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Toulon marches on to final

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Anthony Belleau kicked a late drop-goal to take Toulon into the final of the Top 14 following a 18-15 triumph over 14-man La Rochelle.

Patrice Collazo’s men were the outstanding team during the regular season and they displayed some of those qualities by going into the break ahead via a Brock James’ drop-goal and two penalties.

Toulon, with all their quality, were never going to be pushovers, however, and Leigh Halfpenny’s accuracy off the tee meant they were just three points in arrears at half-time.

James added two further penalties at the start of the second period to extend La Rochelle’s buffer, but Les Corsaires then went down to 14 men after Pierre Aguillon was sent off.

It allowed Halfpenny to eat into that deficit and the contest was finely poised going into the final 10 minutes. Ultimately, it was Toulon’s title-winning experience that made the difference as Belleau scored a drop-goal with the last play of the encounter.

La Rochelle’s off-loading game, combined with that stereotypical French brutality up front, has formed the basis of their success this season but, despite initially impressing with that game plan, they were eventually undone.

Their up tempo style was causing issues for the four-time domestic champions early on and Kini Murimurivalu went close to opening the scoring, but that attack broke down.

James soon rewarded their early endeavour with a successful drop-goal before Toulon’s hero of the previous week, Halfpenny, levelled matters against the run of play.

The Wales and Lions full-back’s boot has been an excellent source of points in the play-offs and his accuracy off the tee kept Richard Cockerill’s men in contention at the interval.

After La Rochelle’s stand-off had restored their three-point buffer, Halfpenny once again equalised with a superb kick from out wide.

With the scores locked at 6-6, Cockerill would have been happy with his team’s performance, but he was less content on the stroke of half-time when Collazo’s side produced one last surge. It resulted in a Toulon infringement and James gave La Rochelle the lead going into the second period.

Les Corsaires maintained that momentum after the break and successive James’ three-pointers gave them a 15-6 advantage.

At that point, the league leaders were well in control but a red card, for Aguillon’s dangerous tackle on James O’Connor, changed the course of the contest.

Halfpenny reduced the deficit with a penalty before he added another soon after as Toulon moved to within touching distance.

To their credit, La Rochelle were resilient but Toulon’s full-back was in the mood to benefit from any indiscretion and he made the game all square with 10 minutes remaining.

The full-back’s excellence was in stark contrast to Zack Holmes, who missed two long range opportunities to win the game after coming on as a replacement.

Instead, Belleau – a talented young stand-off at only 21 years of age – made himself a hero when he stepped up to kick a drop-goal in the final minute and take Toulon to the final.

 

The scorers:

For La Rochelle:
Pen: James 4
Drop Goal: James
Red Card: Aguillon

For Toulon:
Pens: Halfpenny 5
Drop Goal: Belleau

Toulon grind out win against Castres

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Toulon survived the threat of Benjamin Urdapilleta’s boot to hold on for a 26-22 win over Castres at the Stade Mayol.

A stellar performance from Leigh Halfpenny was enough to send Toulon through to the Top 14 semi-finals. Despite Urdapilleta leading Castres’ efforts, it will be the 2014 champions who will meet La Rochelle in next week’s last-four encounter.

The crowd didn’t have to wait long for the first points of the evening, as Halfpenny’s early penalty was cancelled out by Urdapilleta’s opening effort to leave the scores at 3-3 after just five minutes.

With the renowned Stade Mayol atmosphere on their side, it was Toulon who were first to cross the whitewash, as François Trinh-Duc’s pass allowed Laurent Delboulbès, to touch down. Halfpenny’s conversion gave his side a 10-3 lead at the midway point in the first-half.

Urdapilleta and Halfpenny traded penalties once more, as the intensity of the knock-out game continued to increase.

A high-tackle on Brice Mach on the half-hour mark allowed Urdapilleta to narrow the gap, the Argentinian fly-half’s third penalty of the half sending the sides in at the break with the score at 13-9 in Toulon’s favour.

It was the visitors that made the stronger start to the second half. Only the TMO could deny Thomas Combezou a try on 48 minutes, before a high tackle on Rory Kockott saw Toulon flanker Liam Gill sent to the sin bin. Urdapilleta made no mistake with the resulting penalty, narrowing the gap to a single point.

With Castres on top, the pressure finally told as Drew Mitchell’s deliberate knock-on left referee Alexandre Ruiz with little option but to award a penalty try. Urdapilleta’s conversion gave Castres a 19-13 lead on 55 minutes.

Halfpenny reduced the arrears on the hour mark, his third penalty of the night bringing Toulon back to within three points.

Just four minutes later, the Welsh full-back was to the fore once again, converting his own try to restore his side’s lead and send the home fans into delirium.

As the game entered its final ten minutes, Halfpenny and Urdapilleta each added another penalty to their respective tallies, with the prize of a place in the Top 14 semi-finals tantalisingly within reach of both sides.

And, despite late pressure from the visitors, it was to be Toulon’s night, to the delight of the home supporters.

The scorers:

For Toulon:
Tries: Delboulbès, Halfpenny
Cons: Halfpenny 2
Pens: Halfpenny 4
Yellow Card: Gill

For Castres:
Try: Penalty Try
Con: Urdapilleta
Pens: Urdapilleta 5

Thanks to 

Lyon signs Oosthuizen and Van der Merwe

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Top 14 side Lyon have signed South African duo Francois van der Merwe and Ettiene Oosthuizen for the 2017/2018 season.

Lock Francois van der Merwe plays is on the books of Racing 92 at present while lock and flank Oosthuizen is with
Super Rugby side the Sharks.

Van der Merwe, 33, has agreed a two-year deal while Oosthuizen, 24, has signed a three-year-deal.

Lyon confirmed on their website: “The LOU Rugby is pleased to announce the signings of two second South African lines: the current Racing 92 player Francois Van der Merwe (2 year contract) and Etienne Oosthuizen , 24, currently playing at the Sharks (3 years). They will strengthen the Lyon pack from next season.”

White, Montpellier accused of cheating

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Montpellier could be docked five log points after coach Jake White played suspended lock Jacques du Plessis against Stade Français.

Montpellier had already progressed to the playoffs before the final round, but Stade needed a victory to finish in the top six ahead of city-rivals Racing 92.

Stade lost 27-26 to Montpellier, but shortly after the game the club confirmed it had lodged a complaint against Montpellier after White brought on Du Plessis as a substitute. The lock was supposed to serve a one-game suspension following three yellow cards in his previous three games.

It is believed the match officials missed the error because Du Plessis’ name was not on Montpellier’s team-sheet and that White only added him to the bench prior to kick-off.

If Stade’s complaint is successful, they will get five logs points. But while such a points-reversal will have no impact on Montpellier’s position on the log (they finished third), it will send Stade into sixth position ahead of Racing, who would miss the playoffs.

It would be another dramatic twist involving the two Paris clubs this season, following the aborted merger earlier this year and last weekend’s heated derby, which Stade won 27-23.

Top 14 Weekend Wrap

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The French Top 14 are in Week 21 and here is a wrap on the weekends matches

Just three Top 14 matches took place on Saturday following the postponements of matches involving Stade Français and Racing 92.

La Rochelle extended their lead at the top thanks a bonus-point victory over Brive, to keep their remarkable campaign going.

Results

Saturday

Bayonne 24-20 Bordeaux-Bègles
Clermont Auvergne 65-13 Pau
La Rochelle 36-17 Brive

Castres p-p Stade Français
Montpellier p-p Racing 92


Bayonne 24-20 Bordeaux-Bègles
Stade Jean Dauger, Bayonne

Martin Bustos Moyano scored 14 points as Bayonne’s very faint survival hopes were given a boost thanks to a 24-20 triumph over Bordeaux Begles.

The hosts started brightly and deservedly opened up a 13-point buffer via Jean Monribot’s try and successive Bustos Moyano penalties.

Simon Hickey responded for Bordeaux off the tee but Gabiriele Lovobalavu’s touchdown allowed the basement-dwellers some breathing space at the break.

Hickey added a second three-pointer and Ole Avei crossed the whitewash as UBB threatened to come back but the home side’s sharp-shooter took Bayonne to victory, despite Ian Madigan’s late consolation.

The scorers:

For Bayonne:

Tries: Monribot, Lovobalavu
Con: Bustos Moyano
Pens: Bustos Moyano 4
Yellow Cards: Monribot, Bustos Moyano

For Bordeaux:
Tries: Avei, Madigan
Cons: Hickey, Madigan
Pens: Hickey 2
Yellow Card: Madaule

Bayonne: 15 Martin Bustos Moyano, 14 Martin Laveau, 13 Félix Le Bourhis, 12 Gabiriele Lovobalavu, 11 Kade Poki, 10 Raphaël Lagarde, 9 Manu Saubusse, 8 Jean Monribot, 7 Baptiste Chouzenoux, 6 Tanerau Latimer, 5 Adam Jaulhac, 4 Pablo Huete, 3 Richard Choirat, 2 Manu Leiataua, 1 Aretz Iguiniz.
Replacements: 16 Gregory Arganese, 17 Jerome Schuster, 18 Pelu Taele, 19 Tom Donnelly, 20 Lucas Meret, 21 Romain Martial, 22 Bastien Duhalde, 23 Jon Zabala Arrieta.

Bordeaux-Bègles: 15 Nans Ducuing, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Jayden Spence, 12 Romain Lonca, 11 Jean-Baptiste Dubié, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Yann Lesgourgues, 8 Marco Tauleigne, 7 Hugh Chalmers, 6 Louis-Benoît Madaule, 5 Cyril Cazeaux, 4 Jandre Marais, 3 Jean-Baptiste Poux, 2 Ole Avei, 1 Sébastien Taofifenua
Replacements: 16 Gautier Brut de Remur, 17 Jefferson Poirot, 18 Luke Jones, 19 Luke Braid, 20 Gauthier Doubrere, 21 Ian Madigan, 22 Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 23 Marc Clerc

Referee: Juan Sylvestre (Argentina)
Assistant Referees: Christine Hanizet, Thierry Guilloton
TMO: Eric Briquet Campin


Clermont Auvergne 65-13 Pau
Stade Marcel Michelin, Clermont-Ferrand

Clermont Auvergne improved their chances of a top-two finish after thrashing fellow play-off chasers Pau with a 65-13 bonus-point triumph.

The game was effectively ended as a contest after 27 minutes with Clermont taking a 25-0 lead through Flip van der Merwe, Benjamin Kayser and Raphael Chaume tries.

Two Tom Taylor penalties reduced the deficit just shy of the interval and Paddy Butler touched down in the second half, but by that stage they were 24 points in arrears.

Fritz Lee and David Strettle went over for a 37-13 advantage before the English wing added his second and Aaron Jarvis, Nick Abendanon and Scott Spedding completed the rout.

The scorers:

For Clermont:

Tries: van der Merwe, Kayser, Chaume, Lee, Strettle 2, Jarvis, Abendanon, Spedding
Cons: Parra 2, Radosavljevic 5
Pens: Parra 2.
Yellow Cards: Iturria, Yato

For Pau:
Try: Butler
Con: Taylor
Pens: Taylor 2
Yellow Cards: Votu, Vatubua

Clermont Auvergne: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 David Strettle, 13 Aurelien Rougerie, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Adrien Planté, 10 Stephen Brett, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Peceli Yato, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Arthur Iturria, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Raphaël Chaume
Replacements: 16 John Ulugia, 17 Etienne Falgoux, 18 Sitaleki Timani, 19 Judicael Cancoriet, 20 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 21 Damian Penaud, 22 Scott Spedding, 23 Aaron Jarvis

Pau: 15 Charly Malie, 14 Thibault Daubagna, 13 Julien Fumat, 12 Jale Vatubua, 11 Watisoni Votu, 10 Tom Taylor, 9 Julien Tomas, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Pierrick Gunther, 6 Paddy Butler, 5 Daniel Ramsay, 4 Andrew Cramond, 3 Chris King, 2 Thomas Bianchin, 1 Jamie Mackintosh
Replacements: 16 Quentin Lespiaucq, 17 Geoffrey Moise, 18 Masalosalo Tutaia, 19 Ben Mowen, 20 Steffon Armitage, 21 Brandon Fajardo, 22 Pierre Dupouy, 23 Malik Hamadache

Referee: Maxime Chalon
Assistant Referees: Thierry Mallet, Sebastien Herbert
TMO: Laurent Sclafer


La Rochelle 36-17 Brive
Stade Marcel Deflandre, La Rochelle

La Rochelle maintained their charge towards top spot and a home semi-final final after overcoming 14-man Brive 36-17.

The surprise league leaders were superb in the first half and went into the interval 28-10 ahead following tries by Vincent Rattez, Eliott Roudil, Jason Eaton and Benjamin Noble.

Seremaia Burotu’s score in the opening period kept Brive in contention and Sisa Koyamaibole’s effort after the break gave them genuine hope of pulling off a shock victory, but Albert Patrick Toetu’s red card halted their progress.

Brock James slotted the resultant penalty to go with his four conversions before Mathieu Tanguy’s last minute try secured the bonus-point win.

The scorers:

For La Rochelle:
Tries: 
Rattez, Roudil, Eaton, Noble, Tanguy
Cons: James 4
%u200BPen: James

For Brive:
Tries: Burotu, Koyamaibole
Cons: Germain, Lapeyre
Pen: Germain
Yellow Card: Devisme
Red Card: Toetu

La Rochelle: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Vincent Rattez, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Pierre Aguillon, 11 Eliott Roudil, 10 Brock James, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Levani Botia, 6 Romain Sazy, 5 Jone Qovu, 4 Jason Eaton, 3 Lekso Kaulashvili, 2 Hikairo Forbes, 1 Mike Corbel
Replacements: 16 Jeremie Maurouard, 17 Vincent Pelo, 18 Mathieu Tanguy, 19 Damien Lagrange, 20 Jean Victor Goillot, 21 Benjamin Noble, 22 Steeve Barry, David Feao

Brive: 15 Gaëtan Germain, 14 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 13 Seremaia Burotu, 12 Sevanaia Galala, 11 Benito Masilevu, 10 Matthieu Ugalde, 9 Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, 8 Petrus Hauman, 7 Poutasi Luafutu, 6 Saïd Hireche, 5 Sisa Koyamaibole, 4 Johan Snyman, 3 Damien Jourdain, 2 Francois Da Ros, 1 Vivien Devisme
Replacements: 16 Thomas Acquier, 17 Karlen Asieshvili, 18 Jan Uys, 19 Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 20 Arnaud Mignardi, 21 Thomas Laranjeira, 22 Benjamin Lapeyre, 23 Albert Patrick Toetu

Referee: Alexandre Ruiz
Assistant Referees: Cedric Clave, Patrick Beuriot
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure

Sunday Fixtures:

Toulouse v Lyon
Grenoble vs Toulon

Racing and Stade merge

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Top French clubs Racing 92 and Stade Français will merge to form a new club next season.

 

 

In a major shake-up in French rugby, the two powerhouse clubs, who have won the Top 14 for the last two years (Racing in 2016 and Stade in 2015), will combine forces from the 2017-18 season onwards.

A press conference where further details will be revealed is is due to take place on Monday afternoon.

‘This association, effective from next season, will give birth to a new club, which will preserve the roots of Racing 92, like those of Stade Français, and multiply the means dedicated to the youth and French rugby,’ an initial statement read.

The merger will only affect the senior side and will not impact the amateur sectors.

“Hero’s…urr Europe in a Nutshell”

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This week sees the Six nations return for the final matches and the focus will be on England to see if they can equal New Zealand record of consecutive wins against trier one nations.

Here is all the news from around Europe  and results over the weekend…..

Ireland wing Andrew Trimble has been ruled out of the rest of the Six Nations after he injured his hand in Ulster’s win over Treviso in Belfast on Friday.

The 70-Test veteran broke a bone in his hand in his side’s 19-7 triumph and will miss the upcoming matches against Wales and England.

Trimble came off the bench in Ireland’s 19-9 win over France in their Round Three clash in Dublin.

He will be joined on the sidelines by second-row Ultan Dillane, who will undergo surgery this week for an ongoing shoulder issue. Dillane will be ruled out of action for eight to ten weeks.

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards rued missed opportunities after his side’s loss to Saracens on Sunday.

The Saracens claimed 35-27 win over Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park after scoring five tries to Newcastle’s three.

Richards believes his side could have used their opportunities better in the fixture.

“We are disappointed but it’s probably a measure of where we are at this moment in time,” Richards told reporters.

Stade Français ended their three-match winless run when they claimed an emphatic 32-9 victory over Bordeaux-Bègles at Stade Jean Bouin on Sunday.

The home side were full value for this win as they outscored UBB by three tries to none with all their five-pointers notched in the first half and Jules Plisson also deserves special praise as he finished with a 17-point haul courtesy of a conversion and five penalties.

La Rochelle moved into the driving seat in the Top 14 standings when they claimed a 27-21 win over Toulouse at Stade Ernest Wallon on Sunday.

The visitors were made to work hard for this result especially during the game’s latter stages when Toulouse launched a late fightback.

Both sides crossed for two tries apiece but it was the goalkicking of La Rochelle’s Australian fly-halves Zack Holmes and Brock James which proved the difference between the sides and the duo contributed 17 points between them with Holmes kicking four penalties and James adding a conversion and a penalty.

Worcester Warriors eased their Premiership relegation concerns when they beat fellow basement dwellers Bristol 41-24 at Sixways on Sunday.

Gary Gold’s men started quickly and went 10-0 in front in the opening six minutes thanks to a penalty try and Ryan Mills’ three-pointer. Gavin Henson reduced the arrears from the tee before Francois Hougaard and Jason Woodward traded scores.

However, 14 unanswered points via Will Spencer and Bryce Heem gave the Warriors a 31-10 lead at the interval. Heem extended that further before Bristol mounted a fight-back of sorts as Max Crumpton and Tom Varndell crossed the whitewash, but Wynand Olivier sealed the five points to plunge their opponents closer to the Championship.

Saracens kept the pressure on Exeter and Wasps at top of the Premiership table when they claimed a 35-27 win over Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park on Sunday.

Alex Lozowski provided the inspiration, scoring 13 of the Londoners’ first half points. Michael Rhodes also touched down as they went into the interval 18-6 in front – Sonatane Takulua kicking two penalties for Newcastle – before Chris Ashton extended Sarries’ lead in the second period.

Lyon returned to the victory trail when they claimed a hard-fough 16-3 win over Montpellier at the Matmut Stadium on Sunday.

In a tightly contested encounter, the home side had to dig deep to secure the win but they eventually took control of proceedings and outscored Montpellier by one try to none.

Leinster saw off the challenge of the Scarlets at the RDS in Dublin on Saturday in a 45-9 win that takes them back to the PRO12 summit.

Luke McGrath scored twice in the opening period as the Irish province took a lead into the interval, but three Dan Jones’ penalties kept the visitors in contention.

Round Three of the 2017 Rugby Europe Championship produced victories for Germany, Georgia and Romania.

And it was Germany’s win over Belgium which caught the eye as they continue to push for qualification ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

This and next year’s Rugby Europe Championships act as qualifiers for the tournament, with Georgia having already secured their place after finishing in third place in their group at the last Rugby World Cup.

Saturday’s win took Germany up to third, two points behind second-placed Romania, who they defeated earlier this year.

Germany started well thanks to tries from Jacobus Otto and Jarrid Els, with captain Sean Armstrong’s score before half-time suggesting a comfortable win was on the cards.

