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Toulouse sealed a key 45-28 bonus-point win over Brive in the Top 14 on Sunday before Toulon beat La Rochelle 27-20 on the road.

Toulouse 45-28 Brive
Stade Ernest Wallon

Toulouse held on to beat Brive 45-28 in a high-scoring Top 14 contest at Stade Ernest Wallon, which puts the former up to third spot.

In a thrilling opening 40 minutes, Toulouse went into the break 24-20 in front as they crossed the whitewash three times to Brive’s two.

Cheslin Kolbe went over on two minutes before Yoann Huget collected a grubber through from Thomas Ramos to make it a 14-3 lead.

Brive though struck back through Julien Ledevedec, who ran a good line to his try, but then it was Toulouse with the response as Ramos this time set up Zack Holmes for a score that made it 21-10 with the conversion. Ramos and Holmes were in superb form as Toulouse’s 10 and 12.

Again though it took no time for Brive to respond as scrum-half Samuel Marques kicked the ball round the last man before going over.

Coming out for the second half it was Toulouse who first added to their tally through Huget’s second score, which made it a 31-20 buffer.

Following a Thomas Laranjeira penalty for Brive it was Toulouse who scored again, this time Ramos’ cross-kick finding Maxime Medard.

But Brive weren’t about to throw in the towel just yet and on 54 minutes Sevenaia Galala touched down on the left wing to make it 38-28.

Both sides had chances in the closing stages but Toulouse defended well in the final 10 minutes to avoid any late drama. In fact they then went up the other end in the final attack, which resulted in a penalty try as Brive knocked the ball out in-goal, handing Toulouse the maximum.

The scorers:

For Toulouse:
Tries: Kolbe, Huget 2, Holmes, Medard, Penalty try
Cons: Ramos 5
Pen: Ramos

For Brive:
Tries: Ledevedec, Marques, Galala
Cons: Laranjeira 2
Pens: Laranjeira 3
Yellow Card: Hauman

La Rochelle 20-27 Toulon
Stade Marcel Deflandre

Toulon jumped up to fourth position in the standings after claiming an impressive 27-20 victory over La Rochelle at Stade Marcel Deflandre.

Despite trailing 17-14 at the interval, Toulon claimed the victory thanks to a Ma’a Nonu try and the boot of replacement Anthony Belleau.

La Rochelle scored first-half tries through Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Pierre Bourgarit, Pierre Aguillon, but ultimately went down to a sixth league defeat of the Top 14 season that leaves them in a precarious position in sixth place.

Toulon, who also scored through JP Pietersen, will be pleased with this win that takes them a point behind Toulouse and two off Racing 92.

The scorers:

For La Rochelle:
Tries: Kerr-Barlow, Bourgarit, Aguillon
Con: Lamb
Pen: Lamb

For Toulon:
Tries: Pietersen, Nonu
Con: Belleau
Pens: Wisniewski 3, Belleau 2

There were also wins for Montpellier, Castres, Oyonnax, Agen and Pau on Saturday as Clermont fell again, their third home Top 14 loss in a row.

Results

Montpellier 11–10 Bordeaux-Bègles
Castres 33–22 Lyon
Clermont Auvergne 12–18 Oyonnax
Stade Français 34–36 Agen
Pau 24-15 Racing 92

Montpellier 11–10 Bordeaux-Bègles
Altrad Stadium

With an inconsistent campaign leaving their play-off hopes in tatters, Bordeaux-Bègles impressed in the first half and had a lead at the break. The hosts did have the advantage on seven minutes through a Ruan Pienaar penalty, but on the half hour mark the first try gave Bordeaux the slender lead. Ed Fidow got them off the mark, with a 5-3 lead going into the second-half.

Fidow doubled his tally within a minute of the restart, stealing possession and going through. The conversion didn’t follow for the second time, and a second Pienaar kick made it 6-10. The visitors were given a worry though with a yellow card shown to Cyril Cazeaux for a foul, with Montpellier pressing the line.

And they made the extra man count minutes later, taking a single point lead with a first try from Jan Serfontein. And that was the way it finished, with Montpellier sneaking a slender 11-10 win.

The scorers:

For Montpellier:
Try: Serfontein
Pens: Pienaar 2

For UBB:
Tries: Fidow 2
Yellow Card: Cazeaux

Castres 33–22 Lyon
Stade Pierre-Fabre

Benjamin Urdapilleta was in good form in the first half and he kicked Castres into the lead within the opening 10 minutes, and he was soon going for the two after a well worked try that saw Castres captain Rodrigo Capo Ortega go through. That came following a yellow shown to Francisco Gomez Kodela, Capo making the most of the extra man.

The 10 point lead was added to by another Urdapilleta penalty, but Lyon bounced back.

With five minutes of the half to play, Taiasani Tuifua reduced the deficit with the extras cutting the gap. Urdapilleta restored a 16-7 lead at the break, with another penalty for Castres.

