Top 14: Castres shock Toulon to claim French league title
Last Updated: 01/06/13 10:33pm
Antonie Claassen (C) celebrates Castres' victory with Remi Tales (No 10)
Castres claimed a shock 19-14 victory over Toulon to win the Top 14 title and deny their opponents from completing a European and domestic double.
South African scrum-half Rory Kockott scored Castres only try of the game on the stroke of half-time, while stand-off Remi Tales nailed two crucial drop goals in the closing stages at the Stade de France.
Jonny Wilkinson scored three penalties for Toulon and fellow Englishman Delon Armitage went over for a consolation try in added time.
Toulon went into the contest as big favourites but ultimately fell short for a second straight year as Castres secured their first title since 1993.
Neither side managed to assert their authority in the early exchanges, with Wilkinson striking his first penalty attempt against the upright before giving Toulon the lead from a kick in front of the posts.
Kockott levelled the scores on 14 minutes and, after Wilkinson missed another penalty, Kockott dummied his way through the Toulon defence before touching down and converting to give the underdogs a 10-3 lead at the interval.
Toulon were not as lacklustre after the break and Wilkinson sent over two penalties to close the gap to one point, although the former England star did hit the woodwork again with a long-range attempt.
But Castres found themselves in drop-goal range twice in the space of two minutes and Tales knocked both over to leave Toulon needing a converted try to draw level.
Toulon responded by driving towards their opponents' line but Wilkinson lost a turnover before Kockott sealed victory with another penalty. Armitage then went over in the left corner after the buzzer had sounded.