Top 14 Wrap: Stade back on track

Date published: October 16 2015

Stade Français moved off the foot of the Top 14 with a comfortable win over Castres to get their season back on track.

After a difficult first four weeks of the campaign, they bounced back strongly after the RWC break with a 22-9 win at Jean Bouin.

Elsewhere Clermont cruised to another bonus-point win to stay well clear at the top, winning 35-10 against Pau.

Bordeaux-Bègles picked up a convincing 31-16 success at Agen, while Racing 92 battled to an 18-9 victory at Oyonnax.

A late try for Montpellier sealed a third away win of the evening, as they downed Grenoble 30-19, while in the late game Toulouse were too good for La Rochelle, winning 39-22.


Clermont 35-10 Pau
Oyonnax 18-9 Racing 92
Grenoble 19-30 Montpellier
Agen 16-31 Bordeaux-Bègles
Stade Français 22-9 Castres
Toulouse 39-22 La Rochelle

Brive v Toulon

Clermont 35-10 Pau
Stade Marcel Michelin, Clermont-Ferrand

Clermont got back to winning ways after their draw at home to Bordeaux last time out and remain the only unbeaten team in France thanks to a bonus-point win over Pau.

Les Jaunards dominated from the off and despite an early missed penalty from Camille Lopez, quickly led 6-0 thanks to two successful kicks from their fly-half.

Pau were conceding too many penalties and eventually were punished more severely, hooker Vincent Campo sin-binned, which allowed Sébastien Vahaamahina to force his way over from close range.

Santiago Fernandez cut the deficit to 11-3, but just before the break Clermont went over again, David Strettle on this occasion finishing out wide after a long period of pressure.

Lopez missed the conversion, but Clermont were still in control, and their task became easier early in the second-half when a needless shoulder from Marika Vunibaka on Nick Abendanon saw the Pau winger sin-binned.

Again Vahaamahina was the man to benefit from the extra man, running a perfect line in midfield to go straight past Euan Murray and score. Lopez converted from in front to make it 23-3.

Loic Jacquet scored the fourth Clermont try, to make the bonus point a little more secure, and it proved valuable when Vunibaka made up for his earlier card when he finished off a try made by Charly Malié.

Replacement Camille Gerondeau added Clermont's fifth try of the evening to seal another convincing win as they cement their place at the top of the table.

The scorers:

For Clermont:
Tries: Vahaamahina 2, Strettle, Jacquet, Gerondeau
Cons: Lopez 2
Pens: Lopez 2

For Pau:
Con: Fajardo
Pens: Fernandez
Yellow Cards: Campo, Vunibaka

Clermont: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 David Strettle, 13 Aurélien Rougerie, 12 Albert Vulivuli, 11 Adrien Planté, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Jean-Baptiste Bruzulier, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Julien Bardy, 6 Alexandre Lapandry, 5 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 4 Loic Jacquet, 3 Clément Ric, 2 Marius van der Westhuizen, 1 Raphaël Chaume.
Replacements: 16 Pierre Rude, 17 Thomas Domingo, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Camille Gérondeau, 20 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 21 Patricio Fernandez, 22 Hosea Gear, 23 Daniel Kotze.

Pau: 15 Damien Traille, 14 Marika Vunibaka, 13 Charly Malie, 12 Albert Vulivuli, 11 Mosese Ratuvou, 10 Santiago Fernandez, 9 Thierry Lacrampe, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Patrick Butler, 6 Sean Dougall, 5 Daniel Ramsay, 4 Julien Pierre, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Vincent Campo, 1 Julien Jacquot.
Replacements: 16 Mehdi Boundjema, 17 Jeremy Hurou, 18 Claude Dry, 19 Josefa Domolailai, 20 Samuel Marques, 21 Brandon Fajardo, 22 Thibault Daubagna, 23 Giorgi Natsarashvili.

Referee: Cedric Marchat

Oyonnax 9-18 Racing 92
Stade Charles Mathon, Oyonnax

Racing made it four wins from five this season with a hard-fought win at Oyonnax, who were beaten for the second time at home already this year.

It was all Racing early on, and after a penalty from Maxime Machenaud, Johan Goosen scored the first try, bursting through off the back of a scrum, narrowly avoiding the touchline.

