Top 14: La Rochelle beaten, Grenoble relegated

Date published: April 15 2017

La Rochelle suffered their first Top 14 defeat since mid-November, while Grenoble were relegated by Clermont on Saturday.%u200B


Toulon 23-14 Castres
Brive 19-22 Bordeaux-Bègles
Grenoble 18-59 Clermont
Stade Français 51-16 Pau
Lyon 29-25 La Rochelle

Toulon 23-14 Castres
Stade Félix Mayol, Toulon

Toulon helped to secure their spot in fourth place in the Top 14 after getting the better of Castres in the first game of Round 22 at the Stade Félix Mayol.

Tries from Toulon wingers Josua Tuisova and Bryan Habana were enough for the hosts, with ex-Toulon wing David Smith and Steve Mafi crossing for Castres.

Toulon ended the first quarter on a high thanks to a Leigh Halfpenny penalty before Tuisova struck, converted by Halfpenny, and after Habana's try in the 34th minute Toulon were in control at half-time, up 20-0 following another Halfpenny three-pointer.

Castres hit back eventually through Smith's try, although Halfpenny restored order with another penalty, and the score stayed at 23-7 for much of the second half until late on.

Mafi broke the deadlock with a try, converted by Benjamin Urdapilleta, but it was not enough to change the outcome as Toulon picked up a 12th league win of the season.

The scorers: 

For Toulon:
Tries: Tuisova, Habana
Cons: Halfpenny 2
Pens: Halfpenny 3

For Castres:
Tries: Smith, Mafi
Cons: Kockott, Urdapilleta

Toulon: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Josua Tuisova, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 François Trinh-Duc, 9 Sébastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Charles Ollivon, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Juandré Kruger, 3 Marcel Van der Merwe, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Florian Fresia
Replacements: 16 Anthony Etrillard, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Juan Smith, 19 Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, 20 Anthony Belleau, 21 Drew Mitchell, 22 Éric Escande, 23 Levan Chilachava

Castres: 15 Geoffrey Palis, 14 Julien Caminati, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 David Smith, 10 Julien Dumora, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Alex Tulou, 7 Alexandre Bias, 6 Yannick Caballero, 5 Victor Moreaux, 4 Christophe Samson, 3 Daniel Kotze, 2 Marc-Antoine Rallier, 1 Antoine Tichit
Replacements: 16 Jody Jenneker, 17 Mihaita Lazar, 18 Loïc Jacquet, 19 Steve Mafi, 20 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 21 Afusipa Taumoepeau, 22 Antoine Dupont, 23 Damien Tussac

Referee: Mathieu Raynal
Assistant Referees: Jonathan Dufort, Sébastien Hebert
TMO: Arnaud Blondel

Brive 19-22 Bordeaux-Bègles
Stade Amedee-Domenech, Brive

A late try from Nans Ducuing clinched an away win for UBB against Brive, one of three tries for the visitors on Saturday.

The league's top points scorer Gaëtan Germain opening the scoring with a penalty before Hugh Chalmers crossed for UBB, converted by France scrum-half Baptiste Serin, playing at ten.

Serin then added a penalty and once Jayden Spence scored UBB held a commanding 17-3 lead, with Germain's second penalty cutting that to 17-6 at the break.

UBB had lost lock Cyril Cazeaux to a yellow card just before the break and with the visitors still down to 14, Brive scored through hooker Guillaume Ribes.

Germain's conversion and then two penalties put the hosts remarkably infront at 19-17, before Ducuing struck to win the match.

The scorers: 

For Brive:
Try: Ribes
Con: Germain
Pens: Germain 4

For Bordeaux-Bègles:
Tries: Chalmers, Spence, Ducuing
Cons: Serin 2
Pen: Serin
Yellow Card: Cazeaux

Brive: 15 Gaëtan Germain, 14 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 13 Benjamin Petre, 12 Thomas Laranjeira, 11 Benjamin Lapeyre, 10 Matthieu Ugalde, 9 Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, 8 Petrus Hauman, 7 Fabien Sanconnie, 6 Said Hireche, 5 Johan Snyman, 4 Julien Ledevedec, 3 Soso Bekoshvili, 2 Francois Da Ros, 1 Vivien Devisme
Replacements: 16 Guillaume Ribes, 17 Kevin Buys, 18 Jan Uys, 19 Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 20 Teddy Iribaren, 21 Arnaud Mignardi, 22 Benito Masilevu, 23 Damien Jourdain

