Toulon 37-17 London Irish: Baptiste Serin double in Challenge Cup win

Baptiste Serin won the most recent of his 33 international caps in Japan at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, when he scored his fourth international try
Baptiste Serin won the most recent of his 33 international caps in Japan at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, when he scored his fourth international try
European Challenge Cup
Toulon (15) 37
Tries: Serin 2, Moyano 2, Dakuwaqa Cons: Belleau 3 Pens: Belleau 2
London Irish (10) 17
Tries: Mafi, Fowlie Cons: Myler 2 Pens: Myler

Former European champions Toulon ran in five tries at Stade Mayol to beat London Irish in the Challenge Cup.

In a Pool Two clash of two late red cards, France scrum-half Baptiste Serin crossed twice before the break.

Flanker Steve Mafi's first-half try helped Irish keep in touch at half-time, when they were only 15-10 down.

But Ramiro Moyano and Masivesi Dakuwaqa stretched the home lead before Irish winger Tom Fowlie's late consolation try, only for Moyano to score again.

Fowlie's 77th-minute try and Moyano's second in the dying seconds came after Theo Dachary's dismissal for the hosts, followed just two minutes later by the second sending-off when Irish's TJ Ioane saw red for a high tackle.

Experienced Irish stand-off Stephen Myler kicked both his conversion attempts and a first-half penalty for an eight-point individual haul, while Anthony Belleau kicked five goals - three conversions and two penalties - for Toulon.

But the visitors never quite recovered from conceding a second-minute try from Serin - and the French World Cup second-string number nine then got his second when Irish were down to 14 men for the first time following a yellow card for prop Pat Cilliers.

Toulon's third straight Pool Two win leaves the French side - European champions in 2013, 2014 and 2015 - in pole position to win the group.

Irish and Toulon meet again next Saturday in the return game at the Madejski Stadium (15:00 GMT).

Toulon: Heem; Moyano, Heriteau, Belleau, Dakuwaqa; Carbonel, Serin; Fresia, Tolofua, Gigashvili, Rebbadj, Alainu'uese, Ollivon, Isa, Parisse.

Replacements: Soury, Devaux, Setiano, Ory, Dachary, Cordin, Cottin, Etzebeth.

Sent off: Dachary (68).

London Irish: Atkins; Fowlie, Campbell, Brophy-Clews, Hassell-Collins; Myler, Steele; Elrington, Matu'u, Cilliers, Maddison, Van der Merwe, Mafi, Cowan, Rogerson.

Replacements: McMillan, Dell, Chawatama, Nott, Donnell, Ioane, Meehan, Cokanasiga.

Sent off: Ioane (70).

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU).

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