Wilko shines as Toulon hold Stade

Toulon flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson kicked 17 points for Toulon in their 22-all draw with Stade Francais in the French Top 14 opener.

Mention, however, must also be made of Stade’s South African scrumhalf Noel Oelschig, who equalled Wilkinson’s points tally, including a vital penalty to level the scores three minutes from full-time.

Wilkinson opened the scoring when he sunk a third minute penalty only for Stade to cross the whitewash through Juan Manuel Leguizamon. Oelschig kicked the conversion and added a penalty for a 10-3 lead.

Toulon loose forward Thomas Sourice then cut into the deficit with a try from a charge down, but Oelschig kept the board ticking over.

Wilkinson, in his first league match in 10 months, banked two more penalties to take his side into a six point lead. The kicking duel continued, Oelschig successful with a penalty followed by a drop goal, after which Wilkinson landed a monster drop goal to give his side a 22-19 lead with four minutes to go.

Oelschig would, however, have the final word, landing another drop to take a point away from the imposing Stade Mayol.

Post-match Wilkinson said he felt no pain in his knee, the latest of a plethora of injuries which have kept him sidelined.

‘I felt fine physically and it was important for me to play the entire 80 minutes,’ said Wilkinson.

‘I scored 17 points but it’s more important that we haven’t won. The atmosphere was great. At one stage, I took a tap penalty and I had to ask myself what had happened in the stadium, such was the noise.

‘I hope there will be plenty of more moments like that.’