Top 14 Wrap: Racing go top

Date published: January 2 2016

Clermont kicked off Round 12 of the Top 14 season with a win away at Agen in the first of five games on Saturday.

Agen 16-33 Clermont
La Rochelle 25-21 Castres
Grenoble 42-17 Oyonnax
Racing 92 23-18 Bordeaux-Bègles
Brive 19-18 Montpellier

Agen 16-33 Clermont
Stade Armandie, Agen

Camille Gerondeau crossed for two tries in the second-half as Clermont came from behind to defeat Agen away from home.

Three penalties by Burton Francis were the difference at half-time as Agen broke out into a 9-0 lead.

Clermont, in third place coming into Round 12, rallied after the break, first through a Lopez penalty before Gerondeau crashed over after good work from the France fly-half.

A conversion from Lopez and two more Lopez penalties extended Clermont's lead to 16-9 before, before Gerondeau grabbed his second try to seemingly put the result beyond doubt.

However a converted try by Francis kept Agen within losing bonus-point territory in the closing stages until they lost Apisalome Ratuniyarawa to a red card for a knee to the back of the head of Loic Jacquet.

A fourth Lopez penalty followed by a penalty try wrapped up a hard-earned victory for les Jaunards.

The scorers:

For Agen:
Try: Francis
Cons: Francis
Pens: Francis 3
Red Card: Ratuniyarawa

For Clermont:
Tries: Gerondeau 2, Penalty Try
Cons: Lopez 3
Pens: Lopez 4

Agen: 15 Benoit Sicart, 14 Filipo Nakosi, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Eroni Narumasa, 11 George Tilsley, 10 Burton Francis, 9 Alexi Bales, 8 Marc Baget Rabarou, 7 Luke Hamilton, 6 Antoine Erbani, 5 William Demotte, 4 Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, 3 David Ryan, 2 Jalil Narjissi, 1 Viliamu Afatia.
Replacements: 16 Marc Barthomeuf, 17 Bernard N'Nomo, 18 Jean Baptiste Roidot, 19 Sione Tau, 20 Clement Darbo, 21 Francois Bouvier, 22 Vincent Roux, 23 Quentin Bethune.

Clermont: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Noa Nakaitaci, 13 Albert Vulivuli, 12 Jonathan Davies, 11 Alivereti Raka, 10 Patricio Fernandez Fiant, 9 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 8 Camille Gerondeau, 7 Judicael Cancoriet, 6 Julien Bardy, 5 Paul Jedrasiak, 4 Loic Jacquet, 3 Daniel Kotze, 2 John Ulugia, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements: 16 Marthinus van der Westhuizen, 17 Raphael Chaume, 18 Arthur Iturria, 19 Peceli Yato, 20 Enzo Sanga, 21 Camille Lopez, 22 Scott Spedding, 23 Michael Simutoga.

Referee: Romain Poite

La Rochelle 25-21 Castres
Stade Marcel Deflandre, La Rochelle

Rory Kockott finished with 21 points including two tries for Castres but the 2013 champions lost out away to La Rochelle.

Kockott and La Rochelle fly-half Zach Holmes traded two penalties apiece before the Castres scrum-half grabbed his first try by stripping the ball away from Holmes and touching down.

Kockott couldn't land the conversion and a further penalty each from both players made it 15-14 at the break.

Castres couldn't stop a powerful burst off the back of the scrum fron Jone Qovu as La Rochelle extended their lead with Holmes' conversion to 22-14.

However Kockott's quick tap-and-go from a penalty led to a second try for the France international to give La Rochelle only a one-point lead.

Castres went down to 14 men with a yellow card for Karena Wihongi to allow Holmes to land a sixth penalty, with Kockott's third strike ensuring a losing bonus point.

The scorers:

For La Rochelle:
Try: Qovu
Cons: Holmes
Pens: Holmes 6

For Castres:
Tries: Kockott 2
Con: Kockott 
Pens: Kockott 3
Yellow Card: Wihongi

La Rochelle: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Gabriel Lacroix, 13 Pierre Aguillon, 12 Levani Botia, 11 Malietoa Seuli Hingano, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Enrico Januarie, 8 Jone Qovu, 7 Kevin Gourdon, 6 Romain Sazy, 5 Romana Graham, 4 Jason Eaton, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Maxime Gau, 1 Vincent Pelo. 
Replacements: 16 Hikairo Forbes, 17 Mike Corbel, 18 Leandro Cedaro, 19 Zeno Kieft, 20 Afaesetiti Amosa, 21 Julien Audy, 22 Eliott Roudil, 23 Lekso Kaulashvili.

Castres: 15 Julien Caminati, 14 David Smith, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Florian Vialelle, 11 Romain Martial, 10 Julien Dumora, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Alex Tulou, 7 Alexandre Bias, 6 Piula Faasalele, 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Karena Wihongi, 2 Brice Mach, 1 Antoine Tichit. 
Replacements: 16 Marc Antoine Rallier, 17 Mihaita Lazar, 18 Christophe Samson, 19 John Beattie, 20 Julien Seron, 21 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 22 Romain Cabannes, 23 Lucas Martinez.

