Lyon beat Toulon 30-12 to clinch European Challenge Cup

Baptiste Serin's try went in vain for Toulon
Baptiste Serin's try went in vain for Toulon

Lyon 30-12 Toulon, Stade Vélodrome

Lyon went on to clinch their maiden European Challenge Cup title as they defeated Toulon 30-12 in the final at Stade Velodrome on Friday.

This is the fourth defeat in the final of the Challenge Cup for Toulon having previously suffered losses in 2010, 2012, 2020 and now 2022.

Lyon looked threatening inside the first two minutes as Baptiste Couilloud collected a loose ball to dive over but it was ruled out by the TMO as number eight Jordan Taufua was found guilty of a knock on.

Nevertheless, five minutes later, they ensured there was no slip up next time as Jordan Taufua intercepted a pass from Toulon to feed Couilloud for the opening try and Leo Berdeu kicked the conversion to make it 7-0.

The response from Toulon came in the 17th minute as Baptiste Serin made a clever break to dive from close range and Louis Carbonel kicked the conversion to level the scores at the end of a competitive opening quarter.

Berdeu with a penalty goal in the 21st minute put Lyon in front but his counterpart Carbonel missed a three-pointer three minutes later which meant Lyon had a 10-7 lead at the conclusion of the opening half.

Toulon suffered a setback at the start of the second half as Aymeric Luc stuck out a hand to slap the ball away and deny Niniashvili with the line in sight that saw him sent to the sin-bin and Lyon were awarded a penalty try as the gap extended to 10 points.

With the numerical advantage on their side, Lyon further upped the ante with this time centre Barassi diving over after collecting a grubber kick from Berdeu, who also kicked the conversion and a penalty goal in the 58th minute to make it 27-7.

The start of the final quarter saw Berdeu yellow carded for an offence metres from his own line three minutes later but Lyon did well not to concede a point and instead Charlie Ngatai kicked a penalty goal in the 67th minute to make it 30-7.

As Berdeu returned, Ngatai was shown also yellow in the 72nd minute and Cheslin Kolbe immediately went over but with no further breakthroughs for Toulon, Lyon went on to complete their maiden title win.

Team line up:

Lyon: Arnold, Tuisova, Louis Barassi, Ngatai, Niniashvili, Berdeu, Couilloud, Taufua, Sobela, Cretin, Taofifenua, Kpoku, Bamba, Marchand, Taofifenua

Reserves: Ivaldi, Kaabeche, Gomez Kodela, Lambey, Goujon, Doussain, Faingaa, Mignot

Toulon: Luc, Kolbe, Heriteau, Paia'aua, Villiere, Carbonel, Serin, Parisse, Ollivon, du Preez, Alainu'uese, Etzebeth, Gigashvili, Tolofua, Gros

Reserves: Etrillard, Devaux, Setiano, Rebbadj, Smaili, Blanc, Wainiqolo, Isa