Belgium to their credit fought back in the second half, with tries from Alan Williams and James Pearce, with the boot of fly-half Williams setting up a tense finish at 27-21.

Jamie Murphy’s try however put the result beyond doubt, as Belgium hit back late on through Elvin Muric but fell to a 34-29 defeat in Offenbach.

Meanwhile leaders Georgia came through their match with Spain in Medina del Campo with a 20-10 win, outscoring their hosts by two tries to one.

The two full-backs, Spain’s Brad Linklater and Georgia’s Merab Kvirikashvili, traded early penalties before Spain went in ahead at the break thanks to a try from Kalokalo Gavidi, leading 10-3.

Georgia went level ten minutes into the second half through a Giorgi Tkhilaishvili try, converted by Kvirikashvili, and they took the lead for the first time in the 62nd minute thanks to a try from Zviad Matiashvili, with a late Kvirikashvili penalty making it 20-10.

And finally Romania comfortably saw off Russia in a 30-10 win by scoring four tries, with two scores coming in the last 11 minutes.

Scores from Ionel Badiu and Madalin Lemnaru got the visitors off to the perfect start in Sochi, leading 14-3 at half-time.

Penalties from Valentin Calafeteanu then stretched the score to 20-3, before Valentin Poparlan and Jody Rose put the seal on a big win.

 

Top 14 Wrap

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Castres rose up the table thanks to their win over Clermont in the first of four matches on Saturday, with Brive beating Toulon in the evening.

Results

Saturday

Castres 26-16 Clermont
Grenoble 19-10 Racing 92
Bayonne 25-25 Pau
Brive 15-5 Toulon


Castres 26-16 Clermont
Stade Pierre Antoine

Castres kept up their impressive run of form at home with a 26-16 victory over Top 14 leaders Clermont on Saturday.

Christophe Urios’ side outscored les Jaunards by two tries to one and were seen over the finish line thanks to the boots of Rory Kockott and Benjamin Urdapilleta.

Ahead of the rest of the weekend’s fixtures, Castres momentarily climb up to third in the table.

Clermont opened the scoring after 18 minutes thanks to a Stephen Brett penalty, Kockott quickly replying, before the visitors lost number eight Peceli Yato to a yellow card.

Castres capitalised five minutes later thanks to a converted try from Jody Jenneker, but Clermont hit back through Nick Abendanon shortly before the break thanks to Nick Abendanon.

The shootout continued in the second half – Urdapilleta and Ludovic Radosavljevic taking over from Kockott and Brett – before Anthony Jelonch’s converted try and a drop goal from Urdapilleta sealed another impressive win.

The scorers:

For Castres:
Tries: Jenneker, Jelonch
Cons: Kockott, Urdapilleta
Pens: Kockott 2, Urdapilleta
Drop Goal: Urdapilleta

For Clermont:
Try: Abendanon
Con: Brett
Pens: Brett 2, Radosavljevic
Yellow Card: Yato

Castres: 15 Geoffrey Palis, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Florian Vialelle, 11 David Smith, 10 Julien Dumora, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Maama Vaipulu, 7 Anthony Jelonch, 6 Alexandre Bias, 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 4 Lo%u200Bïc Jacquet, 3 Daniel Kotze, 2 Jody Jenneker, 1 Antoine Tichit
Replacements: 16 Marc-Antoine Rallier, 17 Mihaita Lazar, 18 Victor Moreaux, 19 Steve Mafi, 20 Antoine Dupont, 21 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 22 Afusipa Taumoepeau, 23 Damien Tussac

Clermont: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 David Strettle, 13 Aurélien Rougerie, 12 Damian Penaud, 11 Adrien Planté, 10 Stephen Brett , 9 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 8 Peceli Yato, 7 Judicael Cancoriet, 6 Camille Gerondeau, 5 Sitaleki Timani, 4 Arthur Iturria, 3 Clément Ric, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Thomas Domingo
Replacements: 16 John Ulugia, 17 Etienne Falgoux, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Alexandre Lapandry, 20 Charlie Cassang, 21 Alivereti Raka, 22 Setariki Tuicuvu, 23 Aaron Jarvis

Referee: Alexandre Ruiz
Assistant Referees: Vivien Praderie, Bruno Gabaldon
TMO: Sébastien Minery


Grenoble 19-10 Racing 92
Stade des Alpes

Chris Masoe’s early red card helped Grenoble pave the way for a 19-10 win over last season’s champions to boost their hopes of avoiding relegation.

A late converted score from Teddy Thomas added some respectability to the scoreline but in truth this was always Grenoble’s game to lose, building up a sizeable lead through the boot of fly-half Jonathan Wisniewski.

Masoe was red carded in the fifth minute for a high tackle, Wisniewski converting the resulting penalty, and two more efforts from the fly-half to one from James Hart meant Grenoble led 9-3 at the break.

Wisniewski’s fourth penalty stretched the gap and after Racing went down to 13 following a yellow card for Benjamin Dambielle, Grenoble grabbed the game’s first try in the 54th minute through Lucas Dupont.

Despite a yellow card for Wisniewski the hosts then held out for their fifth win of the season.

The scorers:

For Grenoble:
Try: Dupont
Con: Wisniewski
Pens: Wisniewski 4
Yellow Card: Wisniewski

For Racing 92:
Try: Thomas
Con: Dambielle
Pen: Hart
Yellow Card: Dambielle
Red Card: Masoe

Grenoble: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Lucas Dupont, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Nigel Hunt, 11 Armand Batlle, 10 Jonathan Wisniewski, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Rory Grice, 7 Fabien Alexandre, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Hendrik Roodt, 4 Mathias Marie, 3 Dayna Edwards, 2 Arnaud Heguy, 1 Denis Coulson
Replacements: 16 Loïck Jammes,17 Dylan Jacquot, 18 Aly Muldowney, 19 Mahamadou Diaby, 20 Lilian Saseras, 21 Gilles Bosch, 22 Fabrice Estebanez, 23 Jarrod Firth

Racing 92: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Etienne Dussartre, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Benjamin Dambielle, 9 James Hart, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 So’otala Fa’aso’o, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 4 Gerbrandt Grobler, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Camille Chat, 1 Viliamu Afatia
Replacements: 16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Khatchik Vartanov, 18 Thibault Dubarry, 19 Antonie Claassen, 20 Mathieu Loree, 21 Franck Pourteau, 22 Teddy Thomas, 23 Ben Tameifuna

Referee: Pascal Gauzère
Assistant Referees: Thierry Mallet, Thierry Guilloton
TMO: Eric Briquet Campin


Bayonne 25-25 Pau
Stade Jean Dauger

Bayonne and Pau couldn’t be separated after 80 minutes at the Stade Jean Dauger, with Tom Taylor’s 75th-minute penalty for Pau meaning the match finished at 25-all.

Overall it was Taylor’s five penalties to six from Martin Bustos Moyano, who finished with 20 points, that kept both teams in the hunt.

Pau opened the scoring through Watisoni Votu’s converted try before a Bustos Moyano penalty made it 7-3. Slade then knocked over a three-pointer but Bayonne were soon level, flanker Baptiste Chouzenoux crossing with Bustos Moyano converting to make it 10-10.

From there the penalty shootout began, Bayonne ahead 16-13 at the break thanks to Bustos Moyano.

And in the second-half both Bustos Moyano and Taylor continued to trade shots, the gap only ever getting as big as six points, before Taylor’s fifth penalty levelled the scores.

The scorers:

For Bayonne:
Try: Chouzenoux
Con: Bustos Moyano
Pens: Bustos Moyano 6

For Pau:
Try: Votu
Con: Slade
Pens: Slade, Taylor 5

Bayonne: 15 Martin Bustos Moyano, 14 Romain Martial, 13 Félix Le Bourhis, 12 Gabiriele Lovobalavu, 11 Julien Jane, 10 Raphaël Lagarde, 9 Manu Saubusse, 8 PJ Van Lill, 7 Baptiste Chouzenoux, 6 John Beattie, 5 Adam Jaulhac, 4 Pablo Huete, 3 Toma Taufa, 2 Manu Leiataua, 1 Aretz Iguiniz
Replacements: 16 Grégory Arganese, 17 Jérôme Schuster, 18 Tom Donnelly, 19 Tanerau Latimer, 20 Bastien Duhalde, 21 Lucas Meret, 22 Martin Laveau, 23 Lorenzo Cittadini

Pau: 15 Charly Malie, 14 Mosese Ratuvou, 13 Julien Fumat, 12 Jale Vatubua, 11 Watisoni Votu, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Julien Tomas, 8 Steffon Armitage, 7 Sean Dougall, 6 Paddy Butler, 5 Daniel Ramsay, 4 Fabrice Metz, 3 Sylvain Charlet, 2 Thomas Bianchin, 1 Jeremy Hurou
Replacements: 16 Quentin Lespiaucq, 17 Jamie Mackintosh, 18 Masalosalo Tutaia, 19 James Coughlan, 20 Pierrick Gunther, 21 Thibault Daubagna, 22 Tom Taylor, 23 Malik Hamadache

Referee: Salem Attalah
Assistant Referees: Vincent Blasco Baque, Laurent Amic
TMO: Denis Grenouillet


Brive 15-5 Toulon
Stade Amédée Domenech

Toulon missed the chance to move up to fifth place in the standings as they suffered a 15-5 defeat to Brive at Stade Amédée Domenech.

Mike Ford’s struggling charges were scoreless until the 75th minute as Brive clocked up their points via the boots of full-back Gaëtan Germain and replacement Thomas Laranjeira, who ended with 12 points to his name.

It was 6-0 at the interval before Laranjeira added a further three penalties, with the latter coming after Ma’a Nonu was yellow carded.

Habana would have the final say for Toulon but it came in vain as the visitors head home with no points to show in a dismal showing.

The scorers:

For Brive:
Pens: Germain, Laranjeira 4

For Toulon:
Try: Habana
Yellow Card: Nonu

Brive: 15 Gaëtan Germain, 14 Guillaume Namy, 13 Arnaud Mignardi, 12 Sevenaia Galala, 11 Benito Masilevu, 10 Matthieu Ugalde, 9 Teddy Iribaren, 8 Petrus Hauman, 7 Fabien Sanconnie, 6 Said Hireche, 5 Sisa Koyamaibole, 4 Johan Snyman, 3 Patrick-Albert Toetu, 2 Guillaume Ribes, 1 Karlen Asieshvili
Replacements: 16 Francois Da Ros, 17 Kevin Buys, 18 Jan Uys, 19 Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 20 Poutasi Luafutu, 21 Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, 22 Thomas Laranjeira, 23 Damien Jourdain

Toulon: 15 Drew Mitchell, 14 Alesana Tuilagi, 13 François Trinh-Duc, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Pierre Bernard, 9 Éric Escande, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, 6 Juan Smith, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Mamuka Gorgodze, 3 Levan Chilachava, 2 Anthony Etrillard, 1 Laurent DelBoulbes
Replacements: 16 Bastien Soury, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Samu Manoa, 19 Charles Ollivon, 20 Jocelino Suta, 21 Ben Barba, 22 Anthony Belleau, 23 Marcel Van der Merwe

Referee: Jérôme Garcès
Assistant Referees: Laurent Millotte, Jacques De Lemos
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure

Reality for Toulon this season…

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Toulon boss Mike Ford suggested that silverware may not come the club’s way this season after being well beaten away to Clermont.

Ford watched on as Toulon were thrashed 30-6 by title rivals Clermont on Sunday, with the three-time European Champions’ scrum proving problematic.

Starting props Florian Fresia and Manasa Saulo were both tactically replaced on the half-hour mark with Toulon’s scrum going backwards, but there was little replacements Xavier Chiocci and Levan Chilachava could do to stop the rot.

 “Our scrum did not work at all in the first half, and in the second it was the reason for our downfall,” Ford told Rugbyrama.

“When you are dominated in that area it is difficult to get a good result. We are very disappointed.”

Toulon have now slipped out of the top four in the Top 14 and are eight points behind Saracens in their Champions Cup pool, leaving them with a tricky path to success this season after four major trophies in the last five years.

Ford took over from Diego Dominguez towards the end of last year and has already signed up recently sacked Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill to his coaching staff for the remainder of the season to work on the side’s defence.

After the club’s seventh league defeat in 16 games this season Ford concluded: “Toulon have been three-time champions of Europe but it is fair to say that period is over now.

“We have to get back to work and to improve certain areas.”

Top 14 Round 16 Wrap

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La Rochelle moved top of the Top 14 table after they overcame Castres while Gaëtan Germain kicked 18 points as Brive edged Grenoble on Saturday.

Pau versus Lyon was postponed due to an unplayable pitch.

Saturday’s results:

Brive 23-22 Grenoble
Pau v Lyon – postponed
La Rochelle 22-8 Castres

Sunday’s fixtures:

Stade Francais v Toulouse
Clermont v Toulon

Brive 23-22 Grenoble
Stade Amédée Domenech, Brive

Once again for Brive it was the boot of Gaëtan Germain that did the damage to their opposition as the full-back kicked 18 points in victory

His 12 points in the first-half nudged Brive into a 12-7 lead at the turnaround, with wing Xavier Mignot hitting back with a try for Grenoble.

Hooker Arnaud Heguy then brought Grenoble back level with an unconverted try two minutes into the second-half but once again Germain got Brive ticking over, with his fifth penalty of the game on 49 minutes pushing the hosts back into a three-point buffer with plenty of time left.

Grenoble, desperate for a victory, would not go away and when scrum-half Charl McLeod crossed on 54 minutes, they went 19-15 ahead.

Replacement fly-half Jonathan Wisniewski added to his conversion with a penalty goal on 59 minutes but then Brive responded through Fabien Sanconnie’s try. However, a missed conversion meant Grenoble remained in front at 22-20. Brive had 17 minutes to try and get the win.

And it was Germain who would have the final say as his penalty five minutes from time proved the match-winning kick as Brive prevailed.

The scorers:

For Brive:
Try: Sanconni
Pens: Germain 6

For Grenoble:
Tries: Mignot, Heguy, McLeod
Cons: Bosch, Wisniewski
Pen: Wisniewski

Brive: 15 Gaëtan Germain, 14 Benjamin Lapeyre, 13 Arnaud Mignardi, 12 Seremaia Burotu, 11 Guillaume Namy, 10 Thomas Laranjeira, 9 Teddy Iribaren, 8 Sisa Koyamaibole, 7 Petrus Hauman, 6 Said Hireche, 5 Johan Snyman, 4 Julien Ledevedec, 3 Damien Jourdain, 2 Francois da Ros, 1 Karlen Asieshvili
Replacements: 16 Thomas Acquier, 17 Kevin Buys, 18 Arnaud Mela, 19 Fabien Sanconnie, 20 Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, 21 Matthieu Ugalde, 22 Sevenaia Galala, 23 Patrick-Albert Toetu

Grenoble: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Lucas Dupont, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Fabrice Estebanez, 11 Xavier Mignot, 10 Gilles Bosch, 9 Lilian Saseras, 8 Rory Grice, 7 Fabien Alexandre, 6 Aly Muldowney, 5 Mickaël Capelli, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Dayna Edwards, 2 Arnaud Heguy, 1 Alexandre Dardet
Replacements: 16 Loïck Jammes, 17 Denis Coulson, 18 Thomas Jolmes, 19 Dylan Hayes, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Jonathan Wisniewski, 22 Armand Batlle, 23 Walter Desmaison

Referee: Cedric Marchat


Pau p-p Lyon
Stade du Hameau, Pau

Match postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Pau: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 Louis Dupichot, 13 Julien Fumat, 12 Watisoni Votu, 11 Mosese Ratuvou, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Thibault Daubagna, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Ben Mowen, 5 Julien Pierre, 4 Fabrice Metz, 3 Malik Hamadache, 2 Thomas Bianchin, 1 Jamie Mackintosh
Replacements: 16 Quentin Lespiaucq, 17 Julien Jacquot, 18 Masalosalo Tutaia, 19 Daniel Ramsay, 20 Paddy Butler, 21 Charly Malie, 22 Taniela Moa, 23 Sylvain Charlet

Lyon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Toby Arnold, 13 Paul Bonnefond, 12 Hemani Paea, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Frédéric Michalak, 9 Nicolas Durand, 8 Carl Fearns, 7 Deon Fourie, 6 Julien Puricelli, 5 Thibault Privat, 4 Felix Lambey, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Ti’I Paulo, 1 Albertus Buckle
Replacements: 16 Mickael Ivaldi, 17 Alexandre Menini, 18 Josh Bekhuis, 19 Taiasina Tuifua, 20 Baptiste Couilloud, 21 Thibault Regard, 22 Mike Harris, 23 David Attoub

Referee: Mathieu Raynal


La Rochelle 22-8 Castres
Stade Marcel Deflandre, La Rochelle

La Rochelle continued their impressive season as they beat Castres to go four points clear at the top of the Top 14 standings on Saturday.

Despite being 3-8 adrift with 34 minutes played due to hooker Jody Jenneker going over for Castres, La Rochelle kicked on from then on.

Zack Holmes kicked his second penalty before the break and his third two minutes into the second 40 to put the home side into the lead.

Then came a try from Victor Vito on the hour, which Holmes converted before adding another penalty that made it 19-8 with 14 minutes left.

Castres replacement Yohann Montes was sent-off late on, with Mohamed Boughanmi seeing yellow for La Rochelle, but it was Holmes who had the final say on the match as he sent over his fifth penalty of the night at Stade Marcel Deflandre to put the seal on another fine result.

The scorers:

For La Rochelle:
Try: Vito
Con: Holmes
Pens: Holmes 5
Yellow Card: Boughanmi

For Castres:
Try: Jenneker
Pen: Urdapilleta
Yellow Cards: Ortega, Kockott
Red Card: Montes

La Rochelle: 15 Zack Holmes, 14 Gabriel Lacroix, 13 Pierre Aguillon, 12 Levani Botia, 11 Kini Murimurivalu, 10 Brock James, 9 Alexis Bales, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Kévin Gourdon, 6 Romain Sazy, 5 Jone Qovu Nailiko, 4 Jason Eaton, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Jérémie Maurouard, 1 Mike Corbel
Replacements: 16 Hikairo Forbes, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Mathieu Tanguy, 19 Afaesetiti Amosa, 20 Ricky Januarie, 21 Paul Jordaan, 22 Steeve Barry, 23 Mohamed Boughanmi

Castres: 15 Geoffrey Palis, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 David Smith, 10 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Maama Vaipulu, 7 Anthony Jelonch, 6 Mathieu Babillot, 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 4 Loic Jacquet, 3 Daniel Kotze, 2 Jody Jenneker, 1 Mihaita Lazar
Replacements: 16 Brice Mach, 17 Antoine Tichit, 18 Victor Moreaux, 19 Alexandre Bias, 20 Antoine Dupont, 21 Afusipa Taumoepeau, 22 Julien Dumora, 23 Yohann Montes

Referee: Thomas Charabas

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

A late brace from Yoann Huget handed Toulouse an 18-15 win over Stade Francais, taking them back into the top four in the process.

It was the hosts who were quick out of the blocks and indeed led for the most of the game, but a late onslaught from the visitors, thanks to Huget’s brace, clinched an important away win for Toulouse who now find themselves fourth in the Top 14.

Stade dominated the early exchanges and scored points when they got in the opposition half. Jules Plisson slotted three penalties in the first half, but Samuel Marques was finally able to get Toulouse on the scoresheet with a penalty on the stroke of half time.

The second half started much the same as the first when Plisson nailed a drop goal to further extend his side’s lead to 12-3. Marques and Plisson exchanged penalties maintained a nine-point lead going into the final quarter of the match.

