Big Joe scores twice in Toulon romp
Toulon ran nine unanswered tries past Sale Sharks at Stade Félix Mayol on Sunday to win 62-0 and move five points clear at the top of Heineken Cup Pool 6.
Former Springbok Joe van Niekerk scored two tries while Bakkies Botha featured in the hosts' second row.
Sale's sorry season continues, as they suffered their heaviest ever Heineken Cup defeat while the French hosts gained their biggest ever win in Europe.
Toulon were able to field a fresh front row among the ten changes made from last week's winning side in Salford, even allowing Jonny Wilkinson to drop to the bench.
Sale meanwhile, made five changes, with Mark Cueto moving to outside centre, and Rob Miller taking his place on the wing.
The home side showed their intentions from the off, and it was only the intervention of the TMO which denied two tries that were held up in the early stages. The Sale defence held firm for the first half hour, with only a Freddy Michalak penalty to show for Toulon's efforts up to that point.
But two tries followed before half-time, as Jean-Charles Orioli drove over for the first try, before Michalak added to his earlier penalty with his own try on 36 minutes. With two conversions, Toulon took a commanding 17-0 lead into half-time.
With an early try from Joe van Niekerk after the break, Sale were left with only pride to play for, but their task was made all the harder with the sin-binning of Fraser McKenzie on 50 minutes.
Straight away, Davit Kubriashvili crashed over for the bonus point score, but the playing numbers were levelled soon after, as Simon Shaw walked for a ten minute break.
Both Stefon and Delon Armitage scored during Shaw's absence, while van Niekerk's converted second try after 66 minutes took Toulon through the fifty point barrier.
The last ten minutes saw Rudi Wulf and David Smith add to Sale's woes, with Jonny Wilkinson coming off the bench, scoring one conversion.
Tries: Orioli, Michalak, van Niekerk 2, Kubriashvili, S Armitage, D Armitage, Wulf, Smith
Cons: Michalak 6, Wilkinson
Yellow card: McKenzie
Toulon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Rudi Wulf, 13 Maxime Mermoz, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 David Smith, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Sébastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Joe Van Niekerk, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Pierrick Gunther, 5 Nick Kennedy, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Davit Kubriashvili, 2 Jean-Charles Orioli, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Sebastien Bruno, 17 Andrew Sheridan, 18 Carl Hayman, 19 Jocelino Suta, 20 Mathieu Bastareaud, 21 Juan Fernandez Lobbe, 22 Jonny Wilkinson, 23 Simon Shaw.
Sale: 15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Mark Jennings, 13 Mark Cueto, 12 Johnny Leota, 11 Rob Miller, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Will Cliff, 8 Richie Vernon, 7 David Seymour, 6 James Gaskell, 5 Fraser McKenzie, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 2 Aston Croall, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Tom Cruise, 17 Vadim Cobilas, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 Andy Powell, 21 Cillian Willis, 22 Sam Tuitupou, 23 Charlie Amesbury.
Venue: Stade Félix Mayol
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Paul Haycock (Ireland), Brian MacNiece (Ireland)
Television match official: Simon McDowell (Ireland)