Volavola helps Racing spoil Toulon’s presentation

Ben Volavola in action for Racing 92. The Flying Fijians playmaker was instrumental in his side's win. Picture: supersport.com

Fiji’s Ben Volavola helped Racing 92 beat Toulon 31-14 in the French Top 14 to spoil Wales fly-half Dan Biggar’s presentation at Stade Mayol crowd on Sunday.

Biggar, 33, arrived on the Mediterranean coast earlier this week after a mid-season move from Northampton Saints and was shown off to the home supporters before their fourth defeat in six games, which leaves his new side in ninth place in the table.

Outside-half Volavola crossed on the hour mark for the Parisians, who move up to second, five points behind top of the table Toulouse, before two rounds of the Champions Cup which start next weekend.

Biggar spoke impeccable French prior to kick-off and missed out on a debut after only returning to training this week from a knee injury suffered in October.

He witnessed a turgid first half with the visitors leading 9-6 at the break as Toulon scrum-half Baptiste Serin and Racing’s Antoine Gibert trading penalty goals.

Former Ospreys fly-half Biggar was seen taking notes in the stand and his outfit’s performance failed to improve after the interval as Teddy Iribaren, Olivier Klemenczak and Volavola, for his first try of the season, scored for the away side.

Georgia prop Beka Gigashvili claimed Toulon’s only points of the second 40 minutes with a try as they prepare to head to Zebre in the second-tier Challenge Cup next Saturday, when Biggar could make his club debut.

“Dan Biggar can bring something to us but he has to have players around him fighting for each other,” said Toulon coach Pierre Mignoni.

“We’ve said certain things to each other, we can’t accept what we did tonight. In this sport, as in life, you need a lot of humility. Did we have any humility tonight? No.”

Earlier, a last minute try from Fiji centre Vilimoni Botitu gave Castres a nail-biting 26-22 victory over fellow strugglers Pau.

Last season’s runners up Castres move up one place to eleventh in the table, trading places with Pau who took a defensive bonus point from the game.

On Saturday, England back-rower Jack Willis crossed on his maiden Toulouse start as the league leaders hammered Perpignan 34-13.

France captain Antoine Dupont was a second-half substitute for the record 21-time champions after the scrum-half won an appeal against a month ban for a red card during the win over South Africa on November 12.

Former New Zealand winger George Bridge scored on his Montpellier bow as his side lost 19-14 at Clermont and the Top 14 champions stayed in fifth despite defeat.

La Rochelle lost 27-14 at Stade Francais seven days out from starting the defence of their Champions Cup title when they play Northampton.

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