Momentum shifted in Toulouse’s favour when Paul Gabrillagues was sent to the sin bin with a yellow card. It took the visitors a while to capatalise on their numerical advantage, but when Huget went over for his first try eight minutes later the game was on.

The winger scored his second two minutes later to seal a comeback win for his side and leave Stade languishing in the bottom half of the table.

The scorers:

For Stade Francais:
Pens: Plisson 4
Drop Goal: Plisson
Yellow Card: Gabrillagues

For Toulouse:
Tries: Huget 2
Con: Bezy
Pens: Marques 2

Stade Francais: 15 Hugo Bonneval, 14 Julien Arias, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Jérémy Sinzelle, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Raphaël Lakafia, 6 Sekou Macalou, 5 Paul Gabrillagues, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Laurent Sempere, 1 Emmanuel Felsina,
Replacements: 16 Laurent Panis, 17 Zurabi Zhvania, 18 Pascal Pape, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Clement Daguin, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Djibril Camara, 23 Giorgi Melikidze

Toulouse: 15 Maxime Médard, 14 Semi Kunatani, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Gaël Fickou, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Luke McAlister, 9 Samuel Marques, 8 Carl Axtens, 7 Piula Faasalele, 6 Thierry Dusautoir, 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Dorian Aldegheri, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Vasil Kakovin
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Cyril Baille, 18 Gregory Lamboley, 19 Gillian Galan, 20 Talalelei Gray, 21 Sébastien Bezy, 22 Toby Flood, 23 Census Johnston

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Clermont reclaimed top spot in the Top 14 with a thumping 30-6 win over Toulon at the Stade Marcel-Michelin on Sunday.

Clermont outplayed Toulon in the first 40, despite Pierre Bernard’s drop goal in the first minute to give the visitors an unlikely 3-0 lead. Morgan Parra pulled it back for the hosts with a penalty shortly after before Camille Lopez went over for the first try of the game to give Clermont an 8-3 lead.

Toulon shot themselves in the foot just before half time when Liam Gill was sin binned with a yellow card, and Clermont were awarded a penalty try two minutes later which, together with Parra’s conversion, extended their lead to 15-3 going into the break.

O’Connor opened the scoring in the second half with a penalty with Toulon still a man down, but Parra canceled it out with a penalty of his own as Clermont took an 18-6 lead into the final 30 minutes of the game.

The hosts secured the result with 14 minutes left when Wesley Fofana intercepted a James O’Connor pass and just had enough pace to cross the line, although a desperate attempt by Bryan Habana to stop him from grounding the ball suggested the Springbok winger might have succeeded.

But the referee didn’t refer the try to the TMO so it stood. Parra added the extras and at 25-6 the game was well and truly over.

Clermont added further insult to injury when Remi Lamerat went over for his side’s fourth try. From a turnover Sebastien Tillous-Borde gave an up and under just outside his 22 which was collected by Camille Lopez who managed an offload to Isaia Toeava.

The full-back put Noa Nakaitaci away who gave a simple pass to Lamerat on the right wing who dived over for the bonus-point.

The scorers:

For Clermont:
Tries:
Lopez, Penalty Try, Fofana, Lamerat
Cons: Parra 2
Pens: Parra 2
Yellow Card: Kolelishvili

For Toulon:
Pen: O’Connor
Drop Goal: Bernard
Yellow Card: Gill

Clermont: 15 Isaia Toeava, 14 Noa Nakaitaci, 13 Remi Lamerat, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Adrien Plante, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Viktor Kolelishvili, 6 Damien Chouly, 5 Arthur Iturria, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 John Ulugia, 1 Raphael Chaume
Replacements: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Paul Jedrasiak, 19 Peceli Yato, 20 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 21 Benson Stanley, 22 Scott Spedding, 23 Aaron Jarvis

Toulon: 15 James O’Connor, 14 Axel Muler, 13 Maxime Mermoz, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Vincent Clerc, 10 Pierre Bernard, 9 Sebastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Juandre Kruger, 6 Liam Gill, 5 Swan Rebbadj, 4 Mamuka Gorgodze, 3 Manasa Saulo, 2 Jean Charles Orioli, 1 Florian Fresia
Replacements: 16 Guilhem Guirado, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Jocelino Suta, 19 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 20 Mathieu Bastareaud, 21 Bryan Habana, 22 Jonathan Pelissie, 23 Levan Chilachava

Top 14 Wrap: Big wins for Montpellier, Stade Francais

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SALFORD, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: James Coughlan of Pau during the European Rugby Challenge Cup match between Sale Sharks and Pau at AJ Bell Stadium on November 21, 2015 in Salford, England. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

There were big away wins for Montepellier and Castres, while Racing 92 stole a late draw at La Rochelle on Saturday.Results

Saturday

Pau 40-35 Clermont
Stade Français 51-5 Bayonne
Lyon 19-23 Castres
Grenoble 37-51 Montpellier
La Rochelle 23-23 Racing 92

Fixtures

Sunday

Toulouse 30-12 Brive
Toulon 37-10 Bordeaux-Bègles


Pau 40-35 Clermont
Stade du Hameau, Pau

Pau had to dig deep before eventully claiming a hard-fought 40-35 victory over Clermont at Stade du Hameau in Pau.

In a thrilling clash in which momentum between the two sides ebbed and flowed throughout, Pau got the rub of the green in the end and eventually outscored their visitors by five tries to four.

David Strettle scored a hat-trick of tries for Clermont but it wasn’t enough to secure victory for his side. Watisoni Votu and Strettle crossed for early tries and although the ex England wing would cross for another five-pointer before the break, tries from former All Blacks Colin Slade and Conrad Smith gave Pau a 21-17 lead at half-time.

A Sitaleki Timani try would narrow the gap to two points, after Tom Taylor slotted a penalty for the hosts. Pau continued to dominate and led 32-22 by the half-hour mark after Thomas Bianchin scored a try which Taylor converted before adding another penalty.

Jale Vatubua’s 65th minute try secured the win but Clermont did not surrender and Strettle’s third try and accurate goalkicking from Camille Lopez and Morgan Parra secured a bonus point for Clermont.

The scorers:

For Pau:
Tries:
Votu, Slade, Smith, Bianchin, Vatubua
Cons: Taylor 3
Pens: Taylor 3

For Clermont:
Tries: Strettle 3, Timani
Cons: Lopez 3
Pens: Lopez 2, Parra

Pau: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 Louis Dupichot, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Jale Vatubua, 11 Watisoni Votu, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Taniela Moa, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Ben Mowen, 5 Julien Pierre, 4 Fabrice Metz, 3 Sylvain Charlet, 2 Thomas Bianchin, 1 Jamie Mackintosh
Replacements: 16 Quentin Lespiaucq, 17 Chris King, 18 Masalosalo Tutaia, 19 Paddy Butler, 20 Thibault Daubagna, 21 Charly Malie, 22 Mosese Ratuvou, 23 Malik Hamadache

Clermont: 15 Isaia Toeava, 14 David Strettle, 13 Aurelien Rougerie, 12 Damian Penaud, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Camille Gerondeau, 6 Damien Chouly, 5 Sitaleki Timani, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Clement Ric, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Raphael Chaume
Replacements: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Etienne Falgoux, 18 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 19 Alexandre Lapandry, 20 Morgan Parra, 21 Nick Abendanon, 22 Alivereti Raka, 23 Aaron Jarvis

Referee: Pierre Brousset


Stade Français 51-5 Bayonne
Stade Jean Bouin, Paris

The game was over as early as the 18th minute when Bayonne’s Grégory Arganese was sent off with a red card to leave his side with a monumental task of getting something out of this match.

They failed, as Stade took full advantage of playing against 14 men. The hosts raced to a 22-0 half-time lead with tries from Will Genia, Hugo Bonneval and Jonathan Ross.

They stepped up a gear in the second half, scoring a further five tries through Rabah Slimani, Jeremy Sinzelle, Josaia Raisuqe, Sylvain Nicolas and Waisea Nayacalevu.

Bayonne’s only reply came courtesy of Romain Martial in the 65th minute, but it meant nothing in the bigger scheme of things.

The scorers:

For Stade Français:
Tries:
Genia, Bonneval, Ross, Slimani, Sinzelle, Raisuqe, Nicolas, Nayacalevu
Cons: Plisson 4
Pen: Plisson
Yellow Card: Slimani

For Bayonne:
Try:
Martial
Red Card:
Arganese

Stade Français: 15 Hugo Bonneval, 14 Josaia Raisuqe, 13 Waisea Nayacalevu, 12 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 11 Jeremy Sinzelle, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jonathan Ross, 7 Raphael Lakafia, 6 Sylvain Nicolas, 5 Paul Gabrillagues, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Laurent Sempere, 1 Emmanuel Felsina
Replacements: 16 Remy Bonfils, 17 Heinke Van der Merwe, 18 Mathieu De Giovanni, 19 Sekou Macalou, 20 Julien Dupuy, 21 Morne Steyn, 22 Julien Arias, 23 Giorgi Melikidze

Bayonne: 15 Romain Martial, 14 Martin Laveau, 13 Felix Le Bourhis, 12 Gabiriele Lovobalavu, 11 Bastien Fuster, 10 Raphael Lagarde, 9 Guillaume Rouet, 8 John Beattie, 7 Baptiste Chouzenoux, 6 Jean Jo Marmouyet, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Pablo Huete, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Grégory Arganese, 1 Aretz Iguiniz
Replacements: 16 Simon Labouyrie, 17 Jérome Schuster, 18 Pelu Taele, 19 Dion Evrard Oulai, 20 Manu Saubusse, 21 Willie du Plessis, 22 Julien Jane, 23 Ben Broster

Referee: Mathieu Raynal


Lyon 19-23 Castres
Matmut Stadium, Lyon

The manner of the win will have boosted Castres who were twice reduced to 14 men, but still managed to sneak an important away win over Lyon.

Jody Jenneker was sin-binned in the 18th minute, but the visitors only conceded two penalties in his absence. Lyon were again given an advantage 14 minutes later when Antoine Tichit was yellow carded.

Again they scored two penalties, but this time Castres scored a try of their own to reduce the deficit to 12-10 at the break.

Rory Kockott’s try right after half time gave Castres a seven point lead before Geoffrey Palis added two penalties shortly after. Theo Belan brought the hosts back into the game with a try as they trailed by four, but Castres stood firm in the final 10 minutes to secure the win.

The scorers:

For Lyon:
Try:
Belan
Con: Potgieter
Pens: Michalak 3, Armitage

For Castres:
Tries:
Jelonch, Kockott
Cons: Palis 2
Pens: Palis 3
Yellow Cards: Jenneker, Tichit

Lyon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Toby Arnold, 13 Theo Belan, 12 Hemani Paea, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Frederic Michalak, 8 Carl Fearns, 7 Julien Bonnaire, 6 Julien Puricelli, 5 Thibault Privat, 4 Taiasina Tuifua, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Mickael Ivaldi, 1 Albertus Buckle
Replacements: 16 Ti’i Paulo, 17 Alexandre Menini, 18 Josh Bekhuis, 19 Felix Lambey, 20 Baptiste Couilloud, 21 Deon Fourie, 22 Thibault Regard, 23 David Attoub

Castres: 15 Geoffrey Palis, 14 David Smith, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Remy Grosso, 10 Julien Dumora, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Alex Tulou, 7 Anthony Jelonch, 6 Mathieu Babillot, 5 Loic Jacquet, 4 Thibault Lassalle, 3 Daniel Kotze, 2 Jody Jenneker, 1 Antoine Tichit
Replacements: 16 Brice Mach, 17 Tudor Stroe, 18 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 19 Yannick Caballero, 20 Antoine Dupont, 21 Afusipa Taumoepeau, 22 Maxime Javaux, 23 Damien Tussac

Referee: Juan Sylvestre (UAR)


Grenoble 37-51 Montpellier
Stade des Alpes, Grenoble

Chris Farrell got Grenoble off to a flying start with a try as early as the third minute. Jacques du Plessis scored Montpellier’s first try 16 minutes later before Peter Kimlin and Joseph Tomane exchanged tries to level the scores at 17-17 after half an hour.

Fulgence Ouedraogo scored before half time to give the visitors the edge, but Jonathan Wisniewski kept Grenoble in the game with two penalties of his own.

The lead changed like ping pong in the second half. Grenoble scored first through Hendrik Roodt to level the scored again before another Wisniewski gave them a slight advantage.

Konstantin Mikautadze and Timoci Nagusa scored in quick succession for Montpellier before Sisa Waqa pulled one back for Grenoble. But Nagusa’s second helped the visitors pull away before Jesse Mogg applied the finishing touches on a big win.

The scorers:

For Grenoble:
Tries:
Farrell, Kimlin, Roodt, Waqa
Cons: Wisniewski 4
Pens: Wisniewski 3
Yellow Card: Grice

For Montpellier:
Tries:
Du Plessis, TomaneOuedraogo, Mikautadze, Nagusa 2, Mogg
Cons: Catrakilis 5
Pens: Catrakilis 2
Yellow Card: Janse van Rensburg

Grenoble: 15 Fabien Gengenbacher, 14 Sisa Waqa, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Fabrice Estebanez, 11 Armand Batlle, 10 Jonathan Wisniewski, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Rory Grice, 7 Fabien Alexandre, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Aly Muldowney, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Dayna Edwards, 2 Loick Jammes, 1 Sona Taumalolo
Replacements: 16 Etienne Fourcade, 17 Alexandre Dardet, 18 Ben Hand, 19 Dylan Hayes, 20 Lilian Saseras, 21 Gilles Bosch, 22 Nigel Hunt, 23 Walter Desmaison

Montpellier: 15 Joffrey Michel, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Joseph Tomane, 12 Francois Steyn, 11 Benjamin Fall, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic White, 8 Kelian Galletier, 7 Jacques Du Plessis, 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 5 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 4 Konstantin Mikautadze, 3 Davit Kubriashvili, 2 Shalva Mamukashvili, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili
Replacements: 16 Charles Geli, 17 Yvan Watremez, 18 Antoine Battut, 19 Pierre Spies, 20 Cameron Wright, 21 Vincent Martin, 22 Jesse Mogg, 23 Antoine Guillamon

Referee: Romain Poite


La Rochelle 23-23 Racing 92
Stade Marcel Deflandre, La Rochelle

Considering the start they had, La Rochelle will be wondering how they managed to let their lead slip as they missed out on a big win in front of their home fans.

The hosts were leading 12-0 after 25 minutes thanks to tries from Steeve Barry and Mohamed Boughanmi. Racing got themselves on the board soon afterwards with a try from Leone Nakarawa before Dan Carter and Zack Holmes exchanged penalties to give La Rochelle a 15-10 half-time lead.

Carter slotted two more penalties after the break to give Racing a narrow 16-15 lead, but it didn’t last long as Holmes kicked another penalty before Gabriel Lacroix went over to stretch the lead to 23-16 with 11 minutes to play.

Viliamu Afatia was yellow carded with six minutes left, but that deter Racing as they kept on pushing and eventually Yannick Nyanga scored in the 80th minute before Carter’s conversion sealed the comeback and secured a draw.

The scorers:

For La Rochelle:
Tries:
Barry, Boughanmi, Lacroix
Con: Holmes
Pens: Holmes 2
Yellow Cards: Barry, Eaton

For Racing 92:
Tries: 
Nakarawa, Nyanga
Cons: Carter 2
Pens: Carter 3
Yellow Card: Afatia

La Rochelle: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Gabriel Lacroix, 13 Zack Holmes, 12 Pierre Aguillon, 11 Steeve Barry, 10 Brock James, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Jone Qovu Nailiko, 6 Jason Eaton, 5 Leandro Cedaro, 4 Romana Graham, 3 Mohamed Boughanmi, 2 Jeremie Maurouard, 1 Mike Corbel
Replacements: 16 Maxime Gau, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Mathieu Tanguy, 19 Romain Sazy, 20 Arthur Retiere, 21 Elliot Roudil, 22 Vincent Rattez, 23 Uini Atonio

Racing 92: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Casey Laulala, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Yannick Nyanga, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Eddy Ben Arous
Replacements: 16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Viliamu Afatia, 18 Francois van der Merwe, 19 Antonie Claassen, 20 Xavier Chauveau, 21 Anthony Tuitavake, 22 Benjamin Dambielle, 23 Cedate Gomes Sa

Referee: Jérôme Garcès


Toulouse 30-12 Brive

Toulouse returned to the victory trail when they claimed a deserved 30-12 victory over Brive at Stade Ernest Wallon on Sunday.

The home side dominated for large periods, were full value for their triumph and eventually outscored their visitors by five tries to two with Gael Fickou leading the charge with a brace of tries.

It was the visitors who made the brighter start though and after a sustained period of pressure, inside Toulouse’s 22, Said Hireche barged over in the corner for the opening points in the fourth minute.

The rest of the half saw Toulouse stepping up a few gears on attack and they raced into a 17-5 lead at half-time after Francois Cros, Semi Kunatani and Fickou all crossed for tries.

Five minutes in to the second half, Sebastien Bezy kicked a penalty and when Fickou scored his second try two minutes later, Toulouse were cruising as they held a comfortable 25-5 lead.

The next 25 minutes was a slugfest as both sides tried to gain the ascendancy and we had to wait until the 70th minute for the next points which came courtesy of a Sevenaia Galala try.

Gaetan Germain added the extras which gave some respectability to the score but Brive suffered another setback in the 74th minute when William Whetton was yellow carded for an illegal tackle.

Toulouse made full use of their numerical advantage and secured victory when Arthur Bonneval went over for their fifth try in the 76th minute.

The scorers:

For Toulouse:
Tries:
Fickou 2, Cros, Kunatani, Bonneval
Con: Bezy
Pen: Bezy

For Brive:
Tries:
Hireche, Galala
Con: Germain
Yellow Card: Whetton


Toulon 37-10 Bordeaux-Bègles

Toulon consolidated their position among the frontrunners on the table when they beat Bordeaux-Bègles 37-10 at Stade Félix Mayol on Sunday.

Although the home side held the upperhand from the outset, the complexion of the match changed in the 23rd minute when UBB flanker Luke Braid received a red card for trampling on Mamuka Gorgodze’s face.

Toulon led 13-3 at the time thanks to two Leigh Halfpenny penalty and a Bryan Habana try in 20th minute which Halfpenny also converted. The visitors’ points came via a Simon Hickey penalty in the 16th minute.

As expected, Braid’s absence put huge pressure on his team-mates and 10 minutes after his exit, the home side made full use of their superior numbers when Pierre Bernard went over for their second try. Halfpenny added the extras which meant Toulon held a comfortable 20-3 lead at the interval.

To their credit, UBB did not surrender and shortly after the restart, they were rewarded when Adam Ashley-Cooper crossed for a try which Hickey converted.

That fightback did not last long though as Toulon grew stronger as the game progressed. Liam Gill crossed for a try on the hour-mark and further five-pointers from James O’Connor and Halfpenny, inside the final 10 minutes, sealed a deserved victory.

The scorers:

For Toulon:
Tries:
Habana, Bernard, Gill, O’Connor, Halfpenny
Cons: Halfpenny 3
Pens: Halfpenny 2

For Bordeaux-Bègles:
Try:
Ashley-Cooper
Con: Hickey
Pen: Hickey
Red Card: Braid

Top 14 Wrap

0

There were wins for Castres, Bordeaux-Bègles, Brive, Clermont and Racing 92 in the Top 14 action that took place on Saturday.

