Top 14 Orange
Habana fails to shine on Toulon debut
ESPN Staff
July 28, 2013
Bryan Habana speaks during his official presentation as new player of French Top 14 European champions Toulon, July 24, 2013
Bryan Habana was unveiled as a Toulon player earlier this week © Getty Images

Bryan Habana's Toulon debut passed without any fanfare, a sharp contrast to the hype surrounding his arrival at the Top 14 side earlier this week.

Habana played the last 10 minutes of Toulon's pre-season friendly against Bordeaux-Begles on Friday evening but failed to score. It was a limp performance from the Heineken Cup champions with Jonny Wilkinson missing four of his six conversions.

Toulon, who were without the likes of Andrew Sheridan, Chris Masoe, Ali Williams, Frederic Michalak, Maxime Mermoz, Alexis Palisson and Rudi Wolf, found themselves 20-12 down at the break but eventually managed to beat their fellow Top 14 side 34-23. In total they ran in six tries with Delon Armitage grabbing a brace alongside scores from Jean-Charles Orioli, Matt Giteau, Konstantin Mikautadze and a penalty try.

Elsewhere in the pre-season friendlies, Clermont Auvergne suffered a shock 23-14 defeat to Top 14 new boys Oyonnax. The newcomers were 20 points to the good at the break with a penalty try and scores from Jean-Francois Coux and Benjamin Urdapilleta helping them to their total. Regan King and Morgan Parra crossed for Clermont in the second 40 but it proved to be in vain.

And in the other pre-season games, Montpellier, complete with Scottish international Jim Hamilton, thrashed Brive 31-6 and Castres edged past Perpignan 14-12. Biarritz were also in action and beat Olly Barkley's Grenoble 15-12.

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