Heineken Cup: Jonny Wilkinson delighted to earn final chance

Last Updated: 28/04/14 8:32am

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Toulon's Jonny Wilkinson and Steffon Armitage are delighted to be through to the Heineken Cup final.

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Jonny Wilkinson's importance to Toulon shone through yet again as he kicked them to a 24-16 Heineken Cup semi-final victory over Munster in Marseille.

The English fly-half converted six of his seven penalty attempts and also dropped a first-half goal to leave his French club just one win away from retaining their European title.

It could prove to be the perfect finish to Wilkinson's career as the May 24 final against Saracens in Cardiff comes on the eve of his 35th birthday.

"It was a hell of a game. You're just in danger everywhere on the field because you give away a penalty, you turn the ball over... Five points was just not enough, at the end the eight was almost not enough, it's just relentless," said a relieved Wilkinson afterwards.

"Munster go for you and even in defence, they hold you up and they've got so much technique and power up their sleeves. They've got good speed and skills.

"Today was a game where we had to cover everything and be switched on and it takes your energy away."

Wilkinson kicked 15 points and fellow Englishman Delon Armitage weighed in with a 55-metre penalty on the stroke of half-time to give the hosts a 18-9 interval lead.

Despite trailing from start to finish, Munster dug deep in their bid to overhaul Toulon in an absorbing second period.

Ian Keatley converted Simon Zebo's 53rd-minute try to add to his three earlier penalties, but Wilkinson's opposite number missed a long range penalty to put them ahead and they were hampered by Keith Earls' subsequent sin-binning.

Farrell rematch

Wilkinson, who decisively split the posts in the 65th and 80th minutes, will come up against the current holder of the England No 10 jersey - Owen Farrell - in next month's decider.

Farrell helped Saracens demolish Clermont Auvergne 46-6 in their semi-final at Twickenham, the same venue where Wilkinson kicked Toulon past Sarries in the last four 12 months ago.

Asked about the rematch, he said: "We didn't get a chance to see the Saracens game (yesterday), but we've heard nothing but great stuff about them. They're top of the English league, they're consistent, aggressive and have the skills.

"To beat Clermont by that sort of score is unheard of. There's an enormous amount of respect there (for them). It's a big end to the season for both teams and we just want to try and end it on the right note."

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