Logo_Top14_2012

Fixtures/Results

Saturday

Castres 34-17 Toulon
Bordeaux-Bègles 26-0 La Rochelle
Brive 38-25 Pau
Clermont 16-13 Lyon
Racing 92 29-24 Grenoble

Sunday

Bayonne v Toulouse
Stade Français v Montpellier


Castres 34-19 Toulon
Stade Jean-Pierre Antoine, Castres

Castres were deserved winners against their more fancied opponents and Geoffrey Palis led the way courtesy of a 19-point haul via a try, four conversions and two penalties.

Toulon were fastest out of the blocks and led 6-0 inside the opening quarter thanks to two Pierre Bernard penalties but Castres struck back via a Robert Ebersohn try which Palis converted.

Palis also slotted two penalties before Bernard added a drop goal which meant Castres led 13-9 at half-time.

Ebersohn crossed for his second try, five minutes after the restart, before Bernard kicked his third penalty in the 49th minute. It didn’t take long for the home side to responded via Palis’ five-pointer and his conversion meant Castres now held a comfortable 27-12 lead.

To their credit, Toulon didn’t surrender and struck back via a Jean Charles Orioli try on the hour mark but Castres sealed their when Tudor Stroe crossed for their fourth try shortly before the end.

The scorers:

For Castres:
Tries:
Ebersohn 2, Palis, Stroe
Cons: Palis 4
Pens: Palis 2

For Toulon:
Try:
Orioli
Pens: Bernard 3
Drop Goal: Bernard

Castres: 15 Geoffrey Palis, 14 Remy Grosso, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 David Smith, 10 Julien Dumora, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Alex Tulou, 7 Victor Moreaux, 6 Mathieu Babillot, 5 Loic Jacquet, 4 Thibault Lassalle, 3 Daniel Kotze, 2 Jody Jenneker, 1 Antoine Tichit
Replacements: 16 Brice Mach, 17 Tudor Stroe, 18 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 19 Anthony Jelonch, 20 Rory Kockott, 21 Maxime Javaux, 22 Afusipa Taumoepeau, 23 Damien Tussac

Toulon: 15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Jimmy Yobo, 13 Maxime Mermoz, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Pierre Bernard, 9 Eric Escande, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 6 Liam Gill, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Jocelino Suta, 3 Marcel Van der Merwe, 2 Anthony Etrillard, 1 Florian Fresia
Replacements: 16 Jean Charles Orioli, 17 Laurent DelBoulbes, 18 Andries Ferreira, 19 Juandre Kruger, 20 Mathieu Bastareaud, 21 Anthony Belleau, 22 Jonathan Pelissie, 23 Emerick Setiano

Referee: Romain Poite


Bordeaux-Bègles 26-0 La Rochelle
Stade Chaban Delmas, Bordeaux

Bordeaux-Bègles climbed to second position in the Top 14 standings as they outclassed La Rochelle at Stade Chaban Delmas.

Despite only leading 6-0 at half-time thanks to two Simon Hickey penalties, UBB moved into gear in an impressive second 40.

Tries from loosehead prop Sebastien Taofifenua and replacement prop Jean-Baptiste Poux to go with conversions from Hickey and Lionel Beauxis and two more Hickey penalties saw Bordeaux-Bègles canter to the four points, with La Rochelle scoreless.

The scorers:

For Bordeaux-Bègles:
Tries: 
Taofifenua, Poux
Cons: Hickey, Beauxis
Pens: Hickey 4

Bordeaux-Bègles: 15 Nans Ducuing, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Jean-Baptiste Dubie, 12 Julien Rey, 11 Blair Connor, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Yann Lesgourgues, 8 Marco Tauleigne, 7 Hugh Chalmers, 6 Luke Braid, 5 Cyril Cazeaux, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Clement Maynadier, 1 Sebastien Taofifenua
Replacements: 16 Ole Avei, 17 Jean-Baptiste Poux, 18 Tom Palmer, 19 Joe Edwards, 20 Julien Audy, 21 Lionel Beauxis, 22 Romain Lonca, 23 Marc Clerc

La Rochelle: 15 Zack Holmes, 14 Gabriel Lacroix, 13 Steeve Barry, 12 Pierre Aguillon, 11 Vincent Rattez, 10 Anthony Fuertes, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Afaesetiti Amosa, 7 Romain Sazy, 6 Romana Graham, 5 Damien Lagrange, 4 Mathieu Tanguy, 3 David Fe’ao, 2 Jeremie Maurouard, 1 Dany Priso
Replacements: 16 Samuel Lagrange, 17 Mike Corbel, 18 Jason Eaton, 19 Victor Vito, 20 Arthur Retiere, 21 Levani Botia, 22 Paul Jordaan, 23 Mohamed Boughanmi

Referee: Pascal Gauzère


Brive 38-25 Pau
Stade Amédée Domenech, Brive

Brive picked up their sixth victory of the Top 14 season on Saturday as they saw off Pau, winning at Stade Amédée Domenech.

The hosts led 13-8 at the interval thanks to Benjamin Lapeyre’s try and eight points from the boot of full-back Gaetan Germain.

Further tries from Seremaia Burotu, Nicolas Bezy and Takudzwa Ngwenya saw them keep Pau, whose try-scorers were Charly Malie, Chris King and Marvin Lestremau, out of reach as the visitors go home without even a losing bonus-point for their efforts.

The scorers:

For Brive:
Tries: 
Lapeyre, Burotu, Bezy, Ngwenya
Cons: Germain 3
Pens: Germain 4

For Pau:
Tries:
Malie, King, Lestremau
Cons: Fajardo 2
Pens: Taylor 2

Brive: 15 Gaetan Germain, 14 Benjamin Lapeyre, 13 Arnaud Mignardi, 12 Seremaia Burotu, 11 Sevenaia Galala, 10 Nicolas Bezy, 9 Teddy Iribaren, 8 Sisa Koyamaibole, 7 Fabien Sanconnie, 6 Said Hireche, 5 Arnaud Mela, 4 Jan Uys, 3 Patrick-Albert Toetu, 2 Thomas Acquier, 1 Lucas Pointud
Replacements: 16 Guillaume Ribes, 17 Vivien Devisme, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 William Whetton, 20 Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, 21 Romain Cabannes, 22 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 23 Soso Bekoshvili

Pau: 15 Charly Malie, 14 Bastien Pourailly, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Jale Vatubua, 11 Watisoni Votu, 10 Tom Taylor, 9 Thibault Daubagna, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Ben Mowen, 5 Fabrice Metz, 4 Daniel Ramsay, 3 Sylvain Charlet, 2 Thomas Bianchin, 1 Jamie Mackintosh
Replacements: 16 Mehdi Boundjema, 17 Chris King, 18 Masalosalo Tutaia, 19 Paddy Butler, 20 Julien Tomas, 21 Brandon Fajardo, 22 Marvin Lestremau, 23 Malik Hamadache

Referee: Laurent Cardona


Clermont 16-13 Lyon
Parc Sports Marcel Michelin, Clermont-Ferrand

Clermont stay top of the pile in France as they edged out Lyon thanks to a last-minute drop-goal from scrum-half Morgan Parra.

Jacques-Louis Potgieter put Lyon 0-3 in front early on before Parra landed two penalty goals for a 6-3 cushion at the turnaround.

Arthur Iturria went over for the game’s first try on 44 minutes, which was converted by Parra, as Clermont pushed 13-3 in front.

Potgieter then slotted a penalty and when Baptiste Couilloud scored a converted try, suddenly Lyon were level on 66 minutes.

But with time all but up, Parra was once again the hero for his club side as he sent over a late drop-goal that won the contest.

The scorers:

For Clermont:
Try:
Iturria
Con: Parra
Pen: Parra
Drop-Goal: Parra 2

For Lyon:
Try: 
Couilloud
Con: Potgieter
Pens: Potgieter 2

Clermont: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 David Strettle, 13 Aurelien Rougerie, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Adrien Plante, 10 Morgan Parra, 9 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Camille Gerondeau, 5 Arthur Iturria, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Etienne Falgoux
Replacements: 16 Yohan Beheregaray, 17 Thomas Domingo, 18 Sitaleki Timani, 19 Julien Ruaud, 20 Enzo Sanga, 21 Hosea Gear, 22 Damian Penaud, 23 Aaron Jarvis

Lyon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Toby Arnold, 13 Hemani Paea, 12 Rudi Wulf, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Baptiste Couilloud, 8 Carl Fearns, 7 Virgile Bruni, 6 Julien Bonnaire, 5 Thibault Privat, 4 Felix Lambey, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Ti’I Paulo, 1 Albertus Buckle
Replacements: 16 Mickael Ivaldi, 17 Alexandre Menini, 18 Josh Bekhuis, 19 Taiasina Tuifua, 20 Nicolas Durand, 21 Theo Belan, 22 Frederic Michalak, 23 Gomez Kodela

Referee: Adrien Descottes


Racing 92 29-24 Grenoble
Stade Yves du Manoir, Colombes

Racing 92 claimed their seventh win of the Top 14 season as they edged out a spirited Grenoble effort at Stade Yves du Manoir.

First-half tries from Yannick Nyanga and Dimitri Szarzewski to Fabien Alexandre’s effort for Grenoble made it 14-10 at the break.

Francois van der Merwe and Henry Chavancy added tries three and four for Clermont in the second period, with Laurent Bouchet and Chris Farrell crossing for Grenoble but they came up just short of their hosts, who are now seventh in the league standings.

The scorers:

For Racing 92:
Tries:
Nyanga, Szarzewski, Van der Merwe, Chavancy
Cons: Hart 2, Dambielle
Pens: Dambielle

For Grenoble:
Tries:
Alexandre, Bouchet, Farrell
Cons: Wisniewski 2, Bosch
Pens: Wisniewski

Racing 92: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Anthony Tuitavake, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Remi Tales, 9 James Hart, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Yannick Nyanga, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Julien Brugnaut
Replacements: 16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Viliamu Afatia, 18 Gerbrandt Grobler, 19 Chris Masoe, 20 Xavier Chauveau, 21 Benjamin Dambielle, 22 Casey Laulala, 23 Cedate Gomes Sa

Grenoble: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Edward Sawailau, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Fabrice Estebanez, 11 Armand Batlle, 10 Jonathan Wisniewski, 9 Lilian Saseras, 8 Rory Grice, 7 Fabien Alexandre, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Aly Muldowney, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Dayna Edwards, 2 Loick Jammes, 1 Denis Coulson
Replacements: 16 Laurent Bouchet, 17 Alexandre Dardet, 18 Mickael Capelli, 19 Dylan Hayes, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Gilles Bosch, 22 Nigel Hunt, 23 Walter Desmaison

Referee: Cédric Marchat

Source: Planet Rugby

Top 14 Wrap

0

Logo_Top14_2012

There were wins for Castres, Bordeaux-Bègles, Brive, Clermont and Racing 92 in the Top 14 action that took place on Saturday.

Fixtures/Results

Saturday

Castres 34-17 Toulon
Bordeaux-Bègles 26-0 La Rochelle
Brive 38-25 Pau
Clermont 16-13 Lyon
Racing 92 29-24 Grenoble

Sunday

Bayonne v Toulouse
Stade Français v Montpellier


Castres 34-19 Toulon
Stade Jean-Pierre Antoine, Castres

Castres were deserved winners against their more fancied opponents and Geoffrey Palis led the way courtesy of a 19-point haul via a try, four conversions and two penalties.

Toulon were fastest out of the blocks and led 6-0 inside the opening quarter thanks to two Pierre Bernard penalties but Castres struck back via a Robert Ebersohn try which Palis converted.

Palis also slotted two penalties before Bernard added a drop goal which meant Castres led 13-9 at half-time.

Ebersohn crossed for his second try, five minutes after the restart, before Bernard kicked his third penalty in the 49th minute. It didn’t take long for the home side to responded via Palis’ five-pointer and his conversion meant Castres now held a comfortable 27-12 lead.

To their credit, Toulon didn’t surrender and struck back via a Jean Charles Orioli try on the hour mark but Castres sealed their when Tudor Stroe crossed for their fourth try shortly before the end.

The scorers:

For Castres:
Tries:
Ebersohn 2, Palis, Stroe
Cons: Palis 4
Pens: Palis 2

For Toulon:
Try:
Orioli
Pens: Bernard 3
Drop Goal: Bernard

Castres: 15 Geoffrey Palis, 14 Remy Grosso, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 David Smith, 10 Julien Dumora, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Alex Tulou, 7 Victor Moreaux, 6 Mathieu Babillot, 5 Loic Jacquet, 4 Thibault Lassalle, 3 Daniel Kotze, 2 Jody Jenneker, 1 Antoine Tichit
Replacements: 16 Brice Mach, 17 Tudor Stroe, 18 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 19 Anthony Jelonch, 20 Rory Kockott, 21 Maxime Javaux, 22 Afusipa Taumoepeau, 23 Damien Tussac

Toulon: 15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Jimmy Yobo, 13 Maxime Mermoz, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Pierre Bernard, 9 Eric Escande, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 6 Liam Gill, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Jocelino Suta, 3 Marcel Van der Merwe, 2 Anthony Etrillard, 1 Florian Fresia
Replacements: 16 Jean Charles Orioli, 17 Laurent DelBoulbes, 18 Andries Ferreira, 19 Juandre Kruger, 20 Mathieu Bastareaud, 21 Anthony Belleau, 22 Jonathan Pelissie, 23 Emerick Setiano

Referee: Romain Poite


Bordeaux-Bègles 26-0 La Rochelle
Stade Chaban Delmas, Bordeaux

Bordeaux-Bègles climbed to second position in the Top 14 standings as they outclassed La Rochelle at Stade Chaban Delmas.

Despite only leading 6-0 at half-time thanks to two Simon Hickey penalties, UBB moved into gear in an impressive second 40.

Tries from loosehead prop Sebastien Taofifenua and replacement prop Jean-Baptiste Poux to go with conversions from Hickey and Lionel Beauxis and two more Hickey penalties saw Bordeaux-Bègles canter to the four points, with La Rochelle scoreless.

The scorers:

For Bordeaux-Bègles:
Tries: 
Taofifenua, Poux
Cons: Hickey, Beauxis
Pens: Hickey 4

Bordeaux-Bègles: 15 Nans Ducuing, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Jean-Baptiste Dubie, 12 Julien Rey, 11 Blair Connor, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Yann Lesgourgues, 8 Marco Tauleigne, 7 Hugh Chalmers, 6 Luke Braid, 5 Cyril Cazeaux, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Clement Maynadier, 1 Sebastien Taofifenua
Replacements: 16 Ole Avei, 17 Jean-Baptiste Poux, 18 Tom Palmer, 19 Joe Edwards, 20 Julien Audy, 21 Lionel Beauxis, 22 Romain Lonca, 23 Marc Clerc

La Rochelle: 15 Zack Holmes, 14 Gabriel Lacroix, 13 Steeve Barry, 12 Pierre Aguillon, 11 Vincent Rattez, 10 Anthony Fuertes, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Afaesetiti Amosa, 7 Romain Sazy, 6 Romana Graham, 5 Damien Lagrange, 4 Mathieu Tanguy, 3 David Fe’ao, 2 Jeremie Maurouard, 1 Dany Priso
Replacements: 16 Samuel Lagrange, 17 Mike Corbel, 18 Jason Eaton, 19 Victor Vito, 20 Arthur Retiere, 21 Levani Botia, 22 Paul Jordaan, 23 Mohamed Boughanmi

Referee: Pascal Gauzère


Brive 38-25 Pau
Stade Amédée Domenech, Brive

Brive picked up their sixth victory of the Top 14 season on Saturday as they saw off Pau, winning at Stade Amédée Domenech.

The hosts led 13-8 at the interval thanks to Benjamin Lapeyre’s try and eight points from the boot of full-back Gaetan Germain.

Further tries from Seremaia Burotu, Nicolas Bezy and Takudzwa Ngwenya saw them keep Pau, whose try-scorers were Charly Malie, Chris King and Marvin Lestremau, out of reach as the visitors go home without even a losing bonus-point for their efforts.

The scorers:

For Brive:
Tries: 
Lapeyre, Burotu, Bezy, Ngwenya
Cons: Germain 3
Pens: Germain 4

For Pau:
Tries:
Malie, King, Lestremau
Cons: Fajardo 2
Pens: Taylor 2

Brive: 15 Gaetan Germain, 14 Benjamin Lapeyre, 13 Arnaud Mignardi, 12 Seremaia Burotu, 11 Sevenaia Galala, 10 Nicolas Bezy, 9 Teddy Iribaren, 8 Sisa Koyamaibole, 7 Fabien Sanconnie, 6 Said Hireche, 5 Arnaud Mela, 4 Jan Uys, 3 Patrick-Albert Toetu, 2 Thomas Acquier, 1 Lucas Pointud
Replacements: 16 Guillaume Ribes, 17 Vivien Devisme, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 William Whetton, 20 Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, 21 Romain Cabannes, 22 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 23 Soso Bekoshvili

Pau: 15 Charly Malie, 14 Bastien Pourailly, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Jale Vatubua, 11 Watisoni Votu, 10 Tom Taylor, 9 Thibault Daubagna, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Ben Mowen, 5 Fabrice Metz, 4 Daniel Ramsay, 3 Sylvain Charlet, 2 Thomas Bianchin, 1 Jamie Mackintosh
Replacements: 16 Mehdi Boundjema, 17 Chris King, 18 Masalosalo Tutaia, 19 Paddy Butler, 20 Julien Tomas, 21 Brandon Fajardo, 22 Marvin Lestremau, 23 Malik Hamadache

Referee: Laurent Cardona


Clermont 16-13 Lyon
Parc Sports Marcel Michelin, Clermont-Ferrand

Clermont stay top of the pile in France as they edged out Lyon thanks to a last-minute drop-goal from scrum-half Morgan Parra.

Jacques-Louis Potgieter put Lyon 0-3 in front early on before Parra landed two penalty goals for a 6-3 cushion at the turnaround.

Arthur Iturria went over for the game’s first try on 44 minutes, which was converted by Parra, as Clermont pushed 13-3 in front.

Potgieter then slotted a penalty and when Baptiste Couilloud scored a converted try, suddenly Lyon were level on 66 minutes.

But with time all but up, Parra was once again the hero for his club side as he sent over a late drop-goal that won the contest.

The scorers:

For Clermont:
Try:
Iturria
Con: Parra
Pen: Parra
Drop-Goal: Parra 2

For Lyon:
Try: 
Couilloud
Con: Potgieter
Pens: Potgieter 2

Clermont: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 David Strettle, 13 Aurelien Rougerie, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Adrien Plante, 10 Morgan Parra, 9 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Camille Gerondeau, 5 Arthur Iturria, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Etienne Falgoux
Replacements: 16 Yohan Beheregaray, 17 Thomas Domingo, 18 Sitaleki Timani, 19 Julien Ruaud, 20 Enzo Sanga, 21 Hosea Gear, 22 Damian Penaud, 23 Aaron Jarvis

Lyon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Toby Arnold, 13 Hemani Paea, 12 Rudi Wulf, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Baptiste Couilloud, 8 Carl Fearns, 7 Virgile Bruni, 6 Julien Bonnaire, 5 Thibault Privat, 4 Felix Lambey, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Ti’I Paulo, 1 Albertus Buckle
Replacements: 16 Mickael Ivaldi, 17 Alexandre Menini, 18 Josh Bekhuis, 19 Taiasina Tuifua, 20 Nicolas Durand, 21 Theo Belan, 22 Frederic Michalak, 23 Gomez Kodela

Referee: Adrien Descottes


Racing 92 29-24 Grenoble
Stade Yves du Manoir, Colombes

Racing 92 claimed their seventh win of the Top 14 season as they edged out a spirited Grenoble effort at Stade Yves du Manoir.

