Toulon Routs Glasgow 51-28 to Open Heineken Cup Rugby Defense

Toulon opened the defense of its Heineken Cup rugby title with a 51-28 home win against Glasgow Warriors. Racing Metro beat last season’s runner-up Clermont Auvergne 13-9 and Exeter Chiefs defeated Cardiff Blues 44-29.

Centers Maxime Mermoz and Matt Giteau each touched down twice in Toulon’s six-try haul yesterday. After trailing 34-0 at half time, Glasgow fought back with two tries by DTH van der Merwe and one apiece by Niko Matawalu and Jonny Gray. Jonny Wilkinson kicked nine points for the French club before leaving the game with a hand injury.

In Paris, three Morgan Parra penalties to one from Jonny Sexton put Clermont 9-3 up at the interval. Marc Andreu got a second-half breakaway try for Racing which Sexton converted and the Ireland fly-half added another penalty to stretch the lead to four points.

Exeter outscored a Cardiff team featuring five British and Irish Lions by six tries to four.

Edinburgh defeated two-time European champion Munster 29-23 two days ago, when three-time winner Leinster beat the Ospreys 19-9. There were also wins for record four-time champion Toulouse, Scarlets, Castres, Montpellier, Gloucester, Saracens and Ulster.

England and France’s top clubs have proposed a breakaway European tournament to replace the Heineken Cup from next season.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter-Joseph Hegarty in London at phegarty@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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