Top 14 - Newspaper Review
Wilkinson hails Toulon turnaround
Ian Moriarty
August 23, 2010
Chris Masoe's try infuriated Toulouse boss Guy Noves © Getty Images

Toulon fly-half Jonny Wilkinson has lauded his side's team spirit after their impressive 13-3 away win over Biarritz on Friday night.

Injury forced Wilkinson to miss Toulon's disappointing opening home loss to Bayonne last weekend but the England international insisted that there was little difference in the two performances from Philippe Saint-André's men.

"I don't know if there was huge difference between the match and the other [last week]," Wilkinson told Var Matin. "Often, it's the little things that allow you to keep your phases going. Against Biarritz, I thought we demonstrated an incredible team spirit. We expended a lot of energy. Our defence was strong and reliable. Now it's all about trying to repeat that kind of level again and again. One thing is sure - our season has truly begun."

Saturday night saw Toulouse go down to Castres 22-16 in sweltering conditions in Beziers, a defeat that veteran coach Guy Noves later put down to bad luck and the referee. Chris Masoe's try on 16 minutes proved to be decisive although replays appeared to show that the former All Black had lost control of the ball going over the line.

"Masoe knocked it on in the in-goal area," fumed Noves in an interview with Midi Olympique. "It's unlucky, we gave away six points and that try cost us another seven. We were too heavily penalised. During the first half hour we conceded eight penalties - the first half killed me. Foul play, indiscipline and balls knocked on."

Meanwhile, France and Perpignan centre Maxime Mermoz has admitted he was "ashamed" of his side's 26-11 defeat to Brive at Stade Amédée Domenech.

"I hope in the future that we'll be more concentrated in our games away from home," Mermoz told l'independant. "It was a half-hearted effort which lacked in organisation and aggression. You have to be switched on when you play away from home. Honestly, I'm ashamed of that performance."


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