First-half tries from Yannick Nyanga and Dimitri Szarzewski to Fabien Alexandre’s effort for Grenoble made it 14-10 at the break.

Francois van der Merwe and Henry Chavancy added tries three and four for Clermont in the second period, with Laurent Bouchet and Chris Farrell crossing for Grenoble but they came up just short of their hosts, who are now seventh in the league standings.

The scorers:

For Racing 92:
Tries:
Nyanga, Szarzewski, Van der Merwe, Chavancy
Cons: Hart 2, Dambielle
Pens: Dambielle

For Grenoble:
Tries:
Alexandre, Bouchet, Farrell
Cons: Wisniewski 2, Bosch
Pens: Wisniewski

Racing 92: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Anthony Tuitavake, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Remi Tales, 9 James Hart, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Yannick Nyanga, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Julien Brugnaut
Replacements: 16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Viliamu Afatia, 18 Gerbrandt Grobler, 19 Chris Masoe, 20 Xavier Chauveau, 21 Benjamin Dambielle, 22 Casey Laulala, 23 Cedate Gomes Sa

Grenoble: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Edward Sawailau, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Fabrice Estebanez, 11 Armand Batlle, 10 Jonathan Wisniewski, 9 Lilian Saseras, 8 Rory Grice, 7 Fabien Alexandre, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Aly Muldowney, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Dayna Edwards, 2 Loick Jammes, 1 Denis Coulson
Replacements: 16 Laurent Bouchet, 17 Alexandre Dardet, 18 Mickael Capelli, 19 Dylan Hayes, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Gilles Bosch, 22 Nigel Hunt, 23 Walter Desmaison

Referee: Cédric Marchat

Source: Planet Rugby

Top 14 Wrap Week 10

0

Logo_Top14_2012

There were home victories for Bordeaux-Bègles, Brive, Clermont, Toulouse and Racing 92 in round 10 of the Top 14 on Saturday.

Fixtures/Results

Saturday

Bordeaux-Bègles 37-19 Stade Français
Toulouse 16-15 Castres
Brive 26-9 Bayonne
Clermont 21-20 Grenoble
Racing 92 21-9 Montpellier

Sunday

La Rochelle v Pau
Lyon v Toulon

Bordeaux-Bègles 37-19 Stade Français
Stade Chaban Delmas, Bordeaux

Bordeaux-Bègles kept the pressure on the Top 14 pace-setters as they picked up a 37-19 victory over Stade Français at Stade Chaban Delmas.

Stade Français hit the front on eight minutes when fly-half Hugo Bonneval crossed for a try that was converted by full-back Paul Williams.

Simon Hickey closed the gap to four points with a penalty three minutes later and then his second three-pointer on 16 minutes made it 6-7.

Bordeaux-Bègles continued their recovery with a crossing from flank Hugh Chalmers nudging them in front at 13-7 with Hickey’s conversion.

UBB were now on a roll, adding tries two and three before the break, from hooker Clement Maynadier and centre Julien Rey, to make it 27-7.

Whatever was said at half-time clearly lifted Stade as early tries from Jeremy Sinzelle and Waisea Nayacalevu cut the gap to eight points.

But Hickey’s smart drop-goal helped UBB move 30-19 in front on 53 minutes and when scrum-half Yann Lesgourgues crossed on 63 minutes, the lead was up to 18 points which was how things remained in the home win.

The scorers:

For Bordeaux-Bègles:
Tries: Chalmers, Maynadier, Rey, Lesgourgues
Cons: Hickey 4
Pens: Hickey 2
Drop-Goal: Hickey
Yellow Card: Jones (71 min)

For Stade Français:
Tries: Bonneval, Sinzelle, Nayacalevu
Cons: Williams, Bonneval
Yellow Card: Gabrillagues (20 min)

Bordeaux-Bègles: 15 Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Jayden Spence, 12 Julien Rey, 11 Blair Connor, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Yann Lesgourgues, 8 Marco Tauleigne, 7 Hugh Chalmers, 6 Luke Braid, 5 Cyril Cazeaux, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Clement Maynadier, 1 Sebastien Taofifenua
Replacements: 16 Ole Avei, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Tom Palmer, 19 Joe Edwards, 20 Julien Audy, 21 Metuisela Talebula, 22 Romain Lonca, 23 Jean-Baptiste Poux

Stade Français: 15 Paul Williams, 14 Waisea Nayacalevu, 13 Theo Millet, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Jeremy Sinzelle, 10 Hugo Bonneval, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Sylvain Nicolas, 6 Antoine Burban, 5 Alexandre Flanquart, 4 Paul Gabrillagues, 3 Sakaria Taulafo, 2 Remy Bonfils, 1 Heinke Van der Merwe
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Emmanuel Felsina, 18 Hugh Pyle, 19 Mathieu De Giovanni, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Arthur Coville, 22 Josaia Raisuqe, 23 Giorgi Melikidze

Referee: Thomas Charabas


Toulouse 16-15 Castres
Stade Ernest Wallon, Toulouse

Samuel Marques kicked a 78th minute penalty to hand Toulouse a dramatic 16-15 victory over Castres at Stade Ernest Wallon on Saturday.

Castres had the better of the first half, mainly due to the boot of Rory Kockott, who kicked three penalties in the first 40 to give his side a 12-3 lead at the break. Toulouse could only reply with a penalty from Marques.

Toulouse fought back well in the second half. They started with another penalty from marques before Leonardo Ghiraldini went over for a five-pointer which, together with the conversion from Marques, gave the home side the lead for the first time in the match.

Kockott slotted his fifth penalty in the 65th minute and as the minutes ticked by it looked like it would be enough to snatch a big away victory for Castres, but they conceded a penalty at the death to lose by a point.

The scorers:

For Toulouse:
Tries: Ghiraldini
Cons: Marques
Pens: Marques 3
Yellow Card: Flood

For Castres:
Tries:
Cons:
Pens: Kockott 5
Yellow Card: Caminati

Toulouse: 15 Luke McAlister, 14 Semi Kunatani, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Yann David, 11 Alexis Palisson, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Samuel Marques, 8 Talalelei Gray, 7 François Cros, 6 Thierry Dusautoir, 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Gurthro Steenkamp
Replacements: 16 Julien Marchand, 17 Vasil Kakovin, 18 Gregory Lamboley, 19 Carl Axtens, 20 Edwin Maka, 21 Arthur Bonneval, 22 Paul Perez, 23 Dorian Aldegheri

Castres: 15 Geoffrey Palis, 14 Julien Caminati, 13 Afusipa Taumoepeau, 12 Florian Vialelle, 11 David Smith, 10 Julien Dumora, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Alex Tulou, 7 Steve Mafi, 6 Mathieu Babillot, 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 4 Thibault Lassalle, 3 Daniel Kotze, 2 Jody Jenneker, 1 Antoine Tichit
Replacements: 16 Marc-Antoine Rallier, 17 Mihaita Lazar, 18 Victor Moreaux, 19 Loic Jacquet, 20 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 21 Antoine Dupont, 22 Yannick Caballero, 23 Damien Tussac

Referee: Pascal Gauzère


Brive 26-9 Bayonne
Stade Amédée Domenech, Brive

Brive were full value for their 26-9 home victory over Bayonne on Saturday night thanks to the boot of Gaetan Germain.

Germain kicked 16 points – four penalties and two conversions – to supplement tries by Guillaume Namy and Sisa Koyamaibole. Bayonne could only reply with three penalties from Manu Saubusse.

The match was evenly poised at half time with the scores locked at 9-9, but Brive went clear with Namy and Koyamaibole’s tries in the second half, while Germain added a fourth penalty to secure the win.

Bayonne failed to score any points in the second 40.

The scorers:

For Brive:
Tries: Namy, Koyamaibole
Cons: Germain 2
Pens: Germain 4

For Bayonne:
Tries:
Cons:
Pens: Saubusse 3

Brive: 15 Gaetan Germain, 14 Benjamin Lapeyre, 13 Arnaud Mignardi, 12 Seremaia Burotu, 11 Guillaume Namy, 10 Nicolas Bezy, 9 Teddy Iribaren, 8 Sisa Koyamaibole, 7 Said Hireche, 6 Petrus Gherardus Hauman, 5 Arnaud Mela, 4 Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 3 Soso Bekoshvili, 2 Francois Da Ros, 1 Lucas Pointud
Replacements: 16 Thomas Acquier, 17 Karlen Asieshvili, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Fabien Sanconnie, 20 Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, 21 Thomas Laranjeira, 22 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 23 Kevin Buys

Bayonne: 15 Romain Martial, 14 Martin Laveau, 13 Felix Le Bourhis, 12 Gabiriele Lovobalavu, 11 Julien Jane, 10 Willie du Plessis, 9 Manu Saubusse, 8 PJ Van Lill, 7 Pierre Gayraud, 6 John Beattie, 5 Adam Jaulhac, 4 Tom Donnelly, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Manu Leiataua, 1 Aretz Iguiniz
Replacements: 16 David Menage, 17 Jérôme Schuster, 18 Pablo Huete, 19 Baptiste Chouzenoux, 20 Guillaume Rouet, 21 Benjamin Thiery, 22 Bastien Fuster, 23 Ben Broster

Referee: Adrien Descottes


Clermont 21-20 Grenoble
Stade Marcel Michelin, Clermont-Ferrand

Two tries in the first half from Morgan Parra and Otar Giorgadze gave Clermont a 15-7 lead at the break, Grenoble replying with a try from Gio Aplon which Jonathan Wisniewski converted.

Wisniewski added two penalties in the first 10 minutes after half time to bring his team within two points, before Camille Lopez slotted a penalty to make it 18-13. But Grenoble hit right back with another try, this time through Alexandre Dardet and after Wisniewski added the extras, the visitors had a slight 20-18 lead.

In the end, Patricio Fernandez kicked a penalty in the 68th minute which gave Clermont back the lead and ultimately the game.

The scorers:

For Clermont:
Tries: Parra, Giorgadze
Cons: Parra
Pens: Lopez, Fernandez
Drop Goal: Lopez

For Grenoble:
Tries: Aplon, Dardet
Cons: Wisniewski 2
Pens: Wisniewski 2

Clermont: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 David Strettle, 13 Damian Penaud, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Alivereti Raka, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Peceli Yato, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Otar Giorgadze, 5 Sitaleki Timani, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Etienne Falgoux
Replacements: 16 Nathan Charles, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Camille Gerondeau, 19 Viktor Kolelishvili, 20 Charlie Cassang, 21 Patricio Fernandez, 22 Aurelien Rougerie, 23 Clement Ric

Grenoble: 15 Fabien Gengenbacher, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Nigel Hunt, 11 Armand Batlle, 10 Jonathan Wisniewski, 9 Lilian Saseras, 8 Rory Grice, 7 Fabien Alexandre, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Aly Muldowney, 4 Mickael Capelli, 3 Rossouw De Klerk, 2 Laurent Bouchet, 1 Denis Coulson
Replacements: 16 Loick Jammes, 17 Alexandre Dardet, 18 Hendrik Roodt, 19 Steven Setephano, 20 David Mele, 21 Gilles Bosch, 22 Sisa Waqa, 23 Dayna Edwards

Referee: Sébastien Minery


Racing 92 21-9 Montpellier
Stade Yves du Manoir, Colombes

Two tries in five minutes gave Racing 92 a hard fought 21-9 victory over Montpellier in Colombes on Saturday.

The scored were locked at 9-9 after 62 minutes with Ben Botica and Johan Goosen exhanging penalties throughout the game. But two tries in the final 10 minutes, five minutes apart, sealed the win after Henry Chavancy and Xavier Chauveau touched down.

The scorers:

For Racing 92:
Tries: Chavancy, Chauveau
Con: Goosen
Pens: Goosen 3

For Montpellier:
Pens: Botica 3

Racing 92: 15 Johan Goosen, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Anthony Tuitavake, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Remi Tales, 9 James Hart, 8 Leone Nakarawa, 7 Chris Masoe, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Viliamu Afatia
Replacements: 16 Teddy Baubigny, 17 Julien Brugnaut, 18 Ali Williams, 19 Olivier Missoup, 20 Xavier Chauveau, 21 Benjamin Dambielle, 22 Albert Vulivuli, 23 Luc Ducalcon

Montpellier: 15 Joffrey Michel, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Vincent Martin, 12 Joseph Tomane, 11 Jesse Mogg, 10 Ben Botica, 9 Tomas O’Leary, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Kelian Galletier, 6 Wian Liebenberg, 5 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 4 Konstantin Mikautadze, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Romain Ruffenach, 1 Gregory Fichten
Replacements: 16 Shalva Mamukashvili, 17 Mikheil Nariashvili, 18 Robins Tchale-Watchou, 19 Antoine Battut, 20 Nic White, 21 Francois Steyn, 22 Marvin O’Connor, 23 Davit Kubriashvili

Referee: Alexandre Ruiz

Top 14 Round 9 Wrap

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Clermont boosted their lead in the French Top 14 on Sunday with a bonus-point 40-16 win at Brive, who suffered their first home loss since December.

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Clermont’s fly-half Patricio Fernandez (C) runs with the ball against Brive on October 30, 2016

Clermont have 32 points, five ahead of Montpellier and Toulon and 10 in front of Bordeaux, who occupy the sixth and final play-off spot.

Argentine fly-half Patricio Fernandez scored two tries for Clermont, book-ending further scores from promising young scrum-half Charly Cassang and Fiji winger Noa Nakaitaci.

Fernandez was also perfect with the boot, hitting four conversions and four penalties for a personal haul of 30 points — a record for a player in one match this season.

 

But Bordeaux left without even a losing bonus point — awarded when teams lose by five points or less — after former France fly-half Lionel Beauxis missed with a last-minute penalty attempt.

The visitors had been on the rampage leading up to that attempt with New Zealander centre Jayden Spence missing out on a try when he spilled Beauxis’s up-and-under in the Castres end zone.

In a thrilling start, Castres fly-half Benjamin Urdapilleta kicked two penalties before the hosts were awarded a penalty try on 11 minutes after a deliberate knock-on from Bordeaux’s Fiji wing Metuisela Talebula prevented a certain try.

Despite Talebula also getting a yellow card Bordeaux struck back on 15 minutes when scrum-half Baptiste Serin sold a dummy to lumbering prop Daniel Kotze before scampering over.

“We made it difficult for ourselves after a great start, and Serin’s stroke of genius contributed to that,” said Castres lock Loic Jacquet.

Yet on 20 minutes Castres put together a fluid move that ended with Samoan wing David Smith passing inside for centre Thomas Combezou to score.

Urdapilleta and Ireland fly-half Ian Madigan exchanged penalties before Bordeaux closed out the half with a try from full-back Jean-Marcellin Buttin down the right following quick hands in the backs.

Madigan’s conversion left Castres leading 23-17 at the end of an exhilarating first half.

The second half didn’t live up to the first until replacement Castres scrum-half Antoine Dupont scored a carbon copy of Serin’s earlier try, sending Talebula the wrong way with an outrageous dummy.

Bordeaux wouldn’t lie down, though, and Spence finished off another blistering attack to dot down in the corner.

On Saturday, three-time European champions Toulon gave new coach Mike Ford a winning Top 14 start with a commanding 42-12 victory over struggling Grenoble.

Toulon ran in six tries for the winning bonus point with Mathieu Bastareaud, Mamuka Gorgodze, Jocelino Suta and Axel Muller all crossing.

“It was a good match, a good start, we won with the bonus point, which is very valuable in this competition,” said Ford as Toulon went provisionally top on the night.

Montpellier edged out La Rochelle 12-11 thanks to a dramatic last-minute penalty from Ben Botica.

Defending champions Racing 92 won their first away match of the season, defeating rock-bottom Bayonne 16-3 despite playing without star fly-half Dan Carter, who was injured in the warm-up.

Toulouse also earned their first away win of the season in a 24-20 success at Pau while 2015 champions Stade Francais beat Lyon 25-19.

Weekend Results Top 14

Dated Home Score Outside
Saturday, October 29 Pau Bd 20-24 Toulouse Review the game
Saturday, October 29 Paris 25-19 Lyon Review the game
Saturday, October 29 Montpellier 12-11 Bd La Rochelle Review the game
Saturday, October 29 Toulon Bo 42-12 Grenoble Review the game
Saturday, October 29 Bayonne 3-16 Racing 92 Review the game
Sunday, October 30 Castres 33-27 Bordeaux-Bègles Review the game
Sunday, October 30 Brive 16-40 Bo Clermont Review the game

 

Lyon take Bok lock to court

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French Top 14 club Lyon announced on Monday they are taking legal action against Franco Mostert for breach of contract, reports SaRugbyMag.co.za

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The Lions and Springbok lock signed a two-year deal with Lyon, which was announced in March, and he was supposed to join the club at the end of the Rugby Championship. Mostert failed to report for duty and has instead moved to the Ricoh Black Rams in Japan, with the aim of returning to the Lions ahead of next year’s Super Rugby tournament.

‘Lyon Rugby notes with horror that Franco Mostert is in Japan and is training with the Ricoh Black Rams while he has committed to 2 years with our club,’ reads the club’s official website statement.

‘Faced with this serious violation of contract, law and basic values of rugby which are a commitment to be respected, the club will take all the necessary measures to see justice is done and today is approaching the competent legal and rugby authorities.’

After a superb Super Rugby campaign, Mostert made his Springbok debut in the mid-year Test series against Ireland. He did, however, agree to join Lyon before his involvement with the national squad.

Top 14 Wrap

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Racing 92 won the Paris derby while Montpellier, UBB and Grenoble all scored home victories, with Toulon holding La Rochelle on Saturday.

Results/Fixtures

Saturday

Racing 92 29-22 Stade Français
Montpellier 28-19 Castres
Bordeaux-Bègles 27-25 Brive
Grenoble 44-16 Bayonne
La Rochelle 17-17 Toulon

Sunday

Lyon v Pau
Clermont 29-25 Toulouse


Racing 92 29-22 Stade Français
Stade Yves du Manoir, Colombes

A 79th minute try by Camille Chat gave Racing 92 a dramatic 29-22 victory in the Paris debry at Colombes.

Stade Francais must have thought they had earned a well earned draw when Jules Plisson slotted a 77th minute penalty to level the scores at 22-22. But Chat ensured the defending champions stayed unbeaten at home this season with Maxime Machenaud adding the conversion for a seven-point victory.

The hosts took an early 7-3 lead when Juan Imhoff scored in the 11th minute. A try by Julien Arias gave the visitors a 16-7 lead but Machenaud, who contributed 19 points with the boot, pulled three points back just before half time.

Machenaud added three more penalties after half time to give Racing a narrow 19-16 lead as both teams were reduced to 14 men withing four minutes of each other. Meyer Bosman made things level again before Machenaud and Plisson exchanged penalties to leave the scores tied again before a second try saw Racing walk away as victors.

