European Challenge Cup: Toulon 19-18 London Irish – Exiles out despite Arundell try

Henry Arundell ran the length of the pitch to score London Irish’s second try
Toulon: (6) 19
Tries: Ollivon Con: Carbonel Pens: Carbonel 4
London Irish: (10) 18
Tries: Tuisue, Arundell Con: Jackson Pen: Jackson 2

Henry Arundell’s incredible length-of-the-pitch try was not enough to keep London Irish in the European Challenge Cup as they were knocked out at Toulon in the quarter-finals.

With the score 19-13, the substitute collected the ball in front of his own try line and ran the length of the pitch to bring his team within a point.

Toulon, who led through a try from captain Charles Ollivon and the clinical kicking of Louis Carbonel, will face Saracens in the last four.

Irish had taken an early 10-0 lead through a converted Albert Tuisue try and Paddy Jackson penalty, but were overhauled after the break.

The Exiles started brightly and went ahead when Tuisue powered over from a well-worked lineout by the visitors.

Baptiste Serin and Agustin Creevy were both sin-binned on 36 minutes, Serin for starting a fight that involved several members of both teams and Creevy for pulling a Toulon player’s hair.

Carbonel got the hosts on the board from the resulting penalty before his mammoth kick from the halfway line left them 10-6 in arrears at half-time.

Louis Carbonel kicks for Toulon
Louis Carbonel kicked 14 of Toulon’s 19 points

He reduced the gap to a single point with another penalty soon after the restart as the rain began to fall at the Stade Mayol.

Juan Martin Gonzalez was then sin-binned for a high tackle on Carbonel with half an hour to play.

Toulon capitalised as skipper Ollivon picked up the ball and charged through between the posts, with the TMO giving the try after the Exiles thought they had formed a ruck to prevent the play.

Arundell produced the moment of the match – one that will surely be shown again and again – when he picked up the ball and sprinted around and past five players over a total of 119 metres to cross the line and bring the visitors to within one point.

However Jackson missed the kick that would have set up an all-English semi-final against Saracens.

Toulon: Luc; Cordin, Septar, Paia’aua, Villiere; Carbonel, Serin; Gros, Etrillard, Brookes; Etzebeth, Rebbadj, Du Preez, Ollivon (capt.); Isa

Replacements: Tolofua, Fresia, Gigashvili, Lakafia, Alainu’uese, Belleau, Wainiqolo, Blanc

London Irish: Parton; Rowe, Rona, Van Rensburg, Hassell-Collins; Jackson, White; Gigena, Creevy, Van der Merwe; Coleman, Simmons, Rogerson (capt), Gonzalez; Tuisue

Replacements: Cornish, Goodrick-Clarke, Hoskins, Mafi, Pearson, Phipps, Joseph, Arundell

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