DCSIMG

No big European swansong for O’Driscoll and Leinster

Toulon's French inside centre Maxime Mermoz, center,  is tackled by Leinster's Irish Wing Dave Kearney

Toulon's French inside centre Maxime Mermoz, center, is tackled by Leinster's Irish Wing Dave Kearney

It was a disappointing climax to Heineken Cup rugby for Brian O’Driscoll, who will retire at the end of the season as Leinster went out of the tournament.

Reigning European champions Toulon went on to beat three-time cup winners Leinster in the quarter-final clash at Stade Felix Mayol and will face Munster or Marseille later this month for a place in the final.

Jonny Wilkinson kicked Toulon 6-0 ahead but limped out of the game after Leinster’s Jimmy Gopperth to level by half-time.

However Xavier Chiocci and Drew Mitchell both scored second-half tries while Matt Giteau kicked 10 points to steer the holders through.

Delon Armitage also kicked a penalty while brother Steffon was named man of the match following a dynamic display.

Jordi Murphy grabbed a late try for Leinster but that was too late to rescue the irish side.

Head coach Matt O’Connor said: “We prepared well and I thought we were ready to put in a good performance but we made too many mistakes and you can’t do that against a good team like Toulon, especially away from home.

“At 6-6 we were looking pretty comfortable. Toulon started well and we managed to hold in there for the first few minutes.

“It was pretty even at half-time but then we conceded 10 points very early.

“They grew in confidence that, the fans really got behind them and the momentum went their way.

“They have some big ball carriers who feed off each other and it was pretty unrelenting out there.

“We got ourselves back into it but we’re disappointed with the performance.”

 

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