Top 14 Wrap: Toulon bounce back

Date published: April 16 2016

Toulon got the better of Pau at the Stade du Hameau in the early game while Brive, Clermont and La Rochelle also won in the Top 14 on Saturday.

Grenoble 28-33 Castres

Pau 9-25 Toulon
Brive 31-13 Oyonnax
Clermont 38-10 Agen
La Rochelle 22-15 Bordeaux-Bègles

Pau 9-25 Toulon
Stade Du Hameau

Toulon shrugged off their Champions Cup exit with Delon Armitage scoring two tries in their away win over Pau.

Xavier Chiocci went close for Toulon thanks to a punishing rolling maul before Romain Taofifenua was denied a try after Gulhelm Guirado knocked on. Éric Escande finally opened Toulon's account with a penalty.

The scrum-half doubled his tally after the 20-minute mark, Colin Slade however answered with his first points after Pau won a penalty at the scrum.

Escande missed the chance to extend the lead after Pau were penalised for playing the man in the air, but Damien Traille replied impressively twice from long-range to move Pau ahead, the second from 53 metres to make it 9-6 as the hosts led at half-time.

Toulon's patience eventually paid off with a try from Delon Armitage, the full-back doing well to gather a kick and beat two defenders before kicking ahead for Josua Tuisova to chase, returning the ball to Armitage for the try. Escande converted to make it 13-9 to the visitors.

Escande looked to be in for Toulon's second try but that effort was ruled out for a forward pass in the build-up.

Delon Armitage made sure though with his second try, Toulon spreading the ball through the backs before the full-back cut in past the defence to score from James O'Connor's pass.

Searching for a bonus point try with a series of scrums close to Pau's line, Toulon eventually were rewarded. Referee Thomas Charabas awarded a penalty try which Jonathan Pélissié converted for a 25-9 win.

The scorers:

For Pau:
Pens: Slade, Traille 2

For Toulon:
D Armitage 2, Penalty Try
Cons: Escande, Pélissié
Pens: Escande 2

Pau: 15 Damien Traille, 14 Mathieu Acebes,13 Conrad Smith, 12 Jale Vatubua, 11 Mosese Ratuvou, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Samuel Marques, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Jean Bouilhou, 6 Paddy Butler, 5 Abdellatif Boutaty, 4 Julien Pierre, 3 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 2 Quentin Lespiaucq, 1 Chris King
Replacements: 16 Thomas Bianchin, 17 Geoffrey Moise, 18 Jovili Domolailai, 19 Daniel Ramsay, 20 Thibault Daubagna, 21 Brandon Fajardo, 22 Charly Malie, 23 Euan Murray

Toulon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Josua Tuisova, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 James O'Connor,10 Tom Taylor, 9 Éric Escande, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Mamuka Gorgodze, 3 Manasa Saulo, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Xavier Chiocci
Replacements: 16 Anthony Etrillard, 17 Alexandre Menini, 18 Thibault Lassalle, 19 Gregory Annetta, 20 Frédéric Michalak, 21 Theo Bélan, 22 Jonathan Pélissié, 23 Levan Chilachava

Referee: Thomas Charabas

Brive 31-13 Oyonnax
Stade Amédée Domenech

Brive sealed their tenth victory of the Top 14 campaign on Saturday as they got the better of Oyonnax, winning with a bonus-point at home.

Karlen Asieshvili, Poutasi Luafutu, Lucas Pointud and Chris Tuatara-Morrison crossed the whitewash for the hosts at Stade Amédée Domenech.

In reply the visitors, who stay second bottom in the table, were rewarded for their efforts with a penalty try but they were well beaten.

Despite the comfortable final scoreline, Brive were only 7-6 up at the break after loosehead prop Asieshvili's try and full-back Gaetan Germain's extras were pegged back by two penalties from Oyonnax fly-half Quentin Etienne Lecoq. It was a game very much in the balance.

But after the break Brive cut loose with further tries from flank Luafutu and replacements Pointud and Tuatara-Morrison sealing victory.

The scorers:

For Brive:
Tries: Asieshvili, Luafutu, Pointud, Tuatara-Morrison
Con: Germain 4
Pen: Germain

For Oyonnax:
Try: Penalty
Con: Chouvet
Pen: Lecoq 2

Brive: 15 Gaetan Germain, 14 Alfi Mafi, 13 Arnaud Mignardi, 12 Benjamin Petre, 11 Guillaume Namy, 10 Thomas Laranjeira, 9 Teddy Iribaren, 8 Sisa Koyamaibole, 7 Poutasi Luafutu, 6 Petrus Hauman, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Johan Snyman, 3 Damien Jourdain, 2 Thomas Acquier, 1 Karlen Asieshvili
Replacements: 16 Francois Da Ros, 17 Lucas Pointud, 18 Arnaud Mela, 19 Dominiko Waqaniburotukula, 20 Said Hireche, 21 Nicolas Bézy, 22 Chris Tuatara-Morrison, 23 Kevin Buys

Oyonnax: 15 Florian Denos, 14 Dug Codjo, 13 Jimmy Yobo, 12 Roimata Hansell-Pune, 11 Daniel Ikpefan, 10 Quentin Etienne, 9 Julien Blanc, 8 Viliami Ma'afu, 7 Olivier Missoup, 6 Patrick Sobela, 5 Geoffrey Fabbri, 4 Leon Power, 3 Antoine Guillamon, 2 Jeremie Maurouard, 1 Laurent DelBoulbes
Replacements: 16 Jody Jenneker, 17 Soane Tonga'uiha, 18 Shay Kerry, 19 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 20 Fabien Cibray,21 Lucas Chouvet, 22 Alaska Taufa, 23 Stan Wright

Referee: Sébastien Minery

Clermont 38-10 Agen
Parc Sports Marcel Michelin

Clermont dominated basement dwellers Agen by thumping them 38-10 at the Stade Marcel Michelin on Saturday.

