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Top 14 Wrap


Lyon consolidated their position at the top of the standings after thrashing Oyonnax while Pau, Racing 92 and Clermont also claimed wins.


Toulon 41-24 Brive
Lyon 52-18 Oyonnax
Pau 16-22 Montpellier
Racing 92 29-13 Bordeaux-Bègles
Clermont Auvergne 33-10 Stade Français

Lyon 52-18 Oyonnax
Matmut Stadium de Gerland, Lyon

Outstanding scrum-half Baptiste Couilloud touched down twice as Lyon maintained their position at the top of the table after a dominant 52-18 triumph over Oyonnax.

The strugglers initially gave a good account of themselves, going 10-up at the end of the first quarter thanks to Ben Botica, who scored a try, conversion and penalty.

Pierre Mignoni’s men hit back, however, and were ahead by the interval when Alexis Palisson and Couilloud crossed the whitewash.

Although Lionel Beauxis and Jeremy Gondrand traded penalties at the start of the second half, leaders Lyon began to increase the tempo.

Adrien Buononato’s side duly failed to cope as quick-fire efforts from Toby Arnold and Couilloud put them out of the visitors’ reach.

Quentin Etienne was then yellow carded for Oyonnax and Stephane Clement, Delon Armitage and Dylan Cretin duly completed the win, despite Curtis Browning’s late consolation.

The scorers:

For Lyon:
 Palisson, Couilloud 2, Arnold, Clement, Armitage, Cretin
Cons: Beauxis 7
Pen: Beauxis
Yellow Card: Lambey

For Oyonnax:
Botica, Browning
Con: Botica
Pens: Botica, Gondrand
Yellow Cards: Ursache, Etienne


Pau 16-22 Montpellier
Stade du Hameau, Pau

A superb first half display was the catalyst as Montpellier re-found their form following an excellent 22-16 victory over fellow play-off hopefuls Pau.

Having lost successive games in the Champions Cup, Vern Cotter sought a response from his charges and they duly delivered, going 15-3 up.

Nemani Nadolo, as Exeter Chiefs found out last week, is almost impossible to stop and the wing got the visitors off to an ideal start.

Tom Taylor and Benoit Paillaugue then traded penalties before Cotter’s men put together another incisive attack which ended in Joe Tomane touching down.

Although Taylor kicked his second three-pointer for the hosts, Louis Picamoles appeared to have secured the victory when the number eight powered over from close range.

However, Pau improved significantly and got themselves back into the contest via Jale Vatubua’s excellently worked try and another Taylor effort off the tee but, despite a late yellow card for Konstantine Mikautadze, Montpellier held on.

The scorers:

For Pau:
Con: Taylor
Pens: Taylor 3

For Montpellier:
Tries: Nadolo, Tomane, Picamoles
Cons: Paillaugue 2
Pen: Paillaugue
Yellow Card: Mikautadze


Racing 92 29-13 Bordeaux-Bègles
Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes

Racing 92 overcame a red card for wing Virimi Vakatawa to get their domestic season back on track with an impressive 29-13 triumph over Bordeaux-Bègles.

Vakatawa was sent-off for a dangerous tackle with the hosts 8-7 down thanks to Simon Hickey’s penalty and Nans Ducuing’s try.

However, it seemed to inspire the Parisians who reacted superbly and dominated the tight exchanges. All their tries in the second period came through their forwards as Bordeaux failed to deal with their opponents’ physicality.

UBB did extend their advantage after 42 minutes via Matthieu Jalibert, but Racing began to assert their authority and Camille Chat added to Teddy Thomas’ earlier try to take them into the lead.

Edwin Maka and Chat then touched down to secure the victory before an ill-tempered game was marred by two further sending offs for Manuel Carizza and Sebastien Taofifenua.

The scorers:

For Racing 92:
Thomas, Chat 2, Maka
Cons: Machenaud 3
Pen: Iribaren
Yellow Card: Iribaren
Red Cards: Vakatawa, Carizza

For Bordeaux-Bègles:
 Ducuing, Jalibert
Pen: Hickey
Yellow Card: Dubie
Red Card: Taofifenua

Clermont Auvergne 33-10 Stade Français
Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin, Clermont-Ferrand

Alivereti Raka continued his fine form to help Clermont Auvergne defeat Stade Français 33-10 and move closer to the play-off places.

Franck Azema’s men once again struggled for fluency throughout but, in the Fijian-born wing, they have one of the most dangerous players in Europe and he pounced on a defensive error by the visitors to score their only try in the first half.

Credit must go to Stade, who put in a much improved display after being embarrassed by London Irish last week, but they were eventually overpowered by Les Jaunards.

Morgan Parra opened the scoring off the tee for the hosts before Raka showed excellent anticipation and strength to extend their lead.

Although Morne Steyn kept Greg Cooper’s team in the contest with a penalty, successive Parra three-pointers towards the end of the first half meant that Auvergne went into the break 16-3 ahead.

Much like the opening to the game, Clermont started the second period on the front foot and, after Siegfried Fisiihoi had been sin-binned, referee Romain Poite awarded the home side a penalty try as their scrum marched towards the line.

Charl McLeod gave Stade some hope going into the latter stages but Parra and Fritz Lee extinguished any thoughts of a comeback.

The scorers:

For Clermont:
Tries: Raka, penalty try, Lee
Cons: Parra 2
Pens: Parra 4

For Stade:
Con: Plisson
Pen: Steyn
Yellow Cards: Steenkamp, Fisiihoi

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