Toulon got their Top 14 campaign off to the worst possible start, falling 26-22 to Bayonne in their first home defeat since March 2009!
Toulon got their Top 14 campaign off to the worst possible start on Friday, going down 26-22 to Bayonne in their first home defeat since March 2009!
Toulon have won their last sixteen games at Felix Mayol and started as heavy favourites against Bayonne, but an heroic defensive display from the visitors resulted in the first upset of the season.
Perpignan came out on top in bad-tempered rematch of last year's final, edging past champions Clermont.
Stade FranÃ§ais lead the provisional standings thanks to a full-house of points at their new home against Bourgoin.
Racing-MÃ©tro scored an invaluable away win, narrowly getting the better of Brive in a dong-dong battle.
Toulouse got their season off to the perfect start, running six tries past newly-promoted Agen to wrack up a bonus-point win.
Toulouse 44 – 24 Agen
Stade FranÃ§ais 43-12 Bourgoin
Toulon 22- 26 Bayonne
Biarritz 30-22 Montpellier
Brive 18-23 Racing Metro
Perpignan 21-13 Clermont
Saturday, August 14
La Rochelle v Castres
Stade Toulousain 44-24 SU Agen
Stade Ernest Wallon, Toulouse
A wonderful game to watch and played in good spirit saw Toulouse run in six tries for a perfect start to the season in the Garonne derby.
Agen showed they can compete at this level and exposed more holes in the Toulouse defence than the European champions would have liked.
Toulouse dominated however and scored four tries in the first half as William Servat, Yann David, Yannick Jauzion and Maxime Medard all touched down.
Agen continued to play positive rugby however and were rewarded with try for wing Romian Edmond-Samuel just before half time, leaving the score 27-10m at the break.
It was much the same story in the second half as Clement Poitrenaud added his name to the scorecard before Medard scored his second.
Argentine centre Miguel Avramovic pulled one back for Agen in the final quarter, and once again it was Edmond Samuel who scored for Agen just before full-time to lend an air of respectability to the scoreline.
RC Toulon 22-26 Aviron Bayonnais
Stade Felix Mayol, Toulon
No one expected Toulon's star-studded team to crash to their first home defeat in seventeen games. Three missed penalties from Felipe Contepomi proved decisive.
Bayonne put their noses in front with their first incursion into the Toulon 22 as wing Yohan Huget touched down. Benjamin Boyet's conversion and two penalties gave the visitors a deserved 13-3 lead after half an hour.
Contepomi added his second and third penalties just before the break to keep his side in touch at 13-9.
Boyet was sent to the bin shortly after the restart and Contepomi reduced the gap to a single point. Julien Audy extended the Basque lead from the kicking before Bayonne conceded a second yellow, this time for prop Denis Avril.
Toulon were disallowed a try but their scrum won their side a penalty try, putting the hosts ahead for the first time.
Boyet however leveled the scores at 19-all with ten minutes to play as the pressure mounted in the Mayol cauldron.
Contepomi put Toulon back in front but the lead was short lived as Huget crossed for his second try with four minutes left on the clock.
“This is three points lost,” said Toulon coach Philippe Saint-Andre.
“But there are 25 matches to go and plenty of points to pick up.
“Bayonne were well-prepared. They started training on June 9 and they were hungry. But we have a lot of new players who have come in and it will take them four or five weeks to get used to the system.”
Biarritz Olympique 30-22 Montpellier HR
Parc des Sports d'Aguilera, Biarritz
After a super start to the game, Biarritz almost threw it away as Montpellier came back strongly in the second half, outscoring their hosts three tries to two.
A huge effort from the Biarritz forwards ensured that the hosts led 21-3 at half time with tries going to wing Philippe BidabÃ© and fly-half Julien Peyrelongue.
But the Basques went to sleep earlier in the second half, allowing Montpellier's newly-imported Argentina centre Santiago Fernandez and Fijian loose forward Sakiusa Matadigo to score and pull the visitors back into contention.
Home scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili kept BO ahead as Montpol gave away far too many penalties.
Montpellier wing Pierre BÃ©rard scored in the final minute but Fernandez missed the conversion, denying Montpellier a losing bonus point.
CA Brive CorrÃ¨ze 18-23 Racing MÃ©tro 92
Stade AmÃ©dÃ©e Domenech, Brive
Without doing anything flashy, Racing picked up a first win on the road. After a perfect start, Racing managed to control their hosts strong came back. Brive deserved their losing bonus-point.
Racing fly-half Jonathan Wisniewski scored the first try after just two minutes after a break by scrum-half Nicolas Durand.
The visitors led 10-3 at the break before Jacques Cronje scored a vital try in 65th minute.
With Brive dominating the possession full-back Alexis Pallison kicked five penalties but the hosts were never able to cross the whitewash.
Stade FranÃ§ais 43-12 CS Bourgoin-Jallieu
Stade CharlÃ©ty, Paris
An entertaining encounter was somewhat marred by a high number of handling errors.
Former Reds wing Brando Va'Aulu was handed a yellow card 26 minutes into his debut for Bourgoin for playing the ball on the ground.
With the scores locked at 9-9 and half time looming, Stade hooker Dimitri Szarzewski forced his way over just before the hooter to give the hosts 16-7 lead.
The Parisians took control in the second half however as Mathieu Bastareaud and skipper Sergio Parisse scored within ten minutes of the restart.
From there it was one-way traffic with Julien Arias and Hugo Southwell scored at ten-minute intervals to hand Stade FranÃ§ais a bonus point in their first match at Stade CharlÃ©ty.
USA Perpignan 21-13 ASM Clermont Auvergne
Stade AimÃ© Giral, Perpignan
AimÃ© Giral played host to a classic game of French rugby, with two huge packs slugging it out and a few punch-ups to add to the fiery atmosphere.
Perpignan led 12-7 at half time which was fair reflection of their command of possession in general.
A tough psychical encounter degenerated in the closing stages as tempers flared.
Despite playing the last ten minutes with fourteen men – after Guillaume Vilaceca was shown a red card (for standing on Thibault