Planet Rugby

Clermont return to Top 14 summit

11th April 2014 22:04

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wesley fofana clermont castres

Too good: Wesley Fofana

Clermont notched up a crucial win in the congested battle for the playoffs in the Top 14 by defeating champions Castres 23-11.

Securing the four points was as important as denying their visitors anything to take away from the Stade Marcel Michelin, as Clermont's unbeaten run extended to 77 games.

Two of their key finishers, Wesley Fofana and Napolioni Nalaga, both crossed when it mattered in the second half.

Brock James wasted no time by adding a drop goal in the opening minute for Clermont, and from some way out too at 43 metres.

Kockott levelled things up with a 40-metre strike in a low-scoring first quarter, Parra adding a penalty in the 26th minute before the game's first try was scored.

It went the way of the visitors, Uruguayan lock Rodrigo Capo Ortega crossing after a charge at the base of the ruck.

It gave Castres a lead that they maintained going into the half-time break, Clermont trailing and perhaps conscious that their unbeaten record at this venue was in danger.

They had nothing to fear. Noa Naikataci's burst had Clermont flying towards the Castres line and the attack ended with James releasing Fofana for the home side's first try.

Penalties were exchanged between Parra and Kockott as the second half wore on, before Nalaga landed the killer blow and secured a valuable win for Clermont.

The scorers:

For Clermont:
Tries: Fofana, Nalaga
Cons: Parra 2
Pens: Parra 2
Drop Goal: James
Yellow Card: Chaume

For Castres:
Try: Capo Ortega
Pens: Kockott 2
Yellow Card: Samson

Clermont: 15 Lee Byrne , 14 Noa Nakaitaci, 13 Benson Stanley, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Naipolioni Nalaga, 10 Brock James, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Damien Chouly, 7, Julien Bardy, 6 Julien Bonnaire, 5 Julien Pierre, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Clement Ric, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Vincent Debaty.
Replacements: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Raphael Chaume, 18 Nathan Hine , 19 Gerhard Vosloo, 20 Thierry Lacrampe, 21 Mike Delany, 22 Jean Marcellin Buttin, 23 Davit Zirakashvili.

Castres: 15 Geoffrey Palis, 14 Marcel Garvey, 13 Romain Cabannes, 12 Remi Lamerat, 11 Remy Grosso, 10 Remi Tales, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Yannick Caballero, 6 Piula Faasalele, 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 4 Christophe Samson, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Mathieu Bonello, 1 Yannick Forestier.
Replacements: 16 Brice Mach, 17 Saimone Taumoepeau, 18 Richard Gray, 19 Ibrahim Diarra, 20 Cedric Garcia, 21 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 22 Romain Teulet, 23 Mihaita Lazar.

Referee: Jérôme Garcès
Assistant referees: Cyril Lafon, Stéphane Pomarède

  • Top 14 Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
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Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse vs Castres20:45
Saturday , August 23
Brive vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Toulon vs La Rochelle18:30
Montpellier