FORMER European champions Toulon cast aside a spirited London Irish side 37-17 in an eventful game at the Stade Mayol, writes Cameron Temple.

The loss, which involved red cards for both sides, leaves the Reading based team in third place in Pool Two, three points behind Scarlets in second.

Toulon began as they meant to go on, scoring after just two minutes, as scrum-half Baptiste Serin found a gap in the London Irish defence to score under the posts. They extended their lead shortly after with an Anthony Belleau penalty making it 10-0.

Exiles remained resolute, however, and replied with a try of their own after 24 minutes as Steve Mafi bulldozed his way over the line to take his team within three points of the French side after Stephen Myler converted.

Just before the half hour mark, prop Pat Cilliers was shown a yellow card for illegally bringing down a rolling maul, and Serin's second score shortly afterwards saw Toulon heading into the break with a comfortable lead, albeit Myler cut the deficit to 15-10 with a well-taken penalty minutes before the half-time whistle.

Toulon came out in the second half explosively adding another two tries to their tally within 20 minutes, the first of which came after wing Ramiro Moyano found himself on the end of a well-timed kick and he dived over the line.

Fellow speedster Masivesi Dakuwaqa then spotted a gap in the Irish defence to secure his side's bonus-point, Belleau converting to make it 27-10.

A further penalty extended the lead, but with the game seemingly out of reach of the travelling side, they were given a glimmer of hope when Toulon replacement Theo Dachary was sent off.

But their hopes were soon quashed two minutes later, as TJ Iaone also received his marching orders to even out the numbers.

However, the men from Reading were not done yet and in the 77th minute Ben Meehan’s well-weighted pass allowed Tom Fowlie to stroll over the line comfortably.

Yet, it was only to be a consolation as Toulon replied with a second Moyano try to confirm their victory.