RUGBY FANS HAVE always enjoyed debating how the best club teams in Europe would get on against their Super Rugby counterparts and last night we got an intriguing head-to-head battle to add to that argument.
As back-to-back European champions Toulon are easily the best club side the northern hemisphere have to offer and while The Sharks didn’t win the Super Rugby title last year, they did make the semi-finals.
It was obviously a lucrative friendly for the French club but owner Mourad Boudjellal will have been disappointed with the result as his expensive squad were out-muscled 12-10 by the visitors.
Both sides had strong XV’s and while there were a few absentees, you would have thought that Toulon would have been able to pull through.
Fred Zeilinga kicked the winning penalty with eight minutes to go and despite Toulon wing David Smith scoring the only two tries of the game, the home side couldn’t respond.
15 Juan Martin Hernández, 14 Joshua Tuisova, 13 Bryan Habana, 12 Jimmy Yoboo, 11 David Smith, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, 6 Gerhard Vosloo, 5 Jocelino Suta, 4 Ali Williams, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Jean-Charles Orioli, 1 Xavier Chiocci
Substitutes: 16 Matias Cortese, 17 Florian Fresia, 18 Corentin Braendlin, 19 Steffon Armitage, 20 Virgile Bruni, 21 Ulupano Seuteni, 22 Eric Escande, 23 Karim Bougherara, 24 Andy Cramond, 25 Stephane Munoz
15 SP Marais, 14 S’bura Sithole, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Renaldo Bothma, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Monde Hadebe, 20 Marco Wentzel, 21 Etienne Oosthuizen, 22 Andre Esterhuizen, 23 Paul Perez, 24 Odwa Ndungane, 25 Conrad Hoffmann, 26 Fred Zeilinga
Hopefully more of these friendlies are organised in the future. It would be great to see one of the provinces host a Super Rugby team in a midweek friendly.
Jimmy Gopperth’s New Zealand Schools team was the most absurdly talented side imaginableLeinster won’t be playing their Champions Cup quarter-final on Good Friday after all