Giteau's return not enough as Toulon's reign ends

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Toulon’s bid  for a fourth straight Champions Cup crown is over after a 19-16 loss to Racing Metro overnight. 

A penalty two minutes out from the hooter clinched a win for Dan Carter’s Racing Metro, with Maxime Machenaud scoring the winning points.

Matt Giteau made a successful return from injury in the match and was a steadying influence in the game but it wasn’t enough to keep Toulon in the hunt for another Cup.

James O’Connor featured on the wing for Toulon, making 57 metres and beating three defenders in the game.

Peter Betham starred for Leicester in their quarter-final win. Photo: Getty Images

It was better news for capped Wallabies back Peter Betham, who was man of the match as his side Leicester romped to a 41-13 quarter-final victory over Stade Francais.

Betham had a try assist and played a vital role in his side’s victory, teaming up with England international Manu Tuilagi in the centres.

The Tigers are through to their first Champions Cup semi final since 2009 and will host Racing in that clash in a fortnight’s time.

George Smith’s Wasps were also on the winner's list after snatching a 25-24 thriller in the final seconds over Exeter.

A Charles Piutau try in the 79th drew the Wasps one point down before Jimmy Gopperth’s conversion nabbed the victory and a semi-final berth.

Smith finished with 13 tackles and three turnovers, continuing his run of superb form in the Premiership that has him in the conversation for Player of the year.




Peter Kimlin’s Grenoble stole a one-point win over Connacht to kick on to the Challenge Cup semi finals.

Kimlin played at lock in the match, which earned them a trip to London to face the Harlequins in their final four clash.

Montpellier was the first team through to the Challenge Cup final with a 25-19 win over Sale on Friday night.

Jesse Mogg played at fullback for Montpellier in their final eight win.

James Horwill’s Harlequins took a 38-30 win over London Irish but Horwill did not feature in the match.