Top 14 Wrap: Racing edge Grenoble

Date published: February 20 2016

Racing completed a remarkable comeback away to Grenoble while Colin Slade scored all of Pau's points in their win over Montpellier.

Elsewhere, Bordeaux-Bègles beat Agen while La Rochelle saw off Toulouse in the late game, with Clermont having won earlier in the day.


Castres 17-28 Clermont
Bordeaux-Bègles 24-19 Agen
Montpellier 16-19 Pau
Grenoble 35-39 Racing 92
La Rochelle 28-8 Toulouse

Bordeaux-Bègles 24-19 Agen
Stade Chaban Delmas, Bordeaux

UBB survived a late comeback from visitors Agen to climb into the top four.

Two penalties from the visitors' number ten Burton Francis had Agen on their way inside the first quarter but it was UBB and France winger Sofiane Guitoune who produced the first try, awarded after the officials confirmed that Agen centre Johann Sadie had not been obstructed.

Pierre Bernard followed up that score with a penalty and the fly-half was heavily involved for UBB's second try. After Loann Goujon broke into the Agen 22, Bernard was on hand to continue the move before offloading to Julien Rey to score.

A third penalty from Francis kept Agen just about in touch, but they trailed Bordeaux-Bègles 17-9 at the interval.

Sekope Kepu's solo score in the second half kept the momentum going the way of the hosts for a huge lead going into the final quarter.

A try from replacement Arsene Nnomo gave Agen hope and Clement Darbo's long-range penalty made the score 24-19 with the clock winding down, but Agen couldn't complete their comeback.

The scorers:

For UBB:
Tries: Guitoune, Rey, Kepu
Cons: Bernard 3
Pen: Bernard

For Agen:
Try: Nnomo
Con: Francis 
Pens: Francis 3, Darbo

Bordeaux-Begles: 15 Darly Domvo, 14 Sofiane Guitoune, 13 Jean-Baptiste Dubié, 12 Julien Rey, 11 Nans Ducuing, 10 Pierre Bernard, 9 Yann Lesgourgues, 8 Loann Goujon, 7 Hugh Chalmers, 6 Peter Saili, 5 Berend Botha, 4 Jan Andre Marais, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Clement Maynadier, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16 Ole Avei, 17 Sébastien Taofifenua, 18 Julien Ledevedec, 19 Louis-Benoit Madaule, 20 Heini Adams, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Romain Lonca, 23 Sekope Kepu

Agen: 15 Mathieu Lamoulie, 14 Tamaz Mchedlidze, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Lionel Mazars (c), 11 Filipo Nakosi, 10 Burton Francis, 9 Clement Darbo, 8 Luke Hamilton, 7 Antoine Erbani, 6 Sione Tau, 5 William Demotte, 4 Api Ratuniyarawa, 3 Arthur Joly, 2 Jalil Narjissi, 1 Viliamu Afatia
Replacements: 16 Mike Tadjer, 17 Arsene Nnomo, 18 Marco Kotze, 19 Denis Marchois, 20 Alexis Bales, 21 François Bouvier, 22 George Tilsley, 23 Dave Ryan

Referee: Cedric Marchat

Montpellier 16-19 Pau
Altrad Stadium, Montpellier

Colin Slade's 77th minute penalty completed a dramatic comeback for Pau, the New Zealand international scoring all of his side's points as they won on the road against Montpellier.

Slade landed two penaltes to one from Paillaugue before Pau went down to 14 men following a yellow card to prop Chris King, allowing Paillaugue to tie things up at 6-6.

The scrum-half missed from 45 metres out with an effort after half an hour as Pau went back down to 14 men with a yellow card for flanker Guillaume Bernad.

Montpellier were well positioned to attack with time up on the clock from the resulting scrum as the ball was flung wide to Marvin O'Connor for the winger to touch down, Paillaugue converting to make it 13-6 at the break.

The hosts thought they had their second try right after the break through Davit Kubriashvili only for the effort to be chalked off by the officials.

Instead they were put down to 14 men themselves after a yellow card was shown to Bismarck du Plessis prior to Paillaugue and Slade both missing penalties.

The former All Black made no mistake with his next effort before going one better with a crucial try in the 69th minute after persistent pressure as he squeezed past his man to score, before converting to make it 16-16.

A huge scrum from the visitors then set up Slade and Pau for an unlikely win to the dismay of the home supporters.

The scorers:

For Montpellier:
Try: O'Connor
Con: Paillaugue
Pens: Paillaugue 2
Yellow Card: B du Plessis

For Pau:
Con: Slade
Pen: Slade 4
Yellow Cards: King, Bernad

Montpellier: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Julien Malzieu, 13 Ben Lucas, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Marvin O'Connor, 10 François Trinh-Duc, 9 Benoit Paillaugue, 8 Akapusi Qera, 7 Wiaan Liebenberg, 6 Jacques Du Plessis, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Tom Donnelly, 3 Davit Kubriashvili, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili
Replacements: 16 Mickael Ivaldi, 17 Yvan Watremez, 18 Robins Tchale-Watchou, 19 Ben Mowen, 20 Nic White, 21 Demetri Catrakilis, 22 Yvan Reilhac, 23 Jannie du Plessis

Pau: 15 Damien Traille, 14 Julien Fumat, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Jale Vatubua, 11 Watisoni Votu, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Thibault Daubagna, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Paddy Butler, 6 Guillaume Bernad, 5 Daniel Ramsay, 4 Julien Pierre, 3 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 2 Mehdi Boundjema, 1 Chris King
Replacements: 16 Thomas Bianchin, 17 Julien Jacquot, 18 Josefa Domolailai, 19 Jean Bouilhou, 20 Samuel Marques, 21 Santiago Fernandez, 22 Charly Malié, 23 Euan Murray

Referee: Thomas Charabas

Grenoble 35-39 Racing 92
Stade des Alpes, Grenoble

Racing 92 edged a thriller away from home against Grenoble after coming from behind with two late tries.

Jonathan Wisnewski's first penalty, his first out of seven, opened the scoring in the third minute but Racing's pack were behind the game's first try, Antoine Claassen the man to touch down after sustained pressure.

Grenoble replied through a Wisniewski penalty but Racing continued to find tries, Teddy Thomas this time the man to score although he injured his thigh in the process.

Racing's third try wasn't far behind, Julien Brugnaut recovering the loose ball near Grenoble's 22 as Maxime Machenaud set up Juan Imhoff to accelerate for the score. Dan Carter landed his third conversion out of three to strengthen the lead at 21-9.

Wisniewki's fourth penalty cut the gap before a sublime break from Gio Aplon created Grenoble's opening try, scored by hooker Löick Jammes. 

Unbelievably the hosts completed a remarkable comeback before half-time thanks to their pack, James Percival powering over as Wisniewski's conversion made it 26-21 by the break.

Racing's indiscipline was punished with a yellow card for Ben Tameifuna after the interval, Wisniewski knocking over two quick penalties to make it 32-21.

Carter and Wisniewski traded three-pointers before Racing swung the lead again through two tries in five minutes from replacements Andrew Chauveau and Joe Rokocoko made it 36-35 thanks to the conversion of Carter, who cross-field kick set up his former All Black team-mate for the score.

A second Carter penalty then rounded off a see-sawing clash with Racing extending their lead at the top of the table.

The scorers:

For Grenoble:
Tries: Jammes, Percival
Cons: Wisniewski 2
Pen: Wisniewski 7

For Racing:
Tries: Claassen, Thomas, Imhoff, Chauveau, Rokocoko
Cons: Carter 4
Pens: Carter 2
Yellow Card: Tameifuna

Grenoble: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Tino Nemani, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Nigel Hunt, 11 Xavier Mignot, 10 Jonathan Wisniewski, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Rory Grice, 7 Fabien Alexandre, 6 Steven Setephano, 5 James Percival, 4 Ben Hand, 3 Dayna Edwards, 2 Loick Jammes, 1 Fabien Barcella
Replacements: 16 Laurent Bouchet, 17 Denis Coulson, 18 Hendrik Roodt, 19 Mahamadou Diaby, 20 Christophe Loustalot, 21 Gilles Bosch, 22 Fabien Gengenbacher, 23 Walter Desmaison

Racing: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Henry Chavancy, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Antoine Claassen, 7 Bernard le Roux, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Julien Brugnaut
Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Davit Khinchagashvili, 18 Thibault Dubarry, 19 Chris Masoe, 20 Andrew Chauveau, 21 Johan Goosen, 22 Joe Rokocoko, 23 Luc Ducalcon

Referee: Laurent Cardona

La Rochelle 28-8 Toulouse
Stade Marcel Deflandre, La Rochelle

Toulouse lost ground on Racing 92 at the Top 14 summit as they suffered a disappointing 28-8 loss to La Rochelle at Stade Marcel Deflandre.

Going into the game in second position, five points behind Racing, Toulouse also had Clermont and Bordeaux-Bègles closing in on them.

But they were well beaten by La Rochelle, who enjoyed a 22-3 half-time lead thanks to Romana Graham's try and Zach Holmes' 17 points.

Holmes extended the lead to 25-3 soon after the interval but when Toulouse crossed the line through wing Paul Perez, the lead was cut.

However, fly-half Holmes made it 28-8 to the home side on 48 minutes which was how it remained until the full-time whistle on a disappointing night for Toulouse. La Rochelle meanwhile jump up to ninth spot after this win.

The scorers:

For La Rochelle:
Try: Graham
Con: Holmes
Pen: Holmes 7

For Toulouse:
Try: Perez
Pen: Flood

La Rochelle: 15 Benjamin Lapeyre, 14 Gabriel Lacroix, 13 Pierre Aguillon, 12 Levani Botia, 11 Kini Murimurivalu, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Enrico Januarie, 8 Kevin Gourdon, 7 Romain Sazy, 6 Romana Graham, 5 Leandro Cedaro, 4 Jason Eaton, 3 Gagi Bazadze, 2 Hikairo Forbes, 1 Vincent Pelo
Replacements: 16 Maxime Gau, 17 Thomas Synaeghel, 18 Damien Lagrange, 19 Zeno Kieft, 20 Pierre Berard, 21 Julien Audy, 22 Jean Pascal Barraque, 23 Uini Atonio

Toulouse: 15 Alexis Palisson, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Luke McAlister, 12 Florian Fritz, 11 Paul Perez, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Jean-Marc Doussain, 8 Imanol Harinordoquy, 7 Gregory Lamboley, 6 Thierry Dusautoir, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Joe Tekori, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Christopher Tolofua, 1 Vasil Kakovin
Replacements: 16 Corey Flynn, 17 Cyril Baille, 18 Dorian Aldegheri, 19 Edwin Maka, 20 Yoann Maestri, 21 Yacouba Camara, 22 David Mélé, 23 Gaël Fickou

Referee: Tual Trainini