Two penalties from Nicky Robinson, to one from Machenaud, were all the two sides could muster in the remainder of the half, as Racing led 11-6 at the break.

Robinson added a third penalty to make it a two-point game after 55 minutes but a try in the dying seconds from youngster Louis Dupichot secured the win for Racing, denying Oyo a losing bonus point in the process.

The scorers:

For Oyonnax:
Robinson 4

For Racing 92:
Goosen, Dupichot
Con: Dambielle
Pens: Machenaud 2

Oyonnax: 15 Quentin Etienne, 14 Alaska Taufa, 13 Vincent Martin, 12 Eamonn Sheridan, 11 Uwa Tawalo, 10 Nick Robinson, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Pedrie Wannenburg, 7 Olivier Missoup, 6 Pierrick Gunther, 5 Fabrice Metz, 4 George Robson, 3 Marc Clerc, 2 Jody Jenneker, 1 Stan Wright.
Replacements: 16 Thomas Bordes, 17 Laurent Delboulbès, 18 Leon Power, 19 Florian Faure, 20 Fabien Cibray, 21 Régis Lespinas, 22 Florian Denos, 23 Horatiu Pungea.

Racing 92: 15 Johan Goosen, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Henry Chavancy, 11 Marc Andreu, 10 Benjamin Dambielle, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Thibault Dubarry, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Cedate Gomes Sa, 2 Camille Chat, 1 Julien Brugnaut.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Davit Khinchagashvili, 18 Juandre Kruger, 19 Chris Masoe, 20 Xavier Chauveau, 21 Etienne Dussartre, 22 Louis Dupichot, 23 Nicolas Mirande.

Referee: Alexandre Ruiz

Grenoble 19-30 Montpellier
Stade des Alpes, Grenoble

Montpellier stay second in the Top 14 thanks to their fourth win from five matches and their second on the road this season, this time outlasting Grenoble.

They have been impressive so far this season, and they led early thanks to a penalty from Benoit Paillaugue. That was quickly cancelled out by Jonathan Wisniewski and the teams were tied at 6-6 after another penalty apiece after 33 minutes.

With four minutes left in the half Jonathan Best was sin-binned for Grenoble, and in his absence the Montpellier forwards got the upper hand, allowing Paillaugue to cut through and score the first try.

He converted but a Wisniewski penalty right on half-time made it 13-9 to the visitors at the break.

Wisniewski added another penalty early in the second-half, cutting the deficit to a point, however Paillaugue responded with his third penalty of the game.

A penalty try for Montpellier stretched the lead out to 23-12 but Grenoble responded in kind after Kélian Galletier had been sin-binned.

That set up a nervy last few minutes, but with virtually the final play of the game Marvin O'Connor took advantage of a fluffed catch by Gio Aplon to score, which François Trinh-Duc converted to complete the win.

The scorers:

For Grenoble:
Con: Bosch
Pens: Wisniewski 4
Yellow Card: Best

For Montpellier: 
Paillaugue, Penalty, O'Connor
Cons: Paillaugue 2, Trinh-Duc
Pens: Paillaugue 3
Yellow Card: Galletier

Grenoble: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Lucas Dupont, 13 Jackson Willison, 12 Nigel Hunt, 11 Armand Batlle, 10 Jonathan Wisniewski, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Rory Grice, 7 Steven Setephano, 6 Jonathan Best, 5 Hendrik Roodt, 4 Ben Hand, 3 Dayna Edwards, 2 Arnaud Héguy, 1 Denis Coulson.
Replacements: 16 Anthony Hegarty, 17 Alexandre Dardet, 18 Mathias Marie, 19 Mahamadou Diaby, 20 Lilian Saseras, 21 Gilles Bosch, 22 Xavier Mignot, 23 Rossouw de Klerk.

Montpellier: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Benjamin Fall, 13 Timoci Nagusa, 12 Andrew Smith, 11 Marvin O'Connor, 10 François Trinh-Duc, 9 Benoit Paillaugue, 8 Kélian Galletier, 7 Ben Mowen, 6 Willem Liebenberg, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Robins Tchale Watchou, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Mickael Ivaldi, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Charles Géli, 17 Mikheil Nariashvili, 18 Antoine Battut, 19 Akapusi Qera, 20 Nic White, 21 Ben Lucas, 22 Anthony Tuitavake, 23 CJ van der Linde.

