Heineken Cup: Toulon play down Jonny Wilkinson's missed points against Exeter
Last Updated: 07/12/13 8:24pm
Toulon had no qualms with Jonny Wilkinson passing on goal-kicking duties in their hard-fought 14-9 Heineken Cup victory at Exeter.
The former England fly-half missed out on 11 points with the boot before handing the tee to Matt Giteau, although he did slot over a late drop-goal from 30 metres.
Toulon, the holders, sit top of Pool Two following their win, with their earlier points in the contest having come from hooker Florian Fresia's try and a penalty each from Wilkinson and Giteau.
Director of rugby Bernard Laporte was satisfied with Wilkinson's move to hand over the kicking responsibility to his Australian team-mate.
"Three of the kicks he missed were from long range. Jonny is not a robot - he is a human being like everyone else."
"It was only Jonny's decision because he is the captain," said Laporte. "Three of the kicks he missed were from long range. Jonny is not a robot - he is a human being like everyone else.
Laporte said he was satisfied with Toulon's display, adding: "We knew before the start that Exeter can play well but we also played well and the difference was good enough.
Toulon edge past Exeter
"It was important for us to win one game outside of France but the competition is not over yet. We have a number of injuries after this game with Bakkies Botha, Bryan Habana and Craig Burden but that is the way with rugby."
Exeter could take heart from their performance which yielded two Gareth Steenson penalties and one from England Under-20 player Henry Slade.
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"We have only been in the Premiership for four seasons and the Heineken Cup for a couple of seasons. Now we have gone toe-to-toe for 80 minutes with last season's European champions," said Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter.
"I don't think anyone would have been shocked if we had come through on top with a couple of penalties or whatever. You are always disappointed when you lose; I'm disappointed for the players who put so much into the game.
"Often when you put that much into the game you'd like to get something more than a losing bonus point. But the truth is we are not in any different a position than we were before the game and now we have to win two and one of those away from home.
"The pool is still alive for us; one is aware that it is a very tough group where nobody is going to dominate and win every game. So what we have to do now is dust ourselves down and go and do it all again next week."