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Wilkinson trumps Sexton in five-try Toulon romp

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Wilkinson trumps Sexton in five-try Toulon romp
Photo: Boris Horvat/AFP
09:47 CEST+02:00
Jonny Wilkinson brilliantly outshone fellow British and Irish Lion fly-half Jonathan Sexton as European champions Toulon routed Racing-Metro 41-14 in the French Top 14 on Friday.

The 34-year-old Wilkinson played a key role in three of his team's five tries and kicked 16 points as Sexton endured a miserable night.

"We all were very motivated to do well tonight against a very good side like Racing," said Wilkinson.

Wilkinson and Sexton were quickly into action in the first minute when the Englishman's clearance fell for the Irish star who opted for a drop goal attempt which fell short.

From that point on, it was the veteran who was consistently on top.

He played a pivotal role in his team's opening try after eight minutes when his quick off-load released Maxime Mermoz to burst through the middle.

Mermoz found Australian centre Matt Giteau who released New Zealand winger David Smith to complete the multi-national score.

Wilkinson kicked the extras for 7-0.

Three minutes later Sexton, the Lions successor to Wilkinson, kicked his first penalty before Racing had a try ruled out.

Adrien Plante's final pass to the supporting Masi Matadigo was judged to be forward.

For the second week in succession, Toulon lost lock Virgile Bruni to the sin-bin and Sexton took advantage with the resulting penalty to make the score 7-6.

But Wilkinson responded with a drop goal and added another penalty on the stroke of half-time for a 13-6 lead.

The European champions had the match virtually wrapped up in the opening 15 minutes of the second period with two more tries.

First, a fine burst from Mermoz took out three Racing defenders before scrum-half Sebastien Tillous-Borde grabbed the score which Wilkinson converted for 20-6.

Sexton popped over a penalty after Toulon were punished for not releasing the ball.

But that was a brief respite as Wilkinson, with a clever switch of play, set up Toulon's third try for lock Jocelino Suta.

The veteran Englishman again added the conversion for a 27-9 lead.

Wilkinson was at the centre of the fourth try of the night when his pass found Steffon Armitage at speed.

The English flanker found Smith whose inside pass fell comfortably for Giteau to score.

Again Wilkinson added the conversion before his side added a fifth try through Smith.

The Kiwi intercepted a long, raking pass from replacement centre Fabrice Estebanez to sprint the length of the pitch to touch down.

Wilkinson's conversion took Toulon to 41-9.

Toulon finished the night with 13 men after replacement centre Sebastien Bastareaud was sin-binned and replacement Italian hooker Martin Castrogiovanni was red-carded.

Racing also finished with 14 men after lock Karim Ghezal, also on as a replacement, was sent-off for his punch-up with Castrogiovanni.

Hooker Virgile Lacombe, also on as a replacement, scored a late consolation try for Racing.

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