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Saturday’s EPCR Challenge Cup Round 5 game between Biarritz Olympique and RC Toulon will be their first meeting on the European stage since Biarritz triumphed 21-18 in the 2012 final between the clubs at Twickenham Stoop.
Dimitri Yachvili was the Biarritz hero with seven penalties from seven attempts on that occasion, while Jonny Wilkinson kicked all of Toulon’s points with five penalties and a drop-goal.
Toulon have already qualified for the Round of 16 from Pool A, but Biarritz still have plenty to play for in front of the FR4 and BT Sport cameras, being only a point behind second-placed Worcester Warriors, who have completed their schedule, and Newcastle Falcons, who are third.
Other key facts:
- Biarritz have won all four of their previous home games against French opposition in the EPCR Challenge Cup, but have lost all four away games against French teams.
- Toulon have lost just one of their last nine EPCR Challenge Cup games against fellow TOP 14 opposition, the 2011/2012 final to Biarritz.
- Toulon have won each of their last 11 pool stage matches in the EPCR Challenge Cup, with their last such defeat coming against Newcastle Falcons in December 2011.
- Biarritz (56%) and Toulon (53%) rank second and third respectively for possession of the ball in this season’s EPCR Challenge Cup, behind only Saracens (57%).
- Biarritz duo Romain Lonca (118) and Joe Jonas (117) rank second and third respectively in terms of meters per game in this season’s EPCR Challenge Cup. By comparison, Toulon’s best player in this regard is Cheslin Kolbe (64).
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Biarritz Olympique edged out RC Toulon 20-17 in a gripping Pool A clash to secure a home Round of 16 tie with Wasps.
Having led 12-0 in the first half, Biarritz had to rally from 17-12 to claim the spoils against their fellow TOP 14 side at Parc des Sports Aguiléra.
Toulon were already guaranteed top spot in the pool and will now host Worcester Warriors in the knockout stage, but they could not preserve their unbeaten record in the competition.
Some cheeky chips going on in this cracker 👌@BOPBweb level the scores and it's all to play for…
— EPCR Challenge Cup (@ChallengeCup_) April 9, 2022
Biarritz started strongly and powered into a 12-0 lead thanks to tries from Steeve Barry and Henry Speight, with Gilles Bosch converting the former.
However, Toulon fought their way back and were right in it at the break thanks to three penalties from Anthony Belleau.
Belleau added a fourth soon after the break and Thomas Salles’ try gave Toulon the lead on 49 minutes.
However, Tevita Kuridrani‘s score restored parity four minutes later and Bosch kicked what proved the winning penalty on 66 minutes.