Toulon’s Chris Ashton had an interesting evening in his side’s Top 14 play-off against Lyon on Friday night.
One on hand, the former England international scored Toulon’s only try of what turned out to be a surprise defeat after extra time – on the other, he spurned two glorious opportunities to add to his try count and put a very different complexion on the match.
The first incident happened midway through the first half with Lyon three points ahead. Centre Ma’a Nonu had done most of the hard work, powering through and drawing the Lyon rearguard towards him. He kicked through a gap to find Ashton in space, only for the full-back to fumble the ball just in front of the try line and knock it on.
The second incident was slightly more forgivable, but still should have resulted in a try. Again Ashton found himself in space after a pass from Guilhem Guirado, but the former Saracens man failed to control the ball and knocked it on again.
Ashton would finally get his try in the second half, but two subsequent tries from Lyon earned the visitors a 19-19 draw to take it to extra time. With the two teams still inseparable even after that extra period, Lyon won the match by virtue of having scored more tries. They now move on to face Montpellier in the Top 14 semi-finals.