For Racing 92:
Tries: Imhoff, Chat
Cons: Machenaud 2
Pens: Machenaud 5
Yellow Card: Tameifuna

For Stade Français:
Tries:
Arias
Con: Dupuy
Pens: Dupuy 3, Bosman, Plisson
Yellow Card: Dupuy

Racing 92: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Anthony Tuitavake, 12 Casey Laulala, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Rémi Talès, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Yannick Nyanga, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Leone Nakarawa, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Virgile Lacombe, 1 Eddy Ben Arous
Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Viliamu Afatia, 18 Francois van der Merwe, 19 Thibault Dubarry, 20 James Hart, 21 Benjamin Dambielle, 22 Albert Vulivuli, 23 Ben Tameifuna

Stade Français: 15 Hugo Bonneval, 14 Julien Arias, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Paul Williams, 11 Jérémy Sinzelle, 10 Meyer Bosman, 9 Julien Dupuy, 8 Raphaël Lakafia, 7 Sylvain Nicolas, 6 Sekou Macalou, 5 Paul Gabrillagues, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Laurent Sempere, 1 Heinke Van der Merwe
Replacements: 16 Rémy Bonfils, 17 Zurabi Zhvania, 18 Pascal Papé, 19 Mathieu de Giovanni, 20 Clément Daguin, 21 Jules Plisson, 22 Waisea Nayacalevu, 23 Sakaria Taulafo

Referee: Laurent Cardona


Montpellier 28-19 Castres
Altrad Stadium, Montpellier

Ben Botica kicked 18 points to help Montpellier overcome Castres 28-19 at home on Saturday.

Castres scored first through Remy Grosso but the hosts hit back with a try from Akapusi Quera to give them a 19-13 half-time lead.

Botica added two penalties and Rory Kockott and Benjamin Urdapilleta one each to close the gap to 25-19 with nine minutes to play. But Botica kicked his sixth penalty four minutes later to secure a hard fought win for his side.

For Montpellier
Try:
Quera
Con: Botica
Pens: Catrakilis, Botica 6
Yellow Card: Bazadze

For Castres
Try:
Grosso
Con: Kockott
Pens: Kockott 3, Urdapilleta

Montpellier: 15 Ben Botica, 14 Marvin O’Connor, 13 Alexandre Dumoulin, 12 François Steyn, 11 Benjamin Fall, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic White, 8 Akapusi Qera, 7 Kélian Galletier, 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Davit Kubriashvili, 2 Shalva Mamukashvili, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili
Replacements: 16 Arno van Wyk, 17 Gregory Fichten, 18 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 19 Pierre Spies, 20 Benoît Paillaugue, 21 Vincent Martin, 22 Henry Immelman, 23 Gagi Bazadze

Castres: 15 Pierre Berard, 14 Rémy Grosso, 13 Afusipa Taumoepeau, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 David Smith, 10 Julien Dumora, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Alex Tulou, 7 Steve Mafi, 6 Alexandre Bias, 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 4 Victor Moreaux, 3 Damien Tussac, 2 Marc-Antoine Rallier, 1 Mihaita Lazar
Replacements: 16 Brice Mach, 17 Antoine Tichit, 18 Anthony Jelonch, 19 Mathieu Babillot, 20 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 21 Antoine Dupont, 22 Horacio Agulla, 23 Daniel Kotze

Referee: Sébastien Minery


Bordeaux-Bègles 27-25 Brive
Stade Chaban Delmas, Bordeaux

Bordeaux-Bègles cemented their position amongst the early-season pace-setters as they saw off Brive, winning 27-25 at Stade Chaban Delmas.

A try in each half from wingers Adam Ashley-Cooper and Blair Connor saw the home side to the victory, their fifth of the campaign to date.

Brive did not manage to cross the whitewash until the final seconds as they relied on the boot of Thomas Laranjeira, who kicked 18 points.

This was only Brive’s third loss of the campaign as they missed the chance go above Bordeaux-Bègles in the Top 14 standings. However, the late crossing from powerful replacement back-row Sisa Koyamaibole means they head home with a losing bonus-point to show for their efforts.

For Bordeaux-Bègles
Tries:
Ashley-Cooper, Connor
Con: Beauxis
Pens: Beauxis 5

For Brive
Try: Koyamaibole
Con: Laranjeira
Pens: Laranjeira 6

UBB: 15 Metuisela Talebula, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Romain Lonca, 12 Julien Rey, 11 Blair Connor, 10 Lionel Beauxis, 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 Loann Goujon, 7 Hugh Chalmers, 6 Louis-Benoît Madaule, 5 Jan Andre Marais, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Marc Clerc, 2 Ole Avei, 1 Sébastien Taofifenua
Replacements: 16 Clément Maynadier, 17 Jefferson Poirot, 18 Cyril Cazeaux, 19 Marco Tauleigne, 20 Yann Lesgourgues, 21 Ian Madigan, 22 Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 23 Vadim Cobilas

Brive: 15 Thomas Laranjeira, 14 Sevenaia Galala, 13 Romain Cabannes, 12 Seremaia Burotu, 11 Benito Masilevu, 10 Nicolas Bezy, 9 Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, 8 Petrus Gherardus Hauman, 7 Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 6 Fabien Sanconnie, 5 Arnaud Mela, 4 Julien Ledevedec, 3 Damien Jourdain, 2 Francois da Ros, 1 Karlen Asieshvili
Replacements: 16 Thomas Acquier, 17 Lucas Pointud, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Sisa Koyamaibole, 20 Vasil Lobzhanidze, 21 Gaëtan Germain, 22 Malakai Bakaniceva, 23 Patrick-Albert Toetu

Referee: Pierre Brousset


Grenoble 44-16 Bayonne
Stade des Alpes, Grenoble

Grenoble scored five tries to one for a convincing 44-16 home win over Bayonne on Saturday.

Bayonne took an early 9-3 lead but twice had a player sent to the sin-bin, once in each half. Steven Setephano and Nigel Hunt scored in the 10 minutes before half time and Gilles Bosch, who contributed 19 points with the boot, converted both tries to give the hosts a 20-9 half-time lead.

Sona Taumalolo extended Grenoble’s lead with their third try for a commanding 27-9 lead. Manu Saubusse scored Bayonne’s only try to give them of a fight back but the home side scored two tries in the final six minutes through Alexandre Dardet and Maritino Nemani to complete the rout.

For Grenoble:
Tries: 
Setephano, Hunt, Taumalolo, Dardet, Nemani
Cons: Bosch 5
Pens: Bosch 3
Yellow Card: Alexandre

For Bayonne:
Try: 
Saubusse
Con: Lagarde
Pens: Lagarde 3
Yellow Cards: Taele, Arganese

Grenoble: 15 Armand Batlle, 14 Xavier Mignot, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Nigel Hunt, 11 Lucas Dupont, 10 Gilles Bosch, 9 David Mélé, 8 Steven Setephano, 7 Fabien Alexandre, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Aly Muldowney, 4 Ben Hand, 3 Rossouw De Klerk, 2 Laurent Bouchet, 1 Sona Taumalolo
Replacements: 16 Loïck Jammes, 17 Alexandre Dardet, 18 Mathias Marie, 19 Kevin Kornath, 20 Lilian Saseras, 21 Maritino Nemani, 22 Edward Sawailau, 23 Walter Desmaison

Bayonne: 15 Romain Martial, 14 Kade Poki, 13 Félix le Bourhis, 12 Gabiriele Lovobalavu, 11 Julien Jane, 10 Raphaël Lagarde, 9 Manu Saubusse, 8 John Beattie, 7 Jean Jo Marmouyet, 6 Jean Monribot, 5 Pelu Taele, 4 Pierre Gayraud, 3 Richard Choirat, 2 Manu Leiataua, 1 Aretz Iguiniz
Replacements: 16 Grégory Arganese, 17 Ben Broster, 18 Pablo Huete, 19 Baptiste Chouzenoux, 20 Guillaume Rouet, 21 Tanerau Latimer, 22 Willie du Plessis, 23 Lorenzo Cittadini

Referee: Maxime Chalon


La Rochelle 17-17 Toulon
Stade Marcel Deflandre, La Rochelle

A late Pierre Bernard penalty salvaged a draw for Toulon at La Rochelle in a close-fought clash at Stade Marcel Deflandre.

The first-half was a low-scoring affair as La Rochelle led 6-3 thanks to two Brock James penalties to Eric Escande’s effort.

But after the break a try from centre Matt Carraro followed a penalty apiece for each side as Toulon moved 9-11 to the good.

Bernard added a drop-goal on 64 minutes that made it 9-14 but then Steeve Barry crossed to level matters before James hit another penalty with just three minutes remaining. Unfortunately for La Rochelle, Bernard cancelled that out in a frantic finish.

For La Rochelle:
Try: Barry
Pens: James 4

For Toulon:
Try:
 Carraro
Pens: Escande, Bernard 2
Drop-Goal: Bernard

La Rochelle: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Vincent Rattez, 13 Steeve Barry, 12 Benjamin Noble, 11 Gabriel Lacroix, 10 Brock James, 9 Arthur Retiere, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Jone Qovu, 6 Romain Sazy, 5 Leandro Cedaro, 4 Jason Eaton, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Jérémie Maurouard, 1 Mike Corbel
Replacements: 16 Hikairo Forbes, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Damien Lagrange, 19 Afaesetiti Amosa, 20 Kevin Gourdon, 21 Anthony Fuertes, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Luc Mousset

Toulon: 15 James O’Connor, 14 Josua Tuisova, 13 Maxime Mermoz, 12 Matt Carraro, 11 Jimmy Yobo, 10 Anthony Belleau, 9 Eric Escande, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Samu Manoa, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Juandré Kruger, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Anthony Etrillard, 1 Florian Fresia
Replacements: 16 Guilhem Guirado, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Jocelino Suta, 19 Aidon Davis, 20 Ayumu Goromaru, 21 Pierre Bernard, 22 Anthony Meric, 23 Levan Chilachava

Top 14 Wrap

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Clermont provisionally moved to the top of the table after claiming a hard-fought 29-19 win over Castres at Stade Marcel Michelin on Saturday.

In the other matches, Bordeaux-Bègles won at Pau while Bayonne and Lyon played out a draw and Toulouse registered an easy home victory over Grenoble. The late game saw Brive beat Racing 92 as they bounced back.

Sunday’s two remaining games will see Stade Français face La Rochelle while Toulon and Montpellier meet in a mouth-watering fixture.

Results

Saturday

Clermont 29-19 Castres
Pau 28-30 Bordeaux-Bègles
Bayonne 22-22 Lyon
Toulouse 31-3 Grenoble
Brive 25-16 Racing 92

Sunday

Stade Français v La Rochelle
Toulon v Montpellier


Clermont 29-19 Castres
Stade Marcel Michelin, Clermont-Ferrand

Clermont had to dig deep before securing a deserved come-from-behind home victory over Castres on Saturday.

The visitors were competitive throughout and held a slender 13-11 at half-time. Benjamin Urdapillet and Patricio Fernández traded early penalties before Clermont took the lead via a David Strettle penalty.

Urdapilleta then crossed for the visitors’ only try before Fernández added another penalty. Julien Caminati then slotted a place kick shortly before half-time but Clermont struck back five minutes into the second half when Judicael Cancoriet crossed for their second try.

The hosts continued to dominate and increased their lead when Noa Nakaitaci scored their third five-pointer in the 50th minute.

Urdapiletta added another penalty but two Morgan Parra penalties secured the home side’s win before a Rory Kockott three-pointer from the kicking tee in the 77th minute added some respectability to the score for the visitors.

For Clermont:
Tries:
Strettle, Cancoriet, Nakaitaci
Con: Parra
Pens: Fernandez 2, Parra 2

For Castres:
Try:
Urdapilleta
Con: Urdapilleta
Pens: Urdapilleta 2, Caminati, Kockott
Yellow Card: Caminati

Clermont: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 David Strettle, 13 Aurélien Rougerie, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Noa Nakaitaci, 10 Patricio Fernández, 9 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Judicael Cancoriet, 5 Sitaleki Timani, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Aaron Jarvis, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Etienne Falgoux
Replacements: 16 Yohan Beheregaray, 17 Raphaël Chaume, 18 Arthur Iturria, 19 Damien Chouly, 20 Morgan Parra, 21 Damian Penaud, 22 Isaia Toeava, 23 Davit Zirakashvili

Castres: 15 Geoffrey Palis, 14 Julien Caminati, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Florian Vialelle, 11 Pierre Berard, 10 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Alex Tulou, 7 Steve Mafi, 6 Alexandre Bias, 5 Victor Moreaux, 4 Loic Jacquet, 3 Daniel Kotze, 2 Jody Jenneker, 1 Antoine Tichit
Replacements: 16 Brice Mach, 17 Mihaita Lazar, 18 Christophe Samson, 19 Anthony Jelonch, 20 Rory Kockott, 21 Julien Dumora, 22 Afusipa Taumoepeau, 23 Eric Sione

Referee: Tual Trainini


Pau 28-30 Bordeaux-Bègles
Stade du Hameau, Pau

Bordeaux-Bègles claimed their fourth victory of the season as they came from behind to win 30-28 in a thrilling match at Stade de Hameau.

Trailing 20-28 with ten minutes left, a try from replacement Romain Lonca helped UBB prevail, as Lionel Beauxis kicked the winning points.

Bordeaux-Bègles were 17-12 in front at the turnaround thanks to a try from scrum-half Baptiste Serin and the boot of fly-half Ian Madigan.

But Tom Taylor kept Pau in the game as he finished with seven penalties in all and a conversion of Louis Dupichot’s 41st minute crossing.

UBB would eventually go on to win though as Lonca’s try with three minutes remaining proved decisive as Bordeaux secured an away victory.

The scorers:

For Pau:
Try:
Dupichot
Con: Taylor
Pens: Taylor 7

For Bordeaux-Bègles:
Tries: 
Serin, Lonca
Con: Beauxis
Pens: Madigan 5, Beauxis

Pau: 15 Charly Malie, 14 Louis Dupichot, 13 Tom Taylor, 12 Jale Vatubua, 11 Bastien Pourailly, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Julien Tomas, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Paddy Butler, 5 Julien Pierre, 4 Fabrice Metz, 3 Malik Hamadache, 2 Mehdi Boundjema, 1 Jeremy Hurou
Replacements: 16 Quentin Lespiaucq, 17 Jamie Mackintosh, 18 Daniel Ramsay, 19 Abdellatif Boutaty, 20 Sean Dougall, 21 Thibault Daubagna, 22 Watisoni Votu, 23 Matthew Tierney

Bordeaux-Bègles: 15 Metuisela Talebula, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Josaia Vakacegu, 12 Julien Rey, 11 Blair Connor, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 Loann Goujon, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Louis-Benoît Madaule, 5 Jan Andre Marais, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Ole Avei, 1 Jefferson Poirot
Replacements: 16 Beñat Auzqui, 17 Sébastien Taofifenua, 18 Cyril Cazeaux, 19 Hugh Chalmers, 20 Yann Lesgourgues, 21 Lionel Beauxis, 22 Romain Lonca, 23 Marc Clerc

Referee: Cédric Marchat


Bayonne 22-22 Lyon
Stade Jean Dauger, Bayonne

Bayonne and Lyon played out a dramatic 22-22 draw in their clash at Stade Jean-Dauger, as Raphael Lagarde’s late penalty levelled matters.

Despite it being so early in the Top 14 season, the game was crucial as the two teams were sitting in 12th and 13th spot after six rounds.

Lyon were 13-10 in front at the break thanks to a try from Mike Harris, which he converted, this after Delon Armitage and Harris had sent over penalties. In reply, the Bayonne try-scorer was Romain Martial with Willie du Plessis kicking a conversion and a single penalty goal.

The second-half was a tense affair and it came down to the boots of both teams’ kickers, with Fred Michalak looking to have won the game for Lyon before Lagarde stepped up with less than two minutes remaining on the clock to secure a share of the points for the home outfit.

The scorers:

For Bayonne:
Try: 
Martial
Con: Du Plessis
Pens: Du Plessis, Rouet, Lagarde 2

For Lyon:
Try:
Harris
Con: Harris
Pens: D Armitage, Harris 2, Michalak 2

Bayonne: 15 Julien Tisseron, 14 Kade Poki, 13 Félix Le Bourhis, 12 Gabiriele Lovobalavu, 11 Romain Martial, 10 Willie du Plessis, 9 Guillaume Rouet, 8 PJ van Lill, 7 Baptiste Chouzenoux, 6 Jean Monribot, 5 Pelu Taele, 4 Pierre Gayraud, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Grégory Arganese, 1 Davit Khinchagishvili
Replacements: 16 Manu Leiataua, 17 Aretz Iguiniz, 18 Adam Jaulhac, 19 Jean Jo Marmouyet, 20 Manu Saubusse, 21 Bastien Fuster, 22 Raphaël Lagarde, 23 Ben Broster

Lyon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Toby Arnold, 13 Theo Belan, 12 Rudi Wulf, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 Mike Harris, 9 Agustín Figuerola, 8 Carl Fearns, 7 Virgile Bruni, 6 Julien Puricelli, 5 Thibault Privat, 4 Taiasina Tuifua, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Mickaël Ivaldi, 1 Albertus Buckle
Replacements: 16 Ti’I Paulo, 17 Alexandre Menini, 18 Josh Bekhuis, 19 Julien Bonnaire, 20 Frédéric Michalak, 21 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 22 Thibault Regard, 23 BJ Botha

Referee: Mathieu Raynal


Toulouse 31-3 Grenoble
Stade Ernest Wallon, Toulouse

Toulouse continued with their fine recent form when they claimed a comfortable 31-3 victory over Grenoble at Stade Ernest Wallon.

The home side domianted from the outset and raced into a 17-3 lead at half-time thanks to well-taken tries from Gillian Galan and Maxime Médard, which were both converted by Sébastien Bezy who also kicked a penalty during this period.

Grenoble, who are currently rooted to the bottom of the table, battled throughout and their only points came via a Gilles Bosch penalty in the 18th minute.

The home side continued to attack and had their bonus point in the bag by the 51st minute after Tala Gray and Florian Fritz crossed the whitewash.

The scorers:

For Toulouse:
Tries:
Galan, Médard, Gray, Fritz
Cons: Bezy 4
Pen: Bezy

For Grenoble:
Pen: Bosch

Toulouse: 15 Maxime Médard, 14 Semi Kunatani, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Toby Flood, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Jean Marc Doussain, 9 Sébastien Bezy, 8 Gillian Galan, 7 Talalelei Gray, 6 François Cros, 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Dorian Aldegheri, 2 Christopher Tolofua, 1 Vasil Kakovin
Replacements: 16 Julien Marchand, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Gregory Lamboley, 19 Carl Axtens, 20 Edwin Maka, 21 Alexis Palisson, 22 Yann David, 23 Census Johnston

Grenoble: 15 Armand Batlle, 14 Xavier Mignot, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Maritino Nemani, 11 Lucas Dupont, 10 Gilles Bosch, 9 David Mélé, 8 Peter Kimlin, 7 Mahamadou Diaby, 6 Kevin Kornath, 5 Aly Muldowney, 4 Mickael Capelli, 3 Rossouw De Klerk, 2 Laurent Bouchet, 1 Sona Taumalolo
Replacements: 16 Loïck Jammes, 17 Alexandre Dardet, 18 Mathias Marie, 19 Thomas Jolmes, 20 Henry Vanderglas, 21 Lilian Saseras, 22 Edward Sawailau, 23 Walter Desmaison

Referee: Jérôme Garcès


Brive 25-16 Racing 92
Stade Amédée Domenech, Brive

Brive bounced back from last week’s heavy defeat at Montpellier as they overcame Racing 92 in a 25-16 win at Stade Amédée Domenech.

Once again the boot of full-back Gaëtan Germain proved decisive as he kicked five penalties and conversion to go with Sisa Koyamaibole’s try on 30 minutes. Nicolas Bezy had initially put Brive 3-0 up with a drop-goal.

