Top 14 wrap: Toulouse drill Montpellier

Date published: December 24 2011

Toulouse completely outclassed Montpellier to consolidate their place at the summit of the Top 14 table on Friday.

Toulouse completely outclassed Montpellier in a rematch of last season's final to consolidate their place at the summit of the Top 14 table on Friday.

Biarritz sank further into the relegation quagmire after losing to Stade Français while Toulon struggled past Lyon.

Perpignan finally got back to winning ways with a home victory over Bordeaux while Clermont bashed and crashed their way to four points in Brive.

Elsewhere, Castres picked on a draw on the road to Bayonne while Racing Metro leapfrogged Agen in the standings thanks to a convincing win in Paris.

Brive 6-9 Clermont
Bayonne 16-16 Castres
Stade Français 23-10 Biarritz
Perpignan 38-13 Bordeaux-Bègles
Toulon 20-15 Lyon
Racing Métro 26-8 Agen
Montpellier 25-45 Toulouse

Montpellier HR 25-45 Stade Toulousain
Stade Yves Du Manoir, Montpellier

The defending champions remain perched at the top of the standings after a dominant display over last year's finalists.

Toulouse didn't waste any time in getting the scoreboard ticking as Maxime Medard crossed after just six minutes, running onto Lionel Beauxis's deft chip over the top.

Martin Bustos Moyano kick two first-half penalties for the hosts but Beauxis landed two drop-goals and another penalty before Luke Burgess dived over on the half-hour mark to give Toulouse a 20-point lead at the break.

Mamuka Gorgodze and Vincent Clerc were both sent in the bin for fisticuffs and Montpellier were reduced to 14 men for a second time when lock Thibault Privat saw yellow on 25 minutes, opening the way for Burgess's try.

Beauxis started the second period with his third drop goal but Montpellier bounced back as replacement hooker Erasmus Van Vuuren scored twice.

But Toulouse were in unstoppable form and a Louis Picamoles try secured victory.

Montpellier saved some face with a last-minute try to Yoan Audrin but were thoroughly beaten on the night.

Montpellier: 15 Lucas Amorosino, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Santiago Fernandez, 11 Martin Bustos Moyano, 10 François Trinh-Duc (captain), 9 Benoît Paillaugue, 8 Masi Matadigo, 7 Mamuka Gorgodze, 6 Rémy Martin, 5 Thibaut Privat, 4 Mickaël De Marco, 3 Maximiliano Bustos, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Na'ama Leleimalefaga
Replacements: 16 Rassie Jansen van Vuuren, 17 Mikheil Natriashvili, 18 Drikus Hancke, 19 Vassili Bost, 20 Julien Tomas, 21 Paul Bosch, 22 Yoan Audrin, 23 George Jgenti

Toulouse: 15 Maxime Médard, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Yannick Jauzion, 11 Yves Donguy, 10 Lionel Beauxis, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Sylvain Nicolas, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Romain Millo Chlusky, 4 Gregory Lamboley, 3 Yohan Montes, 2 Gary Botha, 1 Daan Human
Replacements: 16 William Servat, 17 Yassin Boutemane, 18 Yoann Maestri, 19 Thierry Dusautoir, 20 Jean Marc Doussain, 21 Luke McAlister, 22 Jean Bouilhou, 23 Census Johnston

CA Brive Corrèze 6-9 ASM Clermont Auvergne
Stade Amédée Domenech, Brive

Australian fly-half Brock James kicked all of Clermont's points as the 2010 champions kept the pressure on Toulouse at the top of the table.

James gave Clermont a 6-0 lead inside the first 13 minutes before Mahtieu Belie, who had missed two attempts, finally found the target in the 19th minute.

In a scrappy affair, made harder by wet conditions underfoot, James extended Clermont's lead in the 53rd minute.

Brive coach Ugo Mola was furious when his South African skipper Petrus Hauman opted to give replacement fly-half Julien Caminati a kick at the posts instead of a touch-finder in the last five minutes which could have set up a victory drive.

Caminati was successful in cutting the deficit to 9-6, but Clermont held on to take victory.

Brive: 15 Scott Spedding, 14 Jacques Boussuge, 13 Arnaud Mignardi, 12 Jamie Noon, 11 Ronnie Cooke, 10 Riaan Swanepoel, 9 Mathieu Belie, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Alexandre Bias, 6 Petrus Hauman, 5 Arnaud Méla, 4 Thibault Dubarry, 3 Patrick Barnard, 2 Iuri Natriashvili, 1 Vasil Kakovin
Replacements:16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Davit Kinchagishvili, 18 Retief Uys, 19 Julien Ledevedec, 20 Simon Azoulai, 21 Jean Baptiste Pejoine, 22 Julien Caminati, 23 Pablo Cardinali

Clermont: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Noa Nakaitaci, 13 Aurélien Rougerie, 12 Regan King, 11 Julien Malzieu, 10 Brock James, 9 Kevin Senio, 8 Elvis Vermeulen, 7 Alexandre Audebert, 6 Alexandre Lapandry, 5 Loïc Jacquet, 4 Julien Pierre, 3 Clément Ric, 2 Benoît Cabello, 1 Lionel Faure.
Replacements:16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Jamie Cudmore, 19 Julien Bardy, 20 Morgan Parra, 21 Williams, 22 Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 23 Daniel Kotze.

Stade Français Paris 23-10 Biarritz Olympique
Stade Charléty, Paris

Stade Français continued their steady climb up the standings as they break into the top five thanks to their eighth consecutive win in all competitions.

For Biarritz, the crisis deepens as they lost more ground in the relegation battle after Lyon claimed a bonus point in Toulon.

The home side led 16-0 at half time thanks to two early penalties from Julien Dupuy and a try from lock Pascal Pape, who crashed over at the end of the first quarter before Dupuy added a third penalty.

A Julien Peyrelongue penalty got the Basques onto the scoreboard soon after the restart and the visitors were right back in the game when replacement prop Eugene van Staden cross just before the hour mark while Stade were a man down after Sergio Parisse was sin-binned.

But once the home skipper was back on the park, Biarritz never looked like stealing victory and head home empty-handed…again.

Stade Français: 15 Paul Warwick, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Morgan Turinui, 12 Martin Rodriguez, 11 Julien Arias, 10 Felipe Contepomi, 9 Julien Dupuy, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Pierre Rabadan, 6 David Lyons, 5 Pascal Papé, 4 Gerhard Mostert, 3 David Attoub, 2 Aled De Malmanche, 1 Rodrigo Roncero
Replacements:16 Laurent Sempéré, 17 Rabah Slimani, 18 Tom Palmer, 19 Antoine Burban, 20 Jérôme Fillol, 21 Jules Plisson, 22 Francis Fainifo, 23 Stanley Wright

Biarritz: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty , 14 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Damien Traille, 11 Iain Balshaw, 10 Julien Peyrelongue, 9 Luix Roussarie, 8 Raphaël Lakafia, 7 Pelu Taele, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Jerome Thion, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Benoît August, 1 Sylvain Marconnet.
Replacements: 16 Arnaud Heguy, 17 Eugene van Staden, 18 Florian Faure, 19 Benoît Guyot, 20 Dimitri Yachvili, 21 Benoît Baby, 22 Charles Gimenez, 23 Thomas Lebrequier

RC Toulonnais 20-15 Lyon Olympique
Stade Felix Mayol, Toulon

Toulon climb held onto third position in the standings but were made to work very hard by Lyon.

The unfancied visitors go home with a losing bonus point but will harbour a few regrets after playing