Referee: Sébastien Minery

Grenoble 42-17 Oyonnax
Stade des Alpes, Grenoble

Grenoble impressed with a five-try demolition of Oyonnax, winning 42-17 on Saturday afternoon.

Maratino Nemani and Hendrik Roodt crossed for two tries in five minutes to put the hosts well out in front after two Jonathan Wisniewski penalties.

A Regis Lespinas penalty was all Oyonnax had to show for the first-half as Charl McLeod's converted try made it 25-3 at the interval.

Gio Aplon's score after the break secured the bonus point for Grenoble before Silvere Tian hit back with a try for the visitors.

However a third Wisniewski penalty and Fabien Alexandre's converted effort killed off any hopes of a comeback for Oyonnax.

The scorers:

For Grenoble:
Tries: Nemani, Roodt, McLeod, Aplon, Alexandre
Cons: Wisniewski 4
Pens: Wisniewski 3

For Oyonnax:
Tries: Tian, Fa'asavalu
Cons: Lespinas 2
Pens: Lespinas
Yellow Card: Tian

Grenoble: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Maritino Marcus William Nemani, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Nigel Hunt, 11 Lucas Dupont, 10 Jonathan Wisniewski, 9 Charl Mcleod, 8 Rory Grice, 7 Fabien Alexandre, 6 Steven Miimetua Setephano, 5 Hendrik Roodt, 4 Benjamin Hand, 3 Dayna Edwards, 2 Arnaud Heguy, 1 Fabien Barcella. 
Replacements: 16 Loick Jammes, 17 Sona Taumalolo, 18 Peter Kimlin, 19 Mahamadou Diaby, 20 Lilian Saseras, 21 Gilles Bosch, 22 Xavier Mignot, 23 Pieter Rossouw De Klerk,

Oyonnax: 15 Florian Denos. 14 Silvere Tian, 13 Guillaume Bousses, 12 Jimmy Yobo, 11 Dug Codjo, 10 Regis Lespinas, 9 Fabien Cibray, 8 Viliami Ma'afu, 7 Olivier Missoup, 6 Valentin Ursache, 5 Fabrice Metz, 4 George Robson, 3 Antoine Guillamon, 2 Jeremie Maurouard, 1 Soane Tonga'uiha. 
Replacements: 16 Thomas Bordes, 17 Laurent Delboulbes, 18 Mickael De Marco, 19 Pedrie Wannenburg, 20 Maurie Faasavalu, 21 Julien Blanc, 22 Nick Robinson, 23 Marc Clerc.

Referee: Jérôme Garcès

Racing 92 23-18 Bordeaux-Bègles
Stade Yves du Manoir, Colombes

Racing 92 moved into first in the Top 14 thanks to a narrow win over UBB.

Tries from Dimitri Szarzewski and Alexandre Dumoulin either side of half-time along with 13 points from Dan Carter mean that Racing leapfrog Clermont at the top having won more matches.

UBB's Simon Hickey opened the scoring with three penalties in the opening half hour before Szarzewski powered over under the posts to put Racing on the board.

Dan Carter converted to leave the hosts trailing 7-9 at half-time.

Hickey's fourth penalty for the visitors extended their lead before Carter and Brice Dulin combined to set up Dumoulin for a try – confirmed by the TMO after ruling out a possible obstruction from Antoine Claassen.

Carter's conversion and first penalty made it 17-12 and two more three-pointers from the World Player of the Year were matched by two penalties by Lionel Beauxis, as Racing edged home.

The scorers:

For Racing 92:
Tries: Szarzewski, Dumoulin
Cons: Carter 2
Pens: Carter 3

For UBB:
Pens: Hickey 4, Beauxis 2

Racing 92: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Juan Imhoff, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Alexandre Dumoulin, 11 Marc Andreu, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Yannick Nyanga, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Benajmin Tameifuna, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Eddy Ben Arous. 
Replacements: 16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Julien Brugnaut, 18 Juandre Kruger, 19 Chris Masoe, 20 Maxime Machenaud, 21 Johan Goosen, 22 Henry Chavancy, 23 Luc Ducalcon.

Bordeaux-Bègles: Bordeaux Bègles: 15 Nans Ducuing, 14 Sofiane Guitoune, 13 Felix Le bourhis, 12 Julien Rey, 11 Blair Connor, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 Marco Tauleigne, 7 Hugh Chalmers, 6 Loann Goujon, 5 Jandre Marais, 4 Julien Ledevedec, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Benat Auzqui, 1 Steven Kitshoff. 
Replacements: 16 Wayne Avei, 17 Jefferson Poirot, 18 Berend Botha, 19 Louis benoit Madaule, 20 Yann Lesgourgues, 21 Lionel Beauxis, 22 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 23 Sekope Kepu.

Referee: Thomas Charabas