The win consolidates Clermont's position at the summit of the Top 14 table, eight points clear of second placed Toulon.

Alivereti Raka scored a brace of tries for the home side as they ran in six tries to one, cruising to a very comfortable victory in the end.

The match was suprisingly evenly poised for the first ten minutes with no team scoring any points.

This soon changed as the Fijian winger went over for his first score in the fourteenth minute, and he completed his brace not too long after, with Brock James adding the extras to only one of Raka's tries.

The visitors' only points in the first-half was a Bautista Guemes' penalty.

Clermont kept the scoreboard ticking over in fine form by running in three second-half tries.

Judicael Cancoriet was the first to score early in the second half. Number eight Camille Gerondeau and replacement winger Noa Nakaitaci also got on the scoresheet. James added the extras while replacement Camille Lopez converted the Nakaitaci score. 

The visitors did get a late consolation try when second-rower Antoine Miquel crashed over and Leka Tagotago converted.

With only two minutes left on the clock, right winger David Strettle dotted down. The subsequent conversion went wide as the scoreline remained 38-10.

The scorers:

For Clermont:
Tries: Raka 2, Cancoriet, Gerondeau, Nakaitaci, Strettle
Cons: James 3, Lopez

For Agen:
Try: Miquel
Con: Tagotago
Pen: Guemes

Clermont: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 David Strettle, 13 Damian Penaud, 12 Jonathan Davies, 11 Alivereti Raka, 10 Brock James, 9 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 8 Camille Gerondeau, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Judicael Cancoriet, 5 Loïc Jacquet, 4 Paul Jedrasiak, 3 Clément Ric, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Thomas Domingo
Replacements: 16 Pellow van der Westhuizen, 17 Raphael Chaume, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Arthur Iturria, 20 Enzo Sanga, 21 Camille Lopez, 22 Noa Nakaitaci, 23 Doug Wooldridge

Agen: 15 Mathieu Lamoulie, 14 George Tilsley, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Tamaz Mchedlidze, 11 Pierre Fouyssac, 10 Bautista Guemes, 9 Paul Abadie, 8 Marc Baget-Rabarou, 7 Antoine Erbani, 6 Sione Tau, 5 William Demotte, 4 Marco Kotze, 3 Arthur Joly, 2 Mike Tadjer, 1 Viliamu Afatia
Replacements: 16 Marc Barthomeuf, 17 Quentin Bethune, 18 Corentin Braendlin, 19 Antoine Miquel, 20 Clement Darbo, 21 Filipo Nakosi, 22 Leka Tagotago, 23 Dave Ryan

Referee: Tual Trainini

La Rochelle 22-15 UBB
Stade Marcel Deflandre

Bordeaux Bègles suffered a setback in their drive for a top four finish as they went down 22-15 to La Rochelle at Stade Marcel Deflandre.

Trailing Racing 92 by eleven points before kick-off, UBB knew they needed a victory but it wasn't to be as the home side got the job done.

La Rochelle led 19-9 at half-time thanks to the boot of fly-half Zack Holmes and hooker Hikairo Forbes' crossing the line on 27 minutes.

UBB's only points of that first-half came from the boot of their own number ten, Pierre Bernard, as they struggled to unlock the defence.

Bernard would cut the margin to four points by the 45th minute when he landed two quick-fire penalties after the break but when Holmes knocked over three points of his own with ten minutes remaining, one sensed La Rochelle would hold on, which they duly did for victory.

The scorers:

For La Rochelle:
Try: Forbes
Con: Holmes
Pen: Holmes 5

For Bordeaux Bègles:
Pen: Bernard 5

La Rochelle: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Alofa Alofa, 13 Pierre Aguillon, 12 Mali Hingano, 11 Elliot Roudil, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Afaesetiti Amosa, 7 Kevin Gourdon, 6 Romain Sazy, 5 Mathieu Tanguy, 4 Jason Eaton, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Maxime Gau, 1 Mike Corbel
Replacements: 16 Hikairo Forbes, 17 Thomas Synaeghel, 18 Leandro Cedaro, 19 Zeno Kieft, 20 Anthony Fuertes, 21 Julien Audy, 22 Pierre Berard, 23 Gagi Bazadze

UBB: 15 Darly Domvo, 14 Metuisela Talebula, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Julien Rey, 11 Blair Connor, 10 Pierre Bernard, 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 Loann Goujon, 7 Peter Saili, 6 Louis-Benoit Madaule, 5 Berend Botha, 4 Julien Ledevedec, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Ole Avei, 1 Sébastien Taofifenua
Replacements: 16 Benat Auzqui, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Cyril Cazeaux, 19 Luke Braid, 20 Yann Lesgourgues, 21 Jean-Baptiste Dubie, 22 Romain Lonca, 23 Francisco Gomez Kodela

Referee: Pascal Gauzère