19 May 2012

Toulon lose to Biarritz in Challenge Cup final

5:45 pm on 19 May 2012

Former All Black prop Carl Hayman was sent to the sin-bin as his big-spending French side Toulon lost the European Challenge Cup final 21-18 to Basque club Biarritz.

Hayman was yellow-carded for a spear tackle on US winger Takudzwa Ngwenya.

He was quickly followed by English flanker Steffon Armitage, while Dimitri Yachvili kicked a perfect seven penalties to give Biarritz their first piece of continental rugby silverware.

But the influential French halfback was fortunate to still be on the pitch when he landed the winning kick six minutes from time at London's Twickenham Stoop.

Just moments earlier, he had tripped his Toulon opposite Sebastien Tillous-Borde, a yellow card offence which English referee Wayne Barnes missed.

In truth it was a disappointing final of Europe's second-tier competition, but the win also means Biarritz qualify for next season's European Cup while big-spending Toulon, for whom England legend Jonny Wilkinson kicked all the points, were left still waiting for a first European title.