Racing 92 responded though through a try from Juan Imhoff on 10 minutes but only nine points from the boots of James Hart and Maxime Machenaud added to their score as Germain was the hero for Brive yet again.

The scorers:

For Brive:
Tries: 
Koyamaibole
Cons: Germain
Pens: Germain 5
Drop-goal: Bezy

For Racing 92:
Tries:
Imhoff
Cons: Hart
Pens: Hart 2, Machenaud

Brive: 15 Gaëtan Germain, 14 Sevenaia Galala, 13 Romain Cabannes, 12 Seremaia Burotu, 11 Benito Masilevu, 10 Nicolas Bezy, 9 Teddy Iribaren, 8 Sisa Koyamaibole, 7 Fabien Sanconnie, 6 Petrus Gherardus Hauman, 5 Arnaud Mela, 4 Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 3 Patrick-Albert Toetu, 2 Francois Da Ros, 1 Lucas Pointud
Replacements: 16 Thomas Acquier, 17 Karlen Asieshvili, 18 Julien Ledevedec, 19 William Whetton, 20 Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, 21 Thomas Laranjeira, 22 Malakai Bakaniceva, 23 Kevin Buys

Racing 92: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Juan Imhoff, 13 Anthony Tuitavake, 12 Albert Vulivuli, 11 Marc Andreu, 10 Rémi Talès, 9 James Hart, 8 Chris Masoe 7 Yannick Nyanga, 6 Thibault Dubarry, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Leone Nakarawa, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Virgile Lacombe, 1 Khatchik Vartanov
Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Eddy Ben Arous, 18 Ali Williams, 19 Wenceslas Lauret, 20 Maxime Machenaud, 21 Benjamin Dambielle, 22 Etienne Dussartre, 23 Luc Ducalcon

Referee: Thomas Charabas

Get the latest Match Highlights Here

Top 14 Preview Round 4

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It’s been an eventful week in France, particularly in the south east where Toulon have been rumoured to be looking for a replacement for Diego Dominguez after just three matches.

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For now Dominguez will continue in his role as Toulon travel to Toulouse on Sunday for the final game of the weekend in need of a win.

That will follow top side Brive’s trip to winless Grenoble in a huge game in the Alps.

On the Saturday Stade Français will again be in the early game, taking on Castres, a week after their stunning draw against Clermont.

Joint leaders La Rochelle host Lyon, fresh from a first win, while Bordeaux-Bègles have to win after last week’s loss to Montpellier, as they take on Bayonne.

Montpellier take on Pau, with both teams having got off the mark last time out, while unbeaten Clermont host champions Racing in the pick of the games on Saturday.

Fixtures

Saturday

Stade Français v Castres
Montpellier v Pau
La Rochelle v Lyon
Bordeaux-Bègles v Bayonne
Clermont v Racing 92

Sunday

Grenoble v Brive
Toulouse v Toulon


Stade Français v Castres
Stade Jean Bouin, Paris

Last weekend the game of the round undoubtedly came in Paris where Stade Français scored at the death to draw with Clermont.

That leaves them with a win, a draw and a loss from their first three games, but questions are being asked of Jules Plisson, who was this week described as a good club fly-half by Sébastien Chabal.

He will have to prove that he can be more than that against a Castres team who came under fire for a defeat on home soil to La Rochelle last time out.

Christophe Urios was fuming at that result, and the mindset of his players, and even days later was struggling to come to terms with the loss.

Expect Castres to be much improved this weekend, but will it be enough to down Stade on their own patch?

Last year’s result: Stade won 22-9
Kick-off: 14:45 local (13:45 GMT)
Referee: Thomas Charabas


Montpellier v Pau
Altrad Stadium, Montpellier

It was almost panic stations heading into last week for Montpellier but they bounced back in impressive style with victory in Bordeaux.

This weekend they host a Pau side who also got off the mark last weekend, beating a Bayonne team with 14 men for much of the game.

Simon Mannix’s team are taking time to gel, but in Colin Slade they have a standout fly-half, and the All Black World Cup winner has impressed so far this campaign.

Against a Montpellier team still finding their feet, he will be under pressure to create holes in what looks a very solid defence if Pau are to repeat last season’s shock win in the Hérault.

Last year’s result: Pau won 19-16
Kick-off: 18:30 local (17:30 GMT)
Referee: Pierre Brousset


La Rochelle v Lyon
Stade Marcel Deflandre, La Rochelle

The joint leaders after three games, not many would have picked La Rochelle to earn that title when they found themselves in a big hole in their opener against Clermont.

Patrice Collazo’s side battled back for a draw in that game, before back-to-back away wins in Grenoble and Castres which reinforced their position as potential play-off dark horses.

Victor Vito got his first taste of the Top 14 last weekend and will be a valuable addition to the side, who seem to be able to produce magnificent moves from deep with great support play.

Lyon got off the mark last weekend with a convincing win over Grenoble, and will feel relatively comfortable with their start to life back in the Top 14.

A win on the road to La Rochelle would be a big ask, but if they manage it, they will fancy their chances at survival after two failed efforts.

Previous result: La Rochelle won 29-10 in 2014 in Pro D2
Kick-off: 18:30 local (17:30 GMT)
Referee: Maxime Chalon


Bordeaux-Bègles v Bayonne
Stade Chaban Delmas, Bordeaux

The Vincent Etcheto Bowl takes place in Bordeaux as the hosts’ former attack coach comes to town with new side Bayonne.

Reputed for his entertaining, expansive play, Etcheto surprisingly parted ways with Bordeaux in the off-season of 2015, and after leading Bayonne to promotion, gets to take on his former club.

Bordeaux were good in spells last year, but occasionally lacked the verve of their best moments with Etcheto.

Bayonne, meanwhile, survived until half-time with 14 men against Pau, but in the end Jérôme Schuster’s early red card was too much to overcome.

Given their battle for survival, even a point on the road at Bordeaux would represent a good return, but Etcheto will be after more.

Previous result: Bordeaux won 38-20 in 2015
Kick-off: 18:30 local (17:30 GMT)
Referee: Adrien Descottes


Clermont v Racing 92
Stade Marcel Michelin, Clermont-Ferrand

It’s been barely two months and Clermont get the chance to earn some revenge of champions Racing 92 for beating them in an epic Top 14 semi-final last season.

That day it was Juan Imhoff’s late score which carried Racing to victory, and given how sharp he looked against Toulouse, he will be worth keeping an eye out at the Marcel Michelin.

Clermont come into the game with two draws and a win from their three matches to date, but as they prepare for a first home game of the season, they are in arguably the best position of any title contender.

As ever their top-end depth is what sets them apart, and after a strong start to the season, it’s this week emerged that Aurélien Rougerie might just stay on one more year after this one.

Will he eventually retire with more than one Top 14 title to his name?

Last year’s result: Racing 92 won 20-16
Kick-off: 20:45 local (19:45 GMT)
Referee: Romain Poite


Grenoble v Brive
Stade des Alpes, Grenoble

Few would have picked Brive for top spot after three rounds of matches, particularly with two games on the road in their first three games.

But that’s where they stand, still unbeaten and fresh from victory away at Mayol over Toulon.

Unsurprisingly Gaëtan Germain was the key to that success with his metronomic goal-kicking, and he is certainly keeping himself in contention for a France spot, even if he doesn’t fulfil the full-back mould Guy Novès appears to be looking for.

Grenoble, meanwhile, have had a disastrous start to the season and sit rooted to the foot of the table.

That leaves them in must-win territory already, and while Gio Aplon is in exceptional form at the moment, the rest of the team has work to do to match him.

Last year’s result: Grenoble won 26-22
Kick-off: 12:30 local (11:30 GMT)
Referee: Sébastien Minery


Toulouse v Toulon
Stade Ernest Wallon, Toulouse

The battle of Les Rouge et Noir has plenty of edge to it at the best of times but this week there will be added spice with Toulon on the verge of crisis.

According to Mourad Boudjellal, they are currently in a relegation dogfight after losing their home opener to Brive, so expect a fired-up team to come out against Toulouse.

Ugo Mola’s men could have got more out of their trip to Racing last week, despite resting a couple of key individuals, but this should be a huge test for them.

Effective, while not entirely convincing, they will have to step it up a notch, and with the return of Josua Tuisova, Toulon bring back arguably the most dangerous weapon in the league.

One man who won’t be involved is Vincent Clerc, against his former club, after a tough debut last time out against Brive.

Last year’s result: Toulouse won 31-8
Kick-off: 16:15 local (15:15 GMT)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès

Boudjellal: ‘My team is rubbish’

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Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal has lambasted his team for their poor start to the Pro 14 season while praising the accurate goal kicking of Leigh Halfpenny.

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Toulon have lost two of their first three games of the season, their latest defeat coming at the hands of Brive who beat them 25-21 at home on Saturday. Halfpenny escaped his boss’s anger with a flawless kicking display, slotting all seven his shots at goal.

The Wales international has now kicked all 18 of his kicks at goal.

Boudjellal now claims his team of superstars are fighting to avoid relegation.

“We’re nearing the limits of my patience, now things are going to get serious,” he told reporters.

“That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to fire the coaches. I may fire myself. To see eight years of effort and hard work go up in smoke, it’s shameful. Based on what I saw today, we’re playing to stay up. A team of 800 caps and we’re playing to stay up.

“But that’s the reality…we are rubbish.”

Despite this, Boudjellal had nothing but praise for Halfpenny.

“Fortunately, and I thank him, we had Halfpenny. But rarely have I seen my team play so badly.”

Top 14 Week 3 Wrap

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Brive provisionally moved to the top of the table after claiming a shock 25-21 win over Toulon at Stade Félix Mayol on Saturday.

Logo_Top14_2012

Earlier, Stade Français claimed a late draw with Clermont in Paris and there were home wins for Pau and Lyon over Bayonne and Castres respectively while La Rochelle sealed an away win over Castres.

Results

Saturday

Stade Français 30-30 Clermont
Pau 25-9 Bayonne
Lyon 32-13 Grenoble
Castres 18-26 La Rochelle
Toulon 21-25 Brive

Fixtures

Sunday

Bordeaux-Bègles v Montpellier
Racing 92 v Toulouse


Stade Français 30-30 Clermont
Stade Jean Bouin, Paris

A late Waisea Nayacalevu converted try saw Stade Français claim a 30-30 draw with Clermont in an entertaining fixture at Stade Jean Bouin.

Tries from Paul Jedrasiak and Fritz Lee to go with Morgan Parra’s boot had looked like giving the visitors to Paris four points on the road.

But the hosts, who crossed four times through Geoffrey Doumayrou (2), Djibril Camara and Nayacalevu, had the last say to seal the draw.

This is Clermont’s second draw in three rounds as they sit on eight points, with Stade Français on seven with a win, defeat and this tie.

The scorers:

For Stade Français:
Tries: Doumayrou 2, Camara, Nayacalevu
Cons: Plisson 2
Pens: Plisson 2

For Clermont:
Tries: Jedrasiak, Lee
Con: Parra
Pens: Parra 4, Spedding 2

Stade Français: 15 Hugo Bonneval, 14 Waisea Nayacalevu, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Paul Williams, 11 Djibril Camara, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Julien Dupuy, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Sylvain Nicolas, 6 Willem Alberts, 5 Alexandre Flanquart, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Heinke Van der Merwe
Replacements: 16 Laurent Sempere, 17 Aled De Malmanche, 18 Paul Gabrillagues, 19 Antoine Burban, 20 Clement Daguin, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Jeremy Sinzelle, 23 Giorgi Melikidze

Clermont: 15 Scott Spedding, 14 David Strettle, 13 Aurelien Rougerie, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Adrien Plante, 10 Patricio Fernandez, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Peceli Yato, 5 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 4 Paul Jedrasiak, 3 Clement Ric, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Etienne Falgoux
Replacements: 16 John Ulugia, 17 Raphael Chaume, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Damien Chouly, 20 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 21 Camille Lopez, 22 Noa Nakaitaci, 23 Davit Zirakashvili

Referee: Mathieu Raynal
Assistant Referees: Mathieu Noirot, Laurent Breil
TMO: Pierre Brousset


Castres 18-26 La Rochelle
Stade Pierre Antoine, Castres

La Rochelle moved above Castres in the standings after claiming a deserved 26-18 victory over their hosts at Stade Pierre Antoine.

Zack Holmes led the way for the visitors with a 16-point haul, via four penalties and two conversions, and La Rochelle’s other points came via tries from Paul Jordaan and Steve Barry.

Castres took an early lead via a Benjamin Urdapilleta penalty but La Rochelle struck back via a Holmes penalty before Jordaan dotted down but Brice Mach replied with a five-pointer of his own for the hosts shortly afterwards.

The second half started brightly for Castres when Steve Mafi scored a try in the 45th minute but Barry crossed for La Rochelle’s second try 10 minutes later which put more daylight between his team and their hosts.

Accurate goalkicking from Holmes sealed victory for the visitors.

The scorers:

For Castres:
Tries:
Mach, Mafi
Con: Urdapilleta
Pens: Urdapilleta 2

For La Rochelle:
Tries: Jordaan, Barry
Cons: Holmes 2
Pens: Holmes 4
Yellow Card: Lagrange

Castres: 15 Geoffrey Palis, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 David Smith, 10 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Alex Tulou, 7 Steve Mafi, 6 Alexandre Bias, 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 4 Loic Jacquet, 3 Damien Tussac, 2 Brice Mach, 1 Antoine Tichit
Replacements: 16 Marc-Antoine Rallier, 17 Mihaita Lazar, 18 Christophe Samson, 19 Mathieu Babillot, 20 Julien Seron, 21 Julien Dumora, 22 Florian Vialelle, 23 Eric Sione

La Rochelle: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Vincent Rattez, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Zack Holmes, 11 Steeve Barry, 10 Anthony Fuertes, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Afaesetiti Amosa, 7 Kevin Gourdon, 6 Romain Sazy, 5 Damien Lagrange, 4 Romana Graham, 3 Mohamed Boughanmi, 2 Jeremie Maurouard, 1 Mike Corbel
Replacements: 16 Hikairo Forbes, 17 Jordan Seneca, 18 Mathieu Tanguy, 19 Jason Eaton, 20 Victor Vito, 21 Arthur Retiere, 22 Pierre Aguillon, 23 Uini Atonio

Referee: Pascal Gauzère
Assistant Referees: Jonathan Gasnier, Thomas Déjean
TMO: Arnaud Blondel, Romain Poite


Lyon 32-13 Grenoble
Matmut Stadium, Lyon

Lyon flyhalf Mike Harris starred in his side’s 32-13 victory over Grenoble 32-13 at the Matmut Stadium on Saturday.

The win sees Lyon move up to fifth place on the overall table as they tie on points with Stade Français on seven points while Grenoble languish at the bottom of the table.

Lyon outscored their visitors by three tries to one as they registered their first win of the season. It was mostly one way traffic throughout the game except for a solitary Grenoble try from the evergreen Gio Aplon.

Harris contributed 12 points on the day when he slotted two conversions, a penalty and even bagged himself a five-pointer.

Grenoble replacement Rossouw De Klerk received a yellow card in the 44th minute which proved a big loss for the away side as during his absence Lyon number eight Carl Fearns scored for his side.

The scorers:

For Lyon:
Tries:
Bruni, Harris, Fearns 2
Cons: Harris 2, Potgieter
Pens: Harris, Potgieter

For Grenoble:
Try:
Aplon
Con: Wisniewski
Pens: Wisniewski

Lyon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Toby Arnold, 13 Hemani Paea, 12 Rudi Wulf, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 Mike Harris, 9 Agustin Figuerola, 8 Carl Fearns, 7 Virgile Bruni, 6 Julien Puricelli, 5 Thibault Privat, 4 Taiasina Tuifua, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Mickael Ivaldi, 1 Albertus Buckle
Replacements: 16 Cameron Mapusua, 17 Alexandre Menini, 18 Josh Bekhuis, 19 Julien Bonnaire, 20 Frederic Michalak, 21 Theo Belan, 22 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 23 Stephane Clement

Grenoble: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Sisa Waqa, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Nigel Hunt, 11 Armand Batlle, 10 Jonathan Wisniewski, 9 David Mele, 8 Steven Setephano, 7 Fabien Alexandre, 6 Jonathan Best, 5 Aly Muldowney, 4 Ben Hand, 3 Walter Desmaison, 2 Laurent Bouchet, 1 Sona Taumalolo
Replacements: 16 Loick Jammes, 17 Denis Coulson, 18 Mathias Marie, 19 Henry Vanderglas, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Gilles Bosch, 22 Edward Sawailau, 23 Rossouw De Klerk

Referee: Cédric Marchat
Assistant Referees: Laurent Millotte, Patrick Beuriot
TMO: Jean-Marie Piraveau


Pau 25-9 Bayonne
Stade du Hameau, Pau

Pau registered their first win of the season when they beat Bayonne in an exciting clash 25-9 at Stade du Hameau.

Bayonne were under the cosh from early in the second half when Jérôme Schuster was red carded in the 15th minute for foul play at a ruck.

Pau made their numerical advantage count and James Coughlan crossed for their first try shortly afterwards after Bayonne had taken a 6-0 lead earlier via a drop goal from Lucas Meret and a penalty from Martin Bustos Moyano.

Moyano added his second penalty in the 23rd minute before Colin Slade added a penalty shortly before half-time to give his side a 10-3 lead at the break.

Pau upped the ante in the second half and clinched victory thanks to tries from Watisoni Votu and Tom Taylor.

The scorers:

For Pau:
Tries:
Coughlon, Votu, Taylor
Cons: Slade 2
Pens: Slade 2
Yellow Card: Smith

For Bayonne:
Pens:
Moyano 2
Drop goal: Meret
Red Card: Schuster

Pau: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 Louis Dupichot, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Jale Vatubua, 11 Watisoni Votu, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Thibault Daubagna, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Pierrick Gunther, 5 Julien Pierre, 4 Abdellatif Boutaty, 3 Malik Hamadache, 2 Quentin Lespiaucq, 1 Jeremy Hurou
Replacements: 16 Mehdi Boundjema, 17 Jamie Mackintosh, 18 Daniel Ramsay, 19 Fabrice Metz, 20 Julien Tomas, 21 Charly Malie, 22 Paddy Butler, 23 Chris King

Bayonne: 15 Martin Bustos Moyano, 14 Bastien Fuster, 13 Florian Lapeyrade, 12 Adam Whitelock, 11 Julien Tisseron, 10 Lucas Meret, 9 Manu Saubusse, 8 PJ Van Lill, 7 Baptiste Chouzenoux, 6 Tanerau Latimer, 5 Pelu Taele, 4 Pierre Gayraud, 3 Ben Broster, 2 Manu Leiataua, 1 Jérôme Schuster
Replacements: 16 Simon Labouyrie, 17 Davit Khinchagishvili, 18 Pablo Huete, 19 Jean-Blaise Lespinasse, 20 Guillaume Rouet, 21 Raphael Lagarde, 22 Thibault Lacroix, 23 Lorenzo Cittadini

Referee: Laurent Cardona
Assistant Referees: Christine Hanizet, Bruno Gabaldon
TMO: Sébastien Minery


Toulon 21-25 Brive
Stade Félix Mayol, Toulon

In an exciting clash, in which the lead changed hands several times, a first half penalty try to Brive proved the difference between these sides in the end.

Toulon full-back Leigh Halfpenny scored all his team’s points thanks to seven penalties and Brive’s number 15 Gaetan Germain contributed 20 points via six penalties and a conversion.

