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TOP14 Wrap


Clermont, Lyon, Racing and Toulouse secured wins in Saturday’s Top 14 action, while Bordeaux’s game against Montpellier ended in a stalemate.


Bordeaux-Bègles 9-9 Montpellier
Toulouse 33-26 La Rochelle
Perpignan 16-22 Lyon
Racing 92 59-7 Agen
Clermont Auvergne 42-20 Stade Francais

Bordeaux-Bègles 9-9 Montpellier
Stade Chaban-Delmas

Johan Goosen kicked a late penalty as Montpellier went away from the Stade Chaban-Delmas with a creditable 9-9 draw against Bordeaux-Bègles.

It was a pretty turgid affair which rarely sparked into life and it was the respective kickers who came to the fore. Baptiste Serin was particularly prevalent in the opening period and gave Bordeaux a 6-0 buffer going into the latter stages of the half.

That was where the visitors gained a foothold and earned a penalty, which Ruan Pienaar converted, to reduce the deficit at the interval.

Serin restored UBB’s six-point buffer in the early stages of the second half after Bismarck du Plessis had been yellow carded, but Vern Cotter’s men began to control proceedings when the hooker returned.

Goosen added to their nerves via a three-pointer with 15 minutes remaining before the fly-half repeated the trick late on as the teams had to settle for a share of the spoils.

The scorers:

For Bordeaux:
Pens: Serin 3

For Montpellier:
Pens: Pienaar, Goosen 2
Yellow Cards: Fall, B Du Plessis

Bordeaux: 15 Romain Buros, 14 Eto Nabuli, 13 Semi Radradra, 12 Ulupano Seuteni, 11 George Tilsley, 10 Brock James, 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 Afaesetiti Amosa, 7 Alexandre Roumat, 6 Mahamadou Diaby, 5 Cyril Cazeaux, 4 Kane Douglas, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Florian Dufour, 1 Jefferson Poirot
Replacements: 16 Adrien Pelissie, 17 Thierry Paiva, 18 Cameron Woki, 19 Jandré Marais, 20 Jules Gimbert, 21 Nathan Decron, 22 Nicolas Plazy, 23 Lekso Kaulashvili

Montpellier: 15 Henry Immelman, 14 Vincent Martin, 13 Yvan Reilhac, 12 Francois Steyn, 11 Benjamin Fall, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Kelian Galletier, 7 Wian Liebenberg, 6 Julien Bardy, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Konstantin Mikautadze, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Vincent Giudicelli, 1 Gregory Fichten
Replacements: 16 Bismarck Du Plessis, 17 Yvan Watremez, 18 Julien Ledevedec, 19 Kevin Kornath, 20 Julien Tomas, 21 Arthur Vincent, 22 Gabriel Ngandebe, 23 Antoine Guillamon

Referee: Ludovic Cayre
Assistant referees: Herve Lasausa Lespy Labaylette, Jacques De Lemos
TMO: Denis Grenouillet

Toulouse 33-26 La Rochelle
Stade Ernest-Wallon

A superb first half performance by the hosts laid the platform as Toulouse secured their second victory of the campaign after defeating struggling La Rochelle.

The visitors have looked a shadow of the team that were so impressive in 2016/17 and they found themselves 19-0 down going into the break.

Julian Marchand, Zack Holmes and Yoann Huget all crossed the whitewash to open up a comfortable buffer at the interval before Toulouse added to that score early in the second period.

Alban Placines touched down and by that stage their victory was effectively secured. Although Eliott Roudil responded for the visitors, Thomas Ramos restored Les Rouge et Noir’s 26-point buffer.

To La Rochelle’s credit, they didn’t cede and, after Roudil had touched down for his second try, Arthur Retiere’s quick-fire brace gave them hope of a losing bonus-point, but they could not force another score.

The scorers:

For Toulouse:
Tries: Marchand, Holmes, Huget, Placines, Ramos
Cons: Ramos 4

For La Rochelle:
Tries: Roudil 2, Retiere 2
Cons: West 3

Perpignan 16-22 Lyon
Stade Aime Giral

Perpignan succumbed to a third successive loss on their return to the Top 14 following a narrow defeat to one of last season’s top-six.

After a difficult first match at home, where they were thrashed by Stade Francais, Christian Lanta’s men appear to be finding their feet at this level and improved here, but it was not enough once again.

Lyon had the better of the first period, going 10-3 ahead via Dylan Cretin and Jonathan Wisniewski’s penalty, but the home side battled well.

Paddy Jackson kicked two penalties – the second after Xavier Mignot had been sin-binned – as they kept themselves in the contest at the break.

The newly-promoted outfit started the second period impressively, despite another Wisniewski effort off the tee, and Jean-Bernard Pujol rewarded their endeavour by crossing the whitewash.

