Toulon Tumble Down Table

Toulon coach Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe said his side's 42-33 defeat by Lyon in the Top 14 on Saturday reflected their whole campaign.

The three-time European champions, who won the French league title in 2014, have struggled this term and sit in a surprising 10th place in the table.

The defeat at the Matmut Stadium was their eighth of the season and the club backed by outspoken owner Mourad Boudjellal have conceded more than 400 points in 20 matches.

They have the worst disciplinary record in France's top flight having received 15 yellow and three red cards so far.

"It's the image of our whole season. We're always missing a little something," Lobbe said.

"We were shown two yellow cards, it's difficult to accept. We couldn't have won but we're not even taking a point home with us. It's frustrating."

Despite a positive attacking first-half display, the score was 16-16 at the break as South Africa's JP Pietersen crossed for Toulon and Australian Toby Arnold dived over for Lyon.

Promising young fly-half Louis Carbonnel scored a minute into the second half for the visitors but the home side dominated the remaining 39 minutes, dotting down on three occasions.

Toulon back-rowers Liam Messam and Charles Ollivon both spent 10 minutes off the field for misdemeanours in the half an hour of play. 

Elsewhere, champions Castres failed to win for the first time since December, losing 32-16 to Stade Francais.

Bottom of the table Perpignan won for only a second time this term, beating Grenoble 22-16, and Montpellier overcame Pau 24-15 as both sides finished with 14 men due to two red cards.

In the final game of the day, Clermont closed the gap on leaders Toulouse to three points with a 28-13 victory at Agen who remain in the relegation scrap.

© Agence France-Presse

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