Referee: Sébastien Minery

Agen 16-31 Bordeaux-Bègles
Stade Armandie, Agen

Bordeaux drew their last game at Clermont and brought that form into this one with a comfortable win at Agen.

They led 6-3 thanks to two penalties from star of the show Baptiste Serin before Blair Connor scored the first try as he was quickest to Jean-Marcellin Buttin's grubber through.

Serin's conversion made it 13-3, with Agen down to 14 after a yellow card for Bernard Nnomo and Serin added two more penalties before the break.

Burton Francis managed two of his own for Agen and cut the deficit to ten with another penalty early in the second-half.

Serin added another penalty, but Bordeaux had two tries disallowed as they failed to really cut loose.

Arthur Joly crossed for Agen's first try after yet another Serin penalty, converted by Francis, but once more the Bordeaux scrum-half split the uprights to push the lead out to 12 points at 28-16.

And he wasn't done yet, slotting a drop-goal to finish things off and seal a convincing win on the road for Bordeaux.

The scorers:

For Agen:
Con: Francis
Pens: Francis 3
Yellow Card: Nnomo

For Bordeaux-Bègles:
Con: Serin
Pens: Serin 7
Drop Goal: Serin

Agen: 15 Mathieu Lamoulie, 14 George Tilsley, 13 Eroni Narumasa, 12 Lionel Mazars, 11 Pierre Fouyssac, 10 Burton Francis, 9 Alexis Balès, 8 Marc Giraud, 7 Antoine Erbani, 6 Rémi Vaquin, 5 William Demotte, 4 Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, 3 Ruaan du Preez, 2 Jalil Narjissi, 1 Bernard Nnomo.
Replacements: 16 Mike Tadjer, 17 Viliamu Afatia, 18 Corentin Braendlin, 19 Luke Hamilton, 20 Clément Darbo, 21 Bautista Guemes, 22 Johann Sadie, 23 Arthur Joly.

Bordeaux-Bègles: 15 Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 14 Nans Ducuing, 13 Felix le Bourhis, 12 Julien Rey, 11 Blair Connor, 10 Romain Lonca, 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 Loann Goujon, 7 Hugh Chalmers, 6 Peter Saili, 5 Berend Botha, 4 Jandre Marais, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Benat Auzqui, 1 Jefferson Poirot.
Replacements: 16 Clément Maynadier, 17 Sébastien Taofifenua, 18 Julien Ledevedec, 19 Marco Tauleigne, 20 Luke Braid, 21 Yann Lesgourgues, 22 Manu Ahotaeiloa, 23 Albert Toetu.

Referee: Mathieu Raynal

Stade Français 22-9 Castres
Stade Jean Bouin, Paris

Stade Français got back to winning ways and moved off the foot of the table with this impressive win over Castres.

In desperate need of a win, Stade Français started slowly, with Julien Dumora knocking over an early penalty, having already missed with his first attempt.

That lead lasted until midway through the first-half when Djibril Camara broke through before finding Hugo Bonneval outside him for the first try of the game. Jules Plisson converted to make it 7-3.

Plisson added two more penalties before half-time, as Stade led 13-3 at the break.

The second-half was very tight, with few try-scoring opportunities, but two penalties each from Plisson and Geoffrey Palis made it 19-9 to the home side.

Plisson added another penalty with ten minutes remaining, but that was it for the scoring as Stade secured the win.

The scorers:

For Stade Français:
Con: Plisson
Pens: Plisson 5

For Castres: 
Dumora, Palis 2

Stade Français: 15 Hugo Bonneval, 14 Jérémy Sinzelle, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Djibril Camara, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Julien Dupuy, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Raphaël Lakafia, 6 Jono Ross, 5 Gerhard Mostert, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Paul Alo-Emile, 2 Rémi Bonfils, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Laurent Sempéré, 17 Zurabi Zhvania, 18 Paul Gabrillagues, 19 Antoine Burban, 20 Julien Tomas, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Julien Arias, 23 Giorgi Melikidze.