Jackson then took Perpignan ahead for the first time in the match but the visiting fly-half put the game in the balance once more. The match was level going into the final quarter but Lyon pulled away as Wisniewski kicked two late three-pointers to snatch the win.

The scorers:

For Perpignan:
Try: Pujol
Con: Jackson
Pens: Jackson 3

For Lyon:
Try: Cretin
Con: Wisniewski
Pens: Wisniewski 5
Yellow Cards: Mignot, Kaabèche

Racing 92 59-7 Agen
U Arena

Racing provided an excellent response to last weekend’s heavy home defeat to Clermont Auvergne by thrashing Agen.

Against a side that conceded over 60 points in their last away game, the Parisians unsurprisingly dominated and almost reached the half-century by the interval.

Virimi Vakatawa set the hosts on their way before Donnacha Ryan increased their buffer. Although Nicolas Metge got a score back for the visitors, the home team continued to control the match and Louis Dupichot extended their advantage.

Vakatawa secured his brace and Joe Rokocoko then followed him over the line to make it 42-7. They could even afford a yellow card handed to Rokocoko as Racing increased their lead when Camille Chat barged across the whitewash.

The second period was far quieter but Simon Zebo and Dupichot did manage to score to complete a comfortable win, although they ended the match with 14 men after Rokocoko’s second yellow.

The scorers:

For Racing:
Tries: Vakatawa 2, Ryan, Dupichot 2, Le Roux, Rokocoko, Chat, Zebo
Cons: Russell 7
Red Card: Rokocoko (two yellows)

For Agen:
Tries: Metge
Con: Verdu

Clermont Auvergne 42-20 Stade Fracais
Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin

Clermont Auvergne made it three consecutive victories to start the campaign by overcoming Stade Francais at the Marcel Michelin.

It was a match between two rejuvenated clubs and they certainly produced the most entertaining first half of the day.

However, it took a while for the try-scoring action to start, with the boot dominating proceedings. Morgan Parra opened the game’s account with successive three-pointers before Jules Plisson reduced the deficit.

Camille Lopez kicked a drop-goal but Plisson’s second effort off the tee meant that Les Jaunards only held a 9-6 advantage. That was soon extended, though, when George Moala marked his debut by going over, leaving them 16-6 in front after 33 minutes.

Although Gael Fickou immediately responded for the Parisians, Clermont had found their rhythm and Morgan’s Parra try and conversion gave them a 10-point buffer at the interval.

Franck Azema’s men took that momentum into the second period and Wesley Fofana made Stade’s task even harder by crossing the whitewash.

After Tony Ensor was red carded, it ended the game as a contest and Moala and Judicael Cancoriet secured the bonus-point victory for the hosts, despite also being reduced to 14 men after Etienne Falgoux’s sin-binning. Stade then had the final word through Julien Delbouis but it was very much Auvergne’s evening.

The scorers:

For Clermont:
Tries: Moala 2, Parra, Fofana, Cancoriet
Cons: Lopez, Parra 2, Laidlaw
Pens: Parra 2
Drop-goal: Lopez
Yellow Card: Falgoux

For Stade:
Tries: Fickou, Delbouis
Cons: Plisson 2
Pens: Plisson 2
Red Card: Ensor

Pau held on to seal a 24-21 win over Grenoble before 14-man Toulon ended their drought with a 28-27 victory over champions Castres at Stade Mayol.

Grenoble 21-24 Pau

Pau made it two wins out of three in the Top 14 this term after they beat struggling new boys Grenoble 24-21 at Stade des Alps on Sunday.

Leading 14-6 at the break, the visitors kept their recently promoted hosts at arm’s length until a late score set up a nervy finish for them.

Jesse Mogg got Pau going with a 14th minute crossing before Julien Blanc went over five minutes from the break to give them a handy buffer.

Grenoble responded nine minutes into the second-half when Pablo Uberti crossed, but Lourens Adriaanse hit back for Pau to make it 24-14.

And despite Grenoble number eight Loic Godener scoring with six minutes to play, Pau managed to hold on for an important win on the road.

The scorers:

For Grenoble:
Tries: Uberti, Godener
Con: Pourteau
Pens: Pourteau 3

For Pau:
Tries: Mogg, Blanc, Adriaanse
Cons: Taylor 3
Pen: Taylor
Yellow Card: Pesenti

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  1. Goosen would have been the logical choice for Bok call-up over Kolbe. Already capped, not an ork, kicks off both feet, exceptional goal-kicker, plays 10,13,15, joins the line well, very good distributor, lacks nothing in defence and under the high ball.

    But nup… Kolbe debut’s with a shocker after been told by all and sundry he ‘deserves’ a call-up.

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