Bordeaux-Bègles: 15 Darly Domvo, 14 Nans Ducuing, 13 Jayden Spence, 12 Jean-Baptiste Dubie, 11 Blair Connor, 10 Baptiste Serin, 9 Yann Lesgourgues, 8 Marco Tauleigne, 7 Hugh Chalmers, 6 Loann Goujon, 5 Cyril Cazeaux, 4 Jandré Marais, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Clément Maynadier, 1 Jefferson Poirot
Replacements: 16 Ole Avei, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Berend Botha, 19 Luke Braid, 20 Simon Hickey, 21 Metuisela Talebula, 22 Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 23 Marc Clerc

Referee: Laurent Cardona
Assistant Referees: Nicolas Datas, Laurent Breil
TMO: Eric Briquet Campin

Grenoble 18-59 Clermont
Stade des Alpes, Grenoble

Grenoble's relegation to the ProD2 was confirmed after a thumpiong at home to high-flying Clermont, as the hosts conceded nine tries in total.

Rising star Damien Penaud grabbed two of the scores for les Jaunards, as Camille Lopez returned at fly-half to pull the strings.

Clermont only led 17-6 at half-time, with Alexandre Lapandry and Fritz Lee crossing along with Penaud before the floodgates opened.

The visitors were 38-11 ahead going into the final quarter and never looked back, with David Strettle among the try scorers as Clermont romped home to close the gap on La Rochelle.

This loss meanwhile marked the end of a dismal season for Grenoble, who will join Bayonne in France's second division next season.

The scorers: 

For Grenoble:
Tries: Gelin, Dardet
Con: Bosch
Pens: Mélé 2
Yellow Card: Gelin

For Clermont:
Tries: Lapandry, Lee, Penaud 2, Radosavljevic, Ulugia, Raka, Strettle, Tuicuvu
Cons: Lopez 2, Radosavljevic
Yellow Card: Stanley

Grenoble: 15 Clément Gelin, 14 Armand Batlle, 13 Maritino Nemani, 12 Nigel Hunt, 11 Edward Sawailau, 10 David Mélé, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Steven Setephano, 7 Fabien Alexandre, 6 Henry Vanderglas, 5 Aly Muldowney, 4 Mathias Marie, 3 Dayna Edwards, 2 Arnaud Heguy, 1 Sona Taumalolo
Replacements: 16 Alexandre Dardet, 17 Dylan Jacquot, 18 Thomas Jolmes, 19 Mickaël Capelli, 20 Lo%u200Bïc Baradel, 21 Lilian Saseras, 22 Gilles Bosch, 23 Ali Oz

Clermont: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 David Strettle, 13 Damian Penaud, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Adrien Planté, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Damien Chouly, 5 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 4 Paul Jedrasiak, 3 Aaron Jarvis, 2 John Ulugia, 1 Etienne Falgoux
Replacements: 16 Yohan Beheregaray, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Arthur Iturria, 19 Otar Giorgadze, 20 Morgan Parra, 21 Setariki Tuicuvu, 22 Alivereti Raka, 23 Michael Simutoga

Referee: Thomas Charabas
Assistant Referees: Jonathan Gasnier, Thomas Déjean
TMO: Laurent Sclafer

Stade Français 51-16 Pau
Stade Jean Bouin, Paris

2015 champions Stade Français enjoyed one of their best wins of the season with a 50-point hammering of Pau, who lost Charly Malie to a red card late on.

Geoffrey Doumayrou and Julien Arias both finished with two tries inapiece in a comprehensive win for Stade after a tough campaign.

Arias's two scores came within four minutes towards the end of the first half, giving the hosts a 30-6 lead after earlier scores from Doumayrou and Waisea Nayacalevu.

And it was one-way traffic from there onwards as Stade kept up the momentum, with Pau suffering from two yellow cards to Malie and only really having a try from Taniela Moa to show for their efforts.

