TOULON (31) vs SARACENS (13)
FIT-AGAIN fly-half Jonny Wilkinson gave England onlookers something to think about as he inflicted a first defeat of the season on Saracens in the Challenge Cup.
The 30-year-old kicked 16 points to help ambitious French outfit Toulon to a 31-23 victory against the Premiership leaders.
It completed a satisfactory night for watching England attacks coach Brian Smith and defence coach Mike Ford, who also saw captain Steve Borthwick make a successful return to the action for Sarries following a serious eye injury.
Wilkinson is enjoying a storming start for Phillippe Saint-Andre’s star-studded side after a long list of injuries – and still he believes there is plenty more to come.
“Do I see this as a new beginning for me? Yes,”he said. “I hope it is something that I can keep going and I can last at. I am just enjoying myself and trying to build on my own performances as well.”
It took Saracens almost an hour to breach the Toulon defence when Wikus van Heerden powered over.
By then, however, Toulon had built themselves a steady lead having already scored three times, while Wilkinson had kicked over four penalties and two conversions.
A late interception try from Richard Haughton made for a frantic finale but despite 13 points from the boot of Derrick Hougaard, Brendan Venter’s side failed to claim a losing bonus point.