This article was first published on Café Pacific
Zinedine’s wonder try.
By Jack Gaughan for MailOnline
FRANCE 98 victors have taken on European rugby union champions Toulon in a charity match – with World Cup star Zinedine Zidane scoring a stunning try from his own half.
The two sides played 45 minutes of football and then rugby at the Toulon stadium headquarters on Tuesday.
Christian Karembeu popped a three-metre pass off to Zinedine Zidane on halfway and the mercurial Frenchman looked up and saw a miniscule gap in which to drive towards.
He dropped a shoulder, weaved in between two defenders and from there, just inside the opposition half, space opened up.
Two more trailed in his wake as 43-year-old Zidane moved through the gears, accelerating beyond them before nonchalantly checking back to see if they were giving chase.
They weren’t, this was a lost cause, and Zidane had plenty of space to move into and just one more man to manoeuvre.
That didn’t bother Zidane, however, who was the main attraction at Stade Felix Mayol
Once in possession with that much room there is no stopping him. The final man gave up as the World Cup winner danced past to score.
All rather familiar, nothing surprising. Until it becomes apparent there is no ball at Zidane’s feet, but in his hands. It turns out he’s fairly handy at rugby too.
The last man was Delon Armitage.
All proceeds from the match went to the Association de Pascal Olmeta, a children’s charity, and followed the same pattern as a game two years ago.
Toulon took on Marseille back then, with Eric Cantona turning out as referee.
Toulon coach Bernard Laporte was on hand to officiate, while Didier Deschamps, Marcel Desailly and Robert Pires were all involved.
Pires also went over for a try, teasing the home defence into charging at him before touching down.
Zidane’s weaving was impressive but the defending was charitable on a good evening.
Toulon eventually ran out 30-20 winners in rugby half, while goals from Pires helped France to a 6-3 victory in the football 45.