Wilkinson reigns supreme

Jonny Wilkinson clearly and indisputably emerged the winner of the flyhalves in the European Cup final in Cardiff on Saturday, writes MARK SALTER.

It is a little unfair on Owen Farrell, because tactics dictated that Saracens played in the Toulon half, and many of the tactical decisions were taken by his scrumhalf. But he was able to score just two penalties, missing one long-range effort, and made just one memorable break as Saracens were effectively buried.

Wilkinson, who now has only the Top 14 final against Castres next weekend remaining before finally calling time on his brilliant career, converted both Toulon tries from the touchline, added another 'wrong-foot' drop goal and hit two unerring penalties for a personal tally of 13 points. But it was his change of direction and switch pass to Matt Giteau, which ended in a try for the Australian flier, that stood out. Toulon were a man down to a yellow card and under pressure from a scrum deep in their own half when rejected the idea of clearing his lines and made the move which gave Toulon a 10-3 lead at half-time.

Wilkinson dominated Farrell in the semi-final of this competition last year, and while Farrell has come on hugely since then, he will know he has still much to learn. Still the apprentice.