Toby Arnold took just two minutes of the half to get Lyon right back into it, grabbing their second try to cut the gap back down to just two points with an unconverted try.

Arnold then gave Lyon the lead with his second try with 20 minutes to play, but Castres hit back in style. First they levelled with another penalty, and then they got the try that gave them the lead back. Armand Batlle got it with 10 minutes to go, Urdapilleta adding two for a 26-19 lead.

A Harris penalty reduced the gap back down to just four points with the clock ticking down, but a late try from Julien Dumora sealed the points for the hosts and strengthened the scoreline to 33-22.

The scorers:

For Castres:
Tries: Capo Ortega, Batlle, Dumora
Cons: Urdapilleta 3
Pens: Urdapilleta 4

For Lyon:
Tries: Tuifua, Arnold 2
Cons: Harris 2
Pen: Harris
Yellow Card: Kodela

Clermont Auvergne 12–18 Oyonnax
Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin

It was a low-scoring first 40 between these two, although both did get a try to their name.

Clermont looked the better in the opening 20 minutes, and they deserved their try when it came. Remi Lamerat crossed the line after impressive work in the build up by Peter Betham and Nick Abendanon. The conversion from Luke McAlister made it a seven-point lead.

Ben Botica got Oyonnax on the board though with a penalty moments later, and they took the lead with a try as Axel Muller turned the outlook of the game around. That was the only point scoring action of the half, with the hosts trailing 7-8. They did lose Viktor Kolelishvilli to a yellow right on the brink of half-time however.

And though Oyonnax didn’t take advantage, they grew their lead with a second try. Vincent Debaty went through right on the hour mark, with Botica adding two. And a further penalty stretched the lead up to double figures. That was followed by a Betham try as Clermont looked to get back into it, but there was too much of a gap to make up and Oyonnax left with the 18-12 win.

The scorers:

For Clermont:
Tries: Lamerat, Betham
Con: McAlister

For Oyonnax:
Tries: Muler, Debaty
Con: Botica
Pens: Botica 2

Stade Français 34–36 Agen
Stade Jean-Bouin

It was an all-action first 40 at the Stade Jean-Bouin, with six tries split 4-2 in Stade Francais’ favour. The first points came just seven minutes in, with a penalty from Jake McIntyre putting Agen into a lead that they held for barely a minute. Mathie Du Giovanni made the most of an interception to race through and give the hosts a lead that they also soon lost.

Agen’s opening try arrived through Antoine Erbani minutes later, the visitors adding the conversion for a 10-8 lead. But Jonathan Danty responded quickly, powering through and allowing Jules Plisson to make their lead five points.

With seven minutes of the half remaining, Johann Sadie restored the advantage with Agen looking like taking a healthy position into the break. But the hosts had other ideas and fired through two tries in six minutes for a half-time lead. Their third came through Waisea Nayacalevu, and it was swiftly followed by Tony Ensor right on half-time for a 28-15 lead at the break.

A Plisson penalty after the break stretched the lead, but Agen quickly hit back. Pierre Fouysacc got their third try with half an hour remaining, with McIntyre making it 31-22.

Plisson was again on hand for a penalty, but tries from Tom Murday and a second by Fouysacc gave Agen their lead, with a penalty making it 34-36 to the visitors. And that was the way it finished at the Stade Jean-Bouin, as Agen took the slender victory.

The scorers:

For Stade Français:
Tries: Du Giovanni, Danty, Nayacalevu, Ensor
Cons: Plisson 5
Pens: Plisson 2

For Agen:
Tries: Erbani, Sadie, Fouysacc 2, Murday
Cons: McIntyre 4
Pen: McIntyre

Pau 24–15 Racing 92
Stade de Hameau

Both sides headed into this one in fine form, with five wins on the spin for the visitors countered by strong form for Pau. And it was the hosts who took a six-point lead into the break, after a tightly fought first half.

Colin Slade put his men in front just six minutes in to the evening, and that was a high point of a half that couldn’t really split the two sides. Aside from a second Slade kick with five minutes to go before the break, there were precious few attempts at bothering the scoreboard and Racing weren’t able to add anything to their starting tally.

Dan Carter did get the first points for Racing early in the second half with a penalty, but Pau built on the slender lead they held in the next 20 minutes. Watisoni Votu grasped the first try on 50 minutes, Slade adding the extras. And his third penalty of the night made it a 16-3 scoreline, as the hosts began to take full control.

Racing rallied late on though and narrowed the gap with a try from Marc Andreu, the conversion narrowing the gap down to just six. But Pau countered immediately in what was turning into a thrilling finale, Votu grabbing his second try. And although that was immediately cut back by Xavier Chauveau’s five points, an extra penalty saw the hosts hold on for a crucial 24-15 win.

The scorers:

For Pau:
Try: Votu 2
Con: Slade
Pens: Slade 4

For Racing:
Tries: Andreu, Chauveau
Con: Lambie
Pen: Carter

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