the gap to six points two minutes into the second half as Daniel Ikpefan finished off a sublime, long-range back-line move. Despite Ikpefan’s second touchdown in as many matches Larenjeira, with four penalties and English prop Hayden Thompson-Stringer, with a try, made sure of the victory.
Later on Saturday the pick of the ties see unbeaten table toppers Lyon travel to Racing 92.
On Sunday, second-placed Bordeaux-Begles head to Montpellier and Stade Francais, who slipped to 14th spot due to Brive’s win, host last year’s losing finalists Clermont.