Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Laporte delighted to win in Wales

Toulon coach Bernard Laporte was happy to see his side book an all-important home draw in the Champions Cup quarter-finals courtesy of a 26-3 win over Scarlets.

The tournament favourites, aiming for an unprecedented third successive European crown, crossed for just two tries against a gutsy home team who fought until the final whistle.

A try in each half from centre Mathieu Bastareaud and Springbok wing Bryan Habana sealed the victory as Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny kicked 13 points.

But out-of-favour England flanker Steffon Armitage who was the star of the show, picking up another man-of-the-match award for his work at the breakdown.

"We came here wanting to book a home quarter-final and we achieved that, so I am happy," said Laporte.

"I thought we played well in the first half and our set-piece was dominant. One of our targets was to not to concede a try so that was pleasing as well."

Full-back Halfpenny also admitted securing a home tie back at the Stade Felix Mayol was the chief target of this final pool tie.

"It was nice to come away with the win and put in a performance to get a home quarter-final," said the British and Irish Lion.

"We are looking no further ahead than that in Europe and that will be our focus."

On Armitage's performance, Halfpenny added: "He was outstanding, the turnovers he gets are incredible and how he gets in there. He got us out of trouble when the Scarlets were putting pressure on us."

Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac admitted Toulon's forward power and the contact work of Armitage proved decisive.

"In the first half it was a case of us waiting to see what they were doing and showing them a bit too much respect, in the second half we were a lot better, we restricted them to just one try and seven points and created a couple of opportunities ourselves," he said.

"I thought the penalty count at the breakdown weighed heavily against us and that was hard to counter.

"But the second half was pleasing particularly when you consider the quality of player they were able to bring on.

"Toulon are a great side and deserved their win, our focus now is the Pro12, finishing in the top six and qualifying for this competition for next season."

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph