Toulon player ratings: Baptiste Serin and Cheslin Kolbe steer French side to a maiden Challenge Cup title

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Toulon player ratings: Baptiste Serin and Cheslin Kolbe steer the French side to a maiden Challenge Cup title Credit: Alamy
Toulon player ratings: Baptiste Serin and Cheslin Kolbe steer the French side to a maiden Challenge Cup title Credit: Alamy

Toulon claimed their maiden Challenge Cup trophy as they beat Glasgow Warriors 43-19 in the final; here is how we rated the players from the clash in Dublin.

15 Cheslin Kolbe: The man just lives for the big games, and today was no different. In past finals he has produced a clutch moment on attack to steer his side to victory, but in Dublin it was his defensive brilliance that really shone through. Kolbe made a crucial tackle in the 47th minute and completed a 50:22 soon after. He stepped in well at first receiver, was solid under the high ball and picked up a try assist for Jiuta Wainiqolo’s score. 9

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Ups and downs

14 Jiuta Wainiqolo: A few woeful moments on defence, including a rather average tackle attempt on Kyle Steyn. He gave the Glasgow winger an easy route to the try-line when he turned his shoulders towards the touchline. Quickly made up for his error by rounding off a stunning try on the switch with Kolbe. An up and down game from the Fijian flyer, but that will matter little to him as Toulon lifted the trophy. 7

13 Waisea Nayacalevu: A stock standard outing for Nayacalevu, who brought his usual high standard of big ball carries, silky footwork and sharp decision-making. The Fijian international was rewarded with a try when he ran a great angle to power over the line while he adjusted well to the early exit of Dan Biggar and Duncan Paia’aua to solidify the midfield. 8

12 Duncan Paia’aua: The Samoan international came off second-best in a tackle on Sione Tuipulotu, forcing him off the pitch just 30 minutes into the game. Up to that point, it was a largely faultless performance on both sides of the ball, making his tackles, carrying strongly and shifting the ball on. 6

11 Gabin Villiere: Another victim of the seemingly endless number of head-related injuries in this match, but Villiere did manage an hour of action before being forced off. He linked up well with Kolbe on the counter and up and unders while he was a real pest over the ball. A real shame that his struggles to remain fit continues to take its toll. 6

10 Dan Biggar: The Wales international was forced off the pitch just four minutes into the final with a suspected concussion and never returned. N/A

Brilliant Baptiste

9 Baptiste Serin: The scrum-half was in scintillating form in the final, scoring twice and assisting another in a box office first-half performance that set the tone for Toulon. His only error was his long-range shot at goal that he missed and, unfortunately, he was helped off the pitch at the break after a sublime 40-minute stint which put his side into a lead that proved to be unassailable. 9

8 Sergio Parisse: Of course, he scored in the final European match of his illustrious career. The veteran number eight hardly put a foot wrong all game as he continued to be a safe lineout option and was vital to the pressure Toulon put on Glasgow’s throws. 8

Outstanding Ollivon

7 Charles Ollivon: Glasgow’s lineout struggled throughout the match, and much of that was due to the French flanker’s incredible performance in the set-piece. His impact did not stop there as he worked tirelessly on defence and almost got his reward with a try with his sharpness to pick off the Glasgow throw and dived over the line, only for it to be chalked off. A brilliant match from the captain, who guided the side to their first Challenge Cup trophy. 8

6 Cornell du Preez: A standout performance that won’t steal the headlines, but blindside flanker just never stopped. He led the way on defence topping the tackle count in the encounter and thundered into rucks clearing out Glasgow bodies. His only real error was when he spilt the ball from an overthrown lineout, which the Warriors scored from, but his work-rate in the final overshadows his one hiccup. 7

5 Brian Alainu’uese: Another player whose work-rate set the platform for Toulon’s success on attack. He got stuck into the breakdowns, and his carries regularly drew in defenders while he showed off his soft skills with five passes. 6

Setting the platform

4 Mathieu Tanguy: Much like his second-row partner, Tanguy simply ticked the boxes for Toulon, making his carries and tackles while also coming up with a turnover. 6

3 Beka Gigashvili: Got the better of Jamie Bhatti in the scrums, made his tackles, cleared out rucks and carried well. A classic Georgian tighthead performance which set his side up nicely in the match. 7

2 Teddy Baubigny: Just one of his lineout throws went astray in what was a solid shift from the hooker. He was busy defensively, making all seven of his tackles and winning a turnover. Christopher Tolofua replaced Baubigny early in the first half after a sound performance from the starting hooker. 7

1 Dany Priso: The other side of Toulon’s powerful scrum, Priso also made some excellent contributions on defence, throwing his weight around superbly. 6

Replacements: Ihaia West simply slotted in and filled the void of Biggar brilliantly, rounding off the last try to put the cherry on top. Benoit Paillauge wasn’t as box office as Serin but hardly put a foot wrong, while Matthieu Bastareaud was solid enough in his return to the centres. Overall, the replacements stepped up in the crunch moments to seal the victory. 8

READ MORE: Challenge Cup: Sergio Parisse scores as Toulon dominate out of sorts Glasgow Warriors in one-sided final

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