Castres: 15 Geoffrey Palis, 14 David Smith, 13 Rudi Wulf, 12 Rémi Lamerat, 11 Romain Martial, 10 Julien Dumora, 9 Julien Seron, 8 Alex Tulou, 7 Alexandre Bias, 6 Yannick Caballero, 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 4 Christophe Samson, 3 Karena Wihongi, 2 Brice Mach, 1 Mihaita Lazar.
Replacements: 16 Marc-Antoine Railler, 17 Yohan Montes, 18 Piula Faasalele, 19 Mathieu Babillot, 20 Antoine Dupont, 21 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 22 Florian Vialelle, 23 Florian Houerie.

Referee: Cyril Lafon

Toulouse 39-22 La Rochelle
Stade Ernest Wallon, Toulouse

Toulouse got back to winning ways with a fourth win in five but once again missed out on a bonus point against La Rochelle.

La Rochelle took the lead after just six minutes thanks to a Zack Holmes penalty, but Toulouse enjoyed more of the possession.

They had to wait until the 22nd minute to get on the board, but after missing an earlier penalty, Toby Flood made up for it as he dummied and went under the posts after an initial break from Timoci Matanavou.

Flood converted and added a penalty as Toulouse appeared to be taking control.

However on the stroke of half-time David Roumieu forced his way over despite the best efforts of Vincent Clerc. Holmes missed the penalty as Toulouse led 10-8 at the break.

Imanol Harinordoquy went off at half-time and his replacement Grégory Lamboley, was next on the scoreboard, finishing off a powerful rolling maul. Toulouse had been put into position after a great break from Clerc who cut back to the left and then went clean through before finding Matanavou outside him.

La Rochelle had a chance to come back into it with a line-out five metres out, but Lamboley claimed an important steal and five minutes later, Toulouse had a third try. Maxime Médard made the initial break to send Joe Tekori away. He could have finished himself, but passed inside for Florian Fritz to finish it off. Sébastien Bezy converted to make it 22-8.

That looked to be it for La Rochelle, and Toulouse had a fourth soon after as things really started to click. Médard was again involved and his chip over the top dropped into the hands of Matanavou. He was stopped short of the line, but Toulouse came back the other way and Tala Gray had a simple finish on the right.

However rather than collapse, La Rochelle responded, first through Jules le Bail, then with a fine finish from Benjamin Lapeyre after a great break from Levani Botia.

Holmes converted both and La Rochelle were back to within seven points with 20 minutes to go.

Toulouse stepped it up again, and a second Flood penalty pushed the lead back to ten points, before the game got a little ugly. A high tackle from Yacouba Camara earned him a yellow card, but after the players came together, a wild haymaker from replacement prop Jordan Seneca on scrum-half Jean-Marc Doussain saw the La Rochelle man rightly sent off.

The home side had more of the ball in the final minutes, and did get a fifth try at the death, Clerc quickest to a chip over the top from Flood, with the Englishman converting from the touchline with the last kick of the game.

The scorers:

For Toulouse:
Flood, Lamboley, Fritz, Gray, Clerc
Cons: Flood 2, Bezy 2
Pens: Flood 2
Yellow Card: Camara

For La Rochelle:
Roumieu, Le Bail, Lapeyre
Cons: Holmes 2
Pen: Holmes
Red Card: Seneca

Toulouse: 15 Maxime Médard, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Yann David, 11 Timoci Matanavou, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Sébastien Bézy, 8 Imanol Harinordoquy, 7 Talalei Gray, 6 Yacouba Camara, 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Romain Millo-Chluski, 3 Dorian Aldegheri, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Vasil Kakovin.
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Gert Muller, 19 Gillian Galan, 20 Grégory Lamboley, 21 Clément Poitrenaud, 22 Jean-Marc Doussain, 23 Luke McAlister.

La Rochelle: 15 Benjamin Lapeyre, 14 Gabriel Lacroix, 13 Pierre Aguillon, 12 Jean-Pascal Barraque, 11 Malietoa Hingano, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Enrico Januarie, 8 Kevin Gourdon, 7 Afaesetiti Amosa, 6 Zeno Kieft, 5 Damien Lagrange, 4 Jason Eaton, 3 Lekso Kaulashvili, 2 David Roumieu, 1 Thomas Synaeghel.
Replacements: 16 Maxime Gau, 17 Jordan Seneca, 18 Romain Sazy, 19 Benoit Guyot, 20 Jules le Bail, 21 Fabien Fortassin, 22 Charles Bouldoire, 23 Vincent Pelo.

Referee: Maxime Chalon