Wilko: European success eclipses World Cup win
Updated: Sunday, 19 May 2013 20:08
Jonny Wilkinson described winning the Heineken Cup with Toulon as a bigger achievement than his Rugby World Cup triumph 10 years ago.
Wilkinson captained Toulon to a staggering 16-15 victory over Clermont Auvergne at the Aviva Stadium, kicking three penalties and the decisive conversion following Delon Armitage's try.
Toulon were on the back foot for the majority of the match and their shot at European glory appeared over when tries Naipolioni Nalaga and Brock James put Clermont 15-6 ahead.
But Toulon hit back with Wilkinson landing a third penalty and then Armitage streaking clear after Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe had pilfered a turnover.
Toulon then defended valiantly to protect their lead and Clermont lost their composure, with David Skrela seeing a late drop-goal attempt charged down.
"It is right up there," Wilkinson said.
"In fact, it goes beyond (winning the World Cup) because life is in the now, it is not in the past.
"The next thing you seach for, the next goal you set life just gets better and better if you are in a club as good as this.
"It has been hugely important (to win this). You ask yourselves the questions all the time whether you still merit being there, whether you still deserve to be in teams like this.
"Moments like this give you that opportunity to look at it and realise what an amazing opportunity we all have."
"It goes beyond (winning the World Cup) because life is in the now, it is not in the past" - Wilkinson on Toulon's triumph
The statistics highlight how much Clermont were on top, with Toulon enjoying just 25% of territory and 32% of possession but they tackled like dervishes, making a remarkable 176 to 66.
Wilkinson did not miss a place kick in the quarter-final, semi-final or final and he combined with Mathieu Bastareaud to close down Skrela as the Clermont fly-half lined up the late drop-goal effort.