The scorers: 

For Stade Français:
Tries: Doumayrou 2, Nayacalevu, Arias 2, Parisse, Penalty Try
Cons: Plisson, Steyn
Pens: Plisson 2
Yellow Card: Nicolas

For Pau:
Try: Moa
Con: Fajardo
Pens: Fajardo 3
Red Card: Malie

Stade Français: 15 Djibril Camara, 14 Waisea Nayacalevu, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Julien Arias, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Julien Dupuy, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Sylvain Nicolas, 6 Antoine Burban, 5 Pascal Papé, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Paul Alo-Emile, 2 Laurent Panis, 1 Zurabi Zhvania
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Rabah Slimani, 18 Abdellatif Boutaty, 19 Sekou Macalou, 20 Clément Daguin, 21 Morné Steyn, 22 Jérémy Sinzelle, 23 Giorgi Melikidze

Pau: 15 Charly Malie, 14 Louis Dupichot, 13 Julien Fumat, 12 Jale Vatubua, 11 Watisoni Votu, 10 Brandon Fajardo, 9 Julien Tomas, 8 Steffon Armitage, 7 Sean Dougall, 6 Pierrick Gunther, 5 Masalosalo Tutaia, 4 Fabrice Metz, 3 Malik Hamadache, 2 Thomas Bianchin, 1 Jeremy Hurou
Replacements: 16 Quentin Lespiaucq, 17 Jamie Mackintosh, 18 Daniel Ramsay, 19 Paddy Butler, 20 Taniela Moa, 21 Santiago Fernández, 22 Romain Buros, 23 Sylvain Charlet

Referee: Tual Trainini
Assistant Referees: Vivien Praderie, Bruno Gabaldon
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure

Lyon 29-25 La Rochelle
Matmut Stadium, Lyon

Facundo Isa's two late tries helped Lyon seal an upset win over La Rochelle, ending an unbeaten run for the Top 14 leaders that had stretched back to November.

Carl Fearns opened the scoring for the hosts before La Rochelle responded through lock Damien Lagrange, and the two teams continued to trade scores after tries from Vincent Pelo and Toby Arnold.

The Top 14 leaders lost Afaesetiti Amosa to a yellow card and in his absence Baptiste Couilloud's try put Lyon ahead. A Zack Holmes penalty before the break meant that Lyon led 17-15.

A tense second half followed, Benjamin Noble's penalty restoring La Rochelle's lead, before Isa struck twice in the 72nd and 75th minutes to swing the lead Lyon's way.

France flanker Kévin Gourdon grabbed a late consolation try to ensure La Rochelle secured a losing bonus point, but their unbeaten run has come to an end.

The scorers:

For Lyon:
Tries: Fearns, Arnold, Couilloud, Isa 2
Cons: Beauxis 2

For La Rochelle:
Tries: Lagrange, Pelo, Gourdon
Cons: Holmes, Noble
Pens: Holmes, Noble
Yellow Card: Amosa

Lyon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Toby Arnold, 13 Rudi Wulf, 12 Thibault Regard, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 Lionel Beauxis, 9 Baptiste Couilloud, 8 Carl Fearns, 7 Virgile Bruni, 6 Julien Puricelli, 5 Thibault Privat, 4 Taiasina Tuifua, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Mickaël Ivaldi, 1 Alexandre Menini
Replacements: 16 Ti'I Paulo, 17 Albertus Buckle, 18 Josh Bekhuis, 19 Felix Lambey, 20 Nicolas Durand, 21 Facundo Isa, 22 Mike Harris, 23 BJ Botha

La Rochelle: 15 Arthur Retiere, 14 Gabriel Lacroix, 13 Vincent Rattez, 12 Kini Murimurivalu, 11 Elliot Roudil, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Afaesetiti Amosa, 7 Mathieu Tanguy, 6 Kévin Gourdon, 5 Uini Atonio, 4 Damien Lagrange, 3 Lekso Kaulashvili, 2 Maxime Gau, 1 Vincent Pelo
Replacements: 16 Jérémie Maurouard, 17 Jordan Seneca, 18 Valentin Destruels, 19 Charlie Francoz, 20 Alexis Bales, 21 Benjamin Noble, 22 Steeve Barry, 23 Mohamed Boughanmi

Referee: Maxime Chalon
Assistant Referees: Mathieu Delpy, Akim Hadj Bachir
TMO: Denis Grenouillet

Photo credit: LOU Rugby/Marc Galaor