Quins de-throned in Toulon
Wilkinson kicks 17 points as French side march into semi-finals
Last Updated: 06/04/12 11:46pm
Jonny Wilkinson: Unerring once again with the boot
Harlequins defence of the Amlin Challenge Cup ended as Jonny Wilkinson inspired Toulon to a 37-8 victory.
The former England fly-half kicked 17 points in a flawless performance with the boot before he went off injured shortly after the interval.
Tries from Sebastien Tillous Borde, Benjamin Lapeyre and former London Irish flanker Steffon Armitage ensured the capital side went home empty handed.
Quins were without key men Chris Robshaw and Nick Evans and they quickly found themselves 9-0 inside eight minutes thanks to two Wilkinson penalties.
Rory Clegg halved the deficit two minutes later but Wilkinson pierced the uprights three more times before the half hour mark.
Things continued to get worse for Quins when Tillou Borde crossed for the opening try, Mathieu Bastareaud supplying the decisive burst before the scrum-half burrowed beneath the posts from the resulting ruck.
The extras meant it was 22-3 at the break, but Quins came out sharper and twice went close to the whitewash with Mike Brown brought down two metres short.
The TMO then had his say as prop Mark Lambert powered towards the line, only for replays to show he had been held up by more than one Toulon player.
That was as good as it got for the visitors as James Johnston was sin-binned following a break-up of a scrum, Matt Giteau effectively ending their hopes when he slotted a 51st-minute penalty.
Toulon then added a second try seven minutes later as full back Lapeyre sliced through from close range after Giteau had switched direction and blindside flanker Pierrick Gunther produced a wonderful offload.
Giteau knocked over the simple conversion to make it 32-3 with still more than a quarter of the game remaining, and man-of-the-match Armitage picked up the try his impressive showing deserved when he drove over from a lineout deep in Quins territory with seven minutes left to play.
Danny Care claimed a late consolation after slipping through two tackles having taken a quick tap penalty after 77 minutes, but it was far too little too late for the Aviva Premiership leaders.