Toulon overcome Halfpenny to edge out Scarlets 21-20

Leigh Halfpenny contributed 15 out of the 20 points for Scarlets
Leigh Halfpenny contributed 15 out of the 20 points for Scarlets

Toulon 21-20 Scarlets, Stade Felix Mayol

Toulon successfully manged to overcome a second half burst from Scarlets to win their European Champions Cup opener with a 21-20 margin at Stade Felix Mayol on Sunday.

Eric Escande provided a strong start for Toulon after he intercepted a pass from Aled Davies to score the opening try in the fifth minute and soon hooker Guilhem Guirado also crossed over. Fly-half Anthony Belleau kicked two penalties and a conversion as the French side added 15 unanswered points.

Fullback Leigh Halfpenny lining up against his former side for the first time since he left them last season kicked a penalty at the stroke of half time to open Scarlets account and four minutes later Toulon suffered a setback with fullback Hugo Bonneval sin-binned.

Beginning the second half with a 12 point trail, Johnny McNicholl scored an early try in the 41st minute while Halfpenny followed him with a converted try as Scarlets narrowed down the gap with Toulon to just one point.

The Wales international continued his good form and got Scarlets into lead for the first time with his second penalty that came in the 59th minute but replacement Francois Trinh-Duc negated his effort with a three pointer four minutes later. The French side did managed to held on their one point lead as they survived a missed penalty from Halfpenny later on in the game to begin their campaign with a victory.


European Rugby Champions Cup Points Table