Halfpenny and Germain traded penalties early on and the match was evenly poised at 9-6 in the home side’s favour by the half-hour mark.

Brive took the lead in the 31st minute thanks to their penalty try after Guilhem Guirado was penalised for deliberately collapsing a maul close to his try-line.

Guirado was also sent to the sin bin for his indiscretion which meant Toulon were reduced to 13 men after Xavier Chiocci was also yellow carded two minutes earlier.

The kicking duel continued after the break and although Kevin Buys and Dominiko Waqaniburotu had stints in the sin bin, Brive held on for a memorable win.

The scorers:

For Toulon:
Pens:
Halfpenny 7
Yellow Cards: Guirado, Chiocci

For Brive:
Try: Penalty try
Con: Germain
Pens: Germain 6
Yellow Cards: Buys, Waqaniburotu

Toulon: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Matt Carraro, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Vincent Clerc, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Eric Escande, 8 Charles Ollivon, 7 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 6 Juan Smith, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Juandre Kruger, 3 Marcel Van der Merwe, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Xavier Chiocci
Replacements: 16 Anthony Etrillard, 17 Laurent DelBoulbes, 18 Mamuka Gorgodze, 19 Liam Gill, 20 Maxime Mermoz, 21 Pierre Bernard, 22 Sebastien Tillous-Borde, 23 Levan Chilachava

Brive: 15 Gaetan Germain, 14 Sevenaia Galala, 13 Arnaud Mignardi, 12 Seremaia Burotu, 11 Benjamin Lapeyre, 10 Nicolas Bezy, 9 Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, 8 Sisa Koyamaibole, 7 Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 6 Petrus Gherardus Hauman, 5 Arnaud Mela, 4 Julien Ledevedec, 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Francois Da Ros, 1 Lucas Pointud
Replacements: 16 Thomas Acquier, 17 Karlen Asieshvili, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Fabien Sanconnie, 20 Benito Masilevu, 21 Teddy Iribaren, 22 Thomas Laranjeira, 23 Patrick-Albert Toetu

Referee: Alexandre Ruiz
Assistant Referees: Thomas Charabas, Sébastien Hebert
TMO: Eric Gauzins

Catrakilis kick Montpellier to victory

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Montpellier edged La Rochelle 25-20 on Friday with South African flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis’s perfect seven kicks for a 20-point haul allowing Jake White’s team to shrug off the injury-enforced absence of Francois Trinh-Duc.

The victory moved Montpellier into third spot in the Top 14 table after a worrying dip in form which had seen them lose to Toulouse, Toulon and Harlequins.

Catrakilis, the 26-year-old former Stormers and Western Province player, only arrived at Montpellier in January but had experience of French conditions having once featured for Racing 92 in their youth squad.

He was playing in just his second top-flight match, seizing the opportunity given to him when Trinh-Duc, who will leave for Toulon at the end of the season, was ruled out for two months after breaking his leg in last weekend’s 64-0 thrashing of Calvisano in the European Challenge Cup.

“We got the win but our performance wasn’t good enough. We played a bad match but we won and that’s different to last season (15-15 draw),” said Montpellier skipper Fulgence Ouedraogo.

“We are going through a difficult period.”

La Rochelle got off to a flying start with a try after just seven minutes.

Kevin Gourdon shrugged off the attentions of Ouedraogo before Samoan No8 Afa Amosa went over for the try which Zack Holmes converted for 7-0.

Two minutes later, Catrakilis had cut the deficit with his first confident kick at goal.

Gourdon was then yellow-carded for an infringement at the ruck and Catrakilis took advantage with a 30-metre penalty from out on the right to move his team to within a point.

Holmes replied with a 20-metre penalty for 10-6 before Catrakilis again succeeded with his third successful kick at the posts awarded when lock forward Leandro Cedaro was sin-binned.

Catrakilis put Montpellier ahead for the first time in the match at 12-10 after 45 minutes with an impressive 40-metre penalty after La Rochelle were again penalised at the breakdown.

The South African soon pushed Montpellier out to a 18-10 lead with his fifth and sixth successful kicks.

Jules Lebail kicked La Rochelle’s first points of the second period in the 70th minute to raise hopes of a losing bonus point.

But one minute later Montpellier grabbed their first and only try when Australian back-rower Benjamin Mowen muscled over the line despite the suffocating presence of a number of defenders.

Not surprisingly, Catrakilis popped over the extras for 25-13.

In the last minute, Georgian replacement prop Gagi Bazadze grabbed his team’s second try, converted by Lebail to at least ensure a defensive bonus point for La Rochelle.

Carter ready to shine at Racing

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New Racing 92 fly-half Dan Carter is ready for the next chapter of his career and is keen to impress in his new surroundings.

Carter was unveiled at the Parisian club on Friday and said he has made peace with the fact that his Test career is over after 112 games for the All Blacks.

The 33-year-old has signed a three-year contract with Racing and is set to earn €1-million (US1,059,000) per year. But despite such a hefty salary, Carter said the financial aspect wasn’t the only reason for him moving to Paris.

“You can make pretty good money playing in New Zealand too, it’s not all bad,” he said at a press conference in Paris.

“It depends at what stage you’re at in your career. Because of that [higher salaries] it’s slightly more attractive to play in France, but… the thing is you can’t play international rugby any more for the All Blacks and that’s why I stayed in New Zealand for 13 years.

“But the timing is right to try a new challenge, not just for rugby but it’s a pretty exciting place to bring your family for a few years.”

Carter recently helped the All Blacks win their second successive World Cup. Another World Cup-winning pivot, England’s Jonny Wilkinson became a cult hero at Toulon during the latter part of his career.

Carter was asked if he hoped to match Wilkinson’s exploits in France and replied: “That would be amazing. He won multiple European championships, he won the Top 14 too and he had an amazing time here in France.

“When I was following the end of his career, I took a bit of inspiration from that. A lot of people had probably written him off up until then but it revived his career and he finished on a real high.

“I can only dream of the success that he had in his time here in France. We’ll have to wait and see.”

Toulon get one over champions in Paris

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Toulon secured a second win of the season by defeating reigning Top 14 champions Stade Français 20-13 away in Paris….via Planet Rugby

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A late score from World Cup joker Lachie Turner sealed a valuable win for Toulon on the road as they gained some form of revenge for their Top 14 semi-final defeat to the same opponent last season.

The visitors opened the scoring through veteran Fijian winger Sireli Bobo going under the posts after good work from Willie du Plessis.

Juan Smith’s penalty win at the breakdown earned Jonathan Pélissié a 40-metre attempt which the scrum-half converted to give Toulon a useful 10-0 lead early on.

Jules Plisson soon responded with his first penalty to get Stade up and running. The France fly-half went close to scoring a try for his side before his opposite man Du Plessis was sent to the sin-bin.

Three more points from Plisson closed the gap before the hosts struck with their first try.

Strong carries from Jeremy Sinzelle and Djibril Camara created the chance for Raphaël Lakafia to crash over as Plisson converted to give Stade Français a 13-10 advantage going into half-time, after Pélissié missed his second penalty attempt.

Both sides produced a high number of mistakes after the break before Xavier Chiocci received Toulon’s second yellow card to put them back to 14 men.

Plisson couldn’t convert the penalty but Du Plessis was more successful after taking over from Pélissié, levelling the score at 13-13.

Du Plessis went on to hit the post as each team looked for a breakthrough, but it didn’t come until the 75th minute.

Steffon Armitage was stopped just short of the line by the home defence, forcing Toulon to put the ball through hands towards the opposite corner where Turner touched down, with the conversion from Du Plessis making it 20-13 and sealing the win.

The scorers:

For Stade Français:
Try: Lakafia
Con: Plisson
Pens: Plisson 2

For Toulon:
Tries: Bobo, Turner
Cons: Pélissié, Du Plessis
Pens: Pélissié, Du Plessis
Yellow Cards: Du Plessis, Chiocci

French Top 14 Preview: Round Three

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After two rounds the Top 14 table has a familiar look to it as Clermont, Racing 92 and Toulouse lead the way…..By: Planet Rugby

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The major exception is Toulon, the triple European champions, who are languishing in 12th place and face a trip to the champions, Stade Français.

That is the second game on Sunday, with Bordeaux-Bègles hosting Montpellier in the afternoon in a mouthwatering double header.

On Saturday the local derby between Toulouse and Castres is the pick of the games, while leaders Clermont will want to make it three out of three away at Oyonnax.

Elsewhere Grenoble host Pau, while La Rochelle seek a first win of the campaign at home to Brive. And finally bottom-placed Agen host high-flying Racing.

Fixtures

Saturday

Oyonnax v Clermont
Grenoble v Pau
La Rochelle v Brive
Agen v Racing 92
Toulouse v Castres

Sunday

Bordeaux-Bègles v Montpellier
Stade Français v Toulon


Oyonnax v Clermont
Stade Charles Mathon, Oyonnax

Oyonnax made a flying start on their new artificial pitch last week as they comfortably beat Bordeaux-Bègles, however Clermont should provide an altogether sterner task.

New fly-half Nicky Robinson has taken to life in France like a duck to water, filling the big shoes of Benjamin Urdapilleta admirably so far.

Despite the loss of some key players, the Oyo scrum looks as powerful as ever, while they looked comfortable on the faster surface at Charles Mathon.

As for Clermont, the final World Cup cuts have increased their options in the pack, with Sébastien Vahaamahina returning last week, and Flip van der Merwe set to arrive in the coming days after he missed out on the Springbok squad.

They were a touch disappointing against Grenoble last week, with far too many handling errors, however they still managed to come away with maximum points and are yet to concede a try.

They’ll fancy their chances of making it three wins out of three this weekend, especially with Oyonnax missing tight five regulars Jody Jenneker, Marc Clerc and George Robson.

Oyonnax: tbc

Clermont: tbc

Last year’s result: Clermont won 19-8
Kick-off: 14:35 local (12:35 GMT)
Referee: Cedric Marchat


Grenoble v Pau
Stade des Alpes, Grenoble

Grenoble were well-beaten at Clermont last week, but are an altogether different beast on home soil, as Pau should discover.

The Pro D2 champions picked up their first win of the season last time out against Montpellier, in a game that was marred by the racist abuse suffered by Montpellier’s Fijian winger Timoci Nagusa.

The club have acted, the fan in question has had his season ticket cancelled and is banned from the ground indefinitely.

On the pitch it was a much better tale for Pau, although their indiscipline – six yellow cards in two games – remains an issue.

Against a Grenoble team that is capable of attacking from all over, that is a real concern, and Simon Mannix has warned his team that they can’t afford to go down to 14 again.

Other than their indiscipline, it was a sharp performance against Montpellier, with Pau taking their chances thanks to the boot of Portuguese scrum-half Samuel Marques.

Grenoble, meanwhile, will be pleased to see Jonathan Wisniewski back again after missing the first two games of the season, but they lost flanker Henry Vanderglas for a number of months after he dislocated his knee.

Grenoble: tbc

Pau: tbc

Previous result: Grenoble won 24-18 in 2011 in Pro D2
Kick-off: 16:00 local (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Maxime Chalon


La Rochelle v Brive
Stade Marcel Deflandre, La Rochelle

La Rochelle are still winless this season but they showed they won’t be easy to beat with a narrow loss at Racing last Saturday.

Brive, meanwhile, took full advantage of Stade Français’ prop woes to hammer the champions up front and record a first win of the season.

This weekend is already a must-win game for the home side, and you’d fancy them to do it if they play as they did in Paris last week. They dominated much of the game, but struggled to turn possession into points, before two missed drop goals at the death cost them the win.

Still, the fact that they were able to give Racing a real scare away from home bodes well going forward, and they will expect more of the same, rather than the limp effort that saw them hammered by Clermont in the last home game.

Brive never looked like losing to Stade, picking up penalties at virtually every scrum, but they will have been a little disappointed not to pick up a bonus point given the circumstances.

On the road Brive tend to struggle a little more though, and it would be a surprise to see them go and win at a La Rochelle side who desperately need a victory.

La Rochelle: tbc

Brive: tbc

Last year’s result: La Rochelle won 19-12
Kick-off: 16:00 local (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Salem Attalah


Agen v Racing 92
Stade Armandie, Agen

With two losses and no points, Agen are already stuck at the foot of the table, and it doesn’t get any easier with Racing next on the menu.

The Parisians were far from convincing against La Rochelle, but have two wins in as many games to kick off the season.

Agen were actually much better than a 20-9 loss suggests, at home to Toulouse last time out, but their set-piece let them down.

While their scrum just about held up, a couple of messy lineouts allowed Cory Flynn to score twice and ended their chances of a first win.

Back row Luke Hamilton was probably their best player, and the young Welshman will hope for more of the same against Racing, who are missing back row Wenceslas Lauret.

One man who will feature for Racing is young hooker Camille Chat. After coming on early against La Rochelle, it was his ill-advised offload that led to the visitors’ first try. He made up for it though, with a try of his own as well as one scorching break. Part of the U20s squad this year, he looks to have a great future ahead of him.

Agen: tbc

Racing 92: tbc

Previous result: Racing won 24-20 in 2012
Kick-off: 16:00 local (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Adrien Descottes


Toulouse v Castres
Stade Ernest Wallon, Toulouse

Castres’ record at Toulouse is appalling but Ugo Mola’s side will be taking nothing for granted against Christophe Urios’ men.

Last year Urios twice came close to surprising Toulouse on home soil as the coach of Oyonnax, and judging by Castres’ display against Toulon, it’s already coming together at his new club.

The problem for Castres is that they’ve not won in Toulouse in the professional era, and the Toulon win came at a cost, losing prop Antoine Tichit.

The scrum was about the only area which failed them against the European champions, but that remains an area where Toulouse struggle to dominate.

Mola has got off to a winning start since replacing Novès, with some of the club’s youngsters getting their opportunity in the opening weeks.

The win over Agen was more a victory for pragmatism than anything else, with Maxime Médard typifying that through his long kicking game, rather than his counter-attacking.

They will never be entirely conservative with the likes of Sébastien Bézy however, and the young scrum-half was given a vote of confidence by Mola this week, who stated that the youngster is first choice for the big games.

Between Bézy, Arthur Bonneval and Yacouba Camara, as well as tighthead Dorian Aldegheri, who signed a new deal this week, there is certainly a bright future for Toulouse, they just need to ensure the current winning streak continues against a tricky Castres side.

Toulouse: tbc

Castres: tbc

Last year’s result: Toulouse won 35-6
Kick-off: 16:35 local (14:35 GMT)
Referee: Laurent Cardona


Bordeaux-Bègles v Montpellier
Stade Chaban-Delmas, Bordeaux

Bordeaux have been hit quite hard by World Cup absences, and injury to Blair Connor makes Sunday’s clash with Montpellier a potential banana skin.

With Connor, Metuisela Talebula and French duo Sofiane Guitoune and Darly Domvo all out, Bordeaux lack the firepower usually available to them.

Given those absences, simply keeping pace will be regarded as success for Raphaël Ibanez’s side, but it won’t be easy against Montpellier.

While Jake White’s men were comfortably beaten at Pau, they have potentially got their first-choice half-back pairing available now in Nic White and François Trinh-Duc.

The unlucky pair offer huge experience, although the centers are more of an issue with Anthony Tuitavake having picked up a knock last time out. Timoci Nagusa, in the news for other reasons this week, might take over in midfield, and Montpellier will travel knowing an upset is possible.

Bordeaux-Bègles: tbc

Montpellier: tbc

Last year’s result: Bordeaux-Bègles won 27-21
Kick-off: 16:15 local (14:15 GMT)
Referee: Tual Trainini


Stade Français v Toulon
Stade Jean Bouin, Paris

A repeat of last year’s Top 14 semi-final but the dynamic of the game should be very different given the players missing.

On that occasion Stade Français dominated in the scrum and squeezed the life out of Toulon, but with a host of props either on international duty or out injured, a repeat is unlikely.

Last weekend they were hammered up front by Brive, and new signing Paul Alo-Emile is under pressure to make an immediate impact.

Things haven’t gone smoothly for Toulon either, and Bernard Laporte told the pack that there isn’t a single first choice player among them once the World Cup contingent return.

That seems a little melodramatic, especially given Steffon Armitage and Juan Smith’s performances over the last couple of years, and the scrum at least performed well against Castres.

The problem was elsewhere, with Toulon looking short of leaders, and while they should edge the battle in the set-piece, elsewhere Stade might have an edge.

If the champions can get back to winning ways at home, Toulon will slump to a third straight loss. It’s far from insurmountable, especially with the quality of players on the way, but the likes of Clermont will take some catching if they are given a double digit lead in the table.

Stade Français: tbc

Toulon: tbc

Last year’s result: Stade Français won 30-6
Kick-off: 21:00 local (19:00 GMT)
Referee: Thomas Charabas

Racing 92 beat Toulon in Top 14

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Chris Masoe’s converted try proved to be the difference as the Racing 92 flanker helped defeat his old side Toulon 27-22 on Friday at the Stade Félix Mayol.

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Masoe scored in the 66th minute as Racing captain Maxime Machenaud won the battle off the tee opposite new Toulon signing Jonathan Pélissié.

Racing gave debuts to Joe Rokocoko and Ross Filipo but the main recruit was Masoe, who returned to Toulon just months after lifting his third European Cup with his old side and came back to haunt them when he crashed over from a driving maul.

Toulon were missing a total of 19 first-team players due to their Rugby World Cup commitments, which meant a start for the young Australian back UJ Seuteni at fly-half.

The 21-year-old stepped in with Matt Giteau, Frédéric Michalak and Juan Martín Hernández all away, combining with new signing Pélissié at half-back.

Pélissié scored two penalties in a low-key opening 20 minutes with both sides getting up to speed, as Maxime Machenaud notched up a penalty of his own in between.

Antoine Claassen’s yellow card handed Toulon a chance to extend the lead and Pélissié stepped up, first with a penalty before scoring the game’s first try.

New captain Juan Smith broke through the Racing defence before feeding Pélissié on his inside who stepped past the last man to score by the posts before converting.

Pélissié and Machenaud traded penalties but it was Racing who grabbed the last score of the half through a try from Henry Chavancy.

Benefitting from a moment of brilliance by his centre partner Casey Laulala, Chavancy was on hand to take the final pass and score to make it 16-11 to the hosts at the interval.

Racing’s powerful scrum generated three more points for Machenaud after half-time and the captain put his side ahead from 40 metres out not long after, making it 16-17.

A pointless elbow from Francois van der Merwe saw the South African yellow carded to put Racing back down to 14 men and Pélissié made the most of the opportunity by striking his fourth penalty.

Masoe though was the man to hit back – crashing over off the back of a rolling maul with Machenaud converting to make it 19-24, after Toulon had lost Mitch Inman to the sin-bin for killing the ball at the breakdown.

Three more points from Machenaud gave Racing a crucial margin of more than a converted try going into the final few minutes as Pélissié produced a costly miss, his third of the night, to keep Toulon out of losing bonus point territory.

He was successful however with his next effort with one minute to go but Toulon had no time though to mount a complete comeback, having to settle for one point.

Racing meanwhile happily celebrated a great start to the season, having won away at one of the league’s toughest grounds.

The scorers:

For Toulon:
Tries: Pélissié
Cons: Pélissié
Pens: Pélissié 5
Yellow Card: Inman

For Racing:
Tries: Chavancy, Masoe
Cons: Machenaud
Pens: Machenaud 5
Yellow Cards: Claassen, Van der Merwe