Stade FranÃ§ais were the big winners of the weekend as they beat Biarritz at the Stade de France to keep their domestic season afloat.
Stade FranÃ§ais were the big winners of the weekend as they beat Biarritz 25-15 at the Stade de France to keep their domestic season afloat.
Montpellier caused the upset of the weekend on Saturday, beating leaders Castres 15-0 after Perpignan took care of Racing Metro on Friday.
Jonny Wilkinson contributed eight points as Toulon dominated Montauban to break into the top six with a 18-7 win.
Brive were made to work hard for their narrow victory away to Albi, but four points means their hopes of qualifying for the playoffs are still alive.
Perpignan 31 – 12 Racing Metro
Montpellier 15 – 0 Castres
Toulon 18 – 7 Montauban
Abli 15-17 Brive
Stade FranÃ§ais 25-15 Biarritz
Postponed:Bourgoin v Bayonne
To follow on Sunday: Toulouse v Clermont
1 Castres 56
2 Clermont 52
3 Perpignan 50
4 Toulouse 49
5 Racing-MÃ©tro 48
6 Toulon 46
7 Stade FranÃ§ais 45
8 Biarritz 42
9 Brive 42
10 Montpellier 37
11 Montauban 32
12 Bourgoin 31
13 Bayonne 25
14 Albi 20
Friday, January 8
USA Perpignan 31 – 12 Racing Metro 92
Stade AimÃ© Giral, Perpignan
With the thermometer reading -8 Â°C, Perpignan scored their first win of the New Year with a bonus-point victory in a dominant display.
The howling wind played a significant role but the home side made better use of it, especially early on the in second half after trailing 9-5 at the break.
Racing fly-half Jonathan Wisniewski kicked all his sides points, including a drop goal, in the first half.
With the wind at the backs in the second period, Perpignan added four tries to Nicolas Durand's first-half score with South African centre Gavin Hume, prop Benoit Bourrust, lock Olivier Olibeau and wing wing Farid Sid getting on the scorecard. Read the match report here.
Saturday, January 9
Montpellier HRC 15-0 Castres Olympique
Stade Yves Du Manoir, Montpellier
A very well organised Montpellier team allowed their visitors no room to manoeuvre nor margin for error.
With Castres making far too many mistakes, Montpellier full-back Frederico Todeschini was able to give his side a 12-0 half-time lead via four penalties.
The hosts enjoyed most of the best occasions in the second half and although they were unable to cross the whitewash, Francois Trinh-Duc added a penalty in the final minute to seal an impressive victory.
RC Toulon 18-7 Montauban
Stade Felix Mayol, Toulon
A deserved victory for Toulon, who dominated in the scrums but will feel disappointed for missing out on a bonus point. Montauban can equally harbour regrets after doing a lot of playing – but not as much scoring.
Montauban drew first blood when Vilimoni Delasau intercepted a Mafileo Kefu pass and sprinted away to score 90m later.
Wilkinson replied with a penalty and with the Toulon pack rumbling forward, scrum-half Fabien Cibray found a gap to score and put the hosts ahead.
Wilko slotted a drop shortly before the break to give Toulon a 13-7 lead at half-time.
The Toulon scrum once again came to the fore, setting up their second try in the 47th minute. Lock Jocelino Suta crashed over after wing Christian Loamanu was stopped inches short.
SCA Albi v CA Brive-CorrÃ¨ze
Stadium Municipal, Albi
A narrow but precious win for Brive, who are right back in the race for a place in Europe and the play-offs.
For Albi, relegation new seems unavoidable. Les Albigeois were the stronger side on the day, but were unable to convert a number of chances into points.
With snow falling on the Stadium Municipal, the host looked set for vital win when scrum-half Kevin Boulogne's drop put his side 15-14 ahead with just nine minutes to play.
However it was not to be as once again Albi were undone by their own errors and had to watch Alexis Pallison slot the winning penalty for Brive in the 77th minute.
Brive play the more conservative game and took the early lead thanks to a penalty try. Jamie Noon scored for Brive in the second half in reply to tries from Boulogne and Albi loose forward Vincent Clement.
Stade FranÃ§ais 25-15 Biarritz Olympique
Stade de France, St. Denis (Paris)
Stade FranÃ§ais can breath again as they remain in the race for the play-offs after a deserved win.
Biarritz on the hand might have to look to the Heineken Cup to save their season.
Stade FranÃ§ais got off to a flyer when Argentine fly-half Iganacio Mieres threw a perfectly timed pass to Mathieu Bastareaud who used his power to drag half the Biarritz defensive line over the whitewash with him after just two minutes.
Two penalties from Dimitri Yachvilli made the score 7-6 as Juan Manuel Leguizamon was shown a yellow card for a professional foul that prevented a Biarritz try.
Lionel Beauxis added three penalties to give the hosts a 16-6 lead at half time.
Beauxis added three more penalties in the second period, to which BO replied with two penalties from Yachvilli and drop from fly-half Julien Peyrelongue