Big Joe’s Toulon fall out of Euro Cup

Joe van Niekerk’s try for Toulon wasn’t enough as they lost 29-25 to Perpignan while Leinster downed Leicester 17-10 in the European Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.

The former Springbok No 8 captained Toulon in their defeat to French rivals Perpignan in Barcelona. Flanker George Smith’s try and pivot Jonny Wilkinson’s boot put the former 11-6 ahead at half time, but Perpignan started the second half strongly with a try through wing Adrien Plante soon after the restart.

Van Niekerk’s score edged Toulon ahead but Perpignan’s 13-point blitz sealed the win. Replacement scrumhalf Fabien Cibray’s try at the death was just consolation for Toulon, who are having a poor 2010-11 season.

Saffa duo hooker Richardt Strauss (who was named Man of the Match) and replacement prop Heinke van der Merwe fronted Leinster’s win over English champions Leicester in Dublin.

Pivots Jonathan Sexton and Toby Flood exchanged penalties for the only points before the break as Leinster led 9-3.

Fullback Isa Nacewa added to the Irish club’s lead with a 48th-minute try while Sexton kicked his fourth penalty for a 14-point advantage. Replacement Rob Hawkins try in the closing stages wasn’t enough for Leicester as they fell seven points short.

Perpignan will now face the winner of the Biarritz/Toulouse quarter-final and Leinster will meet Northampton Saints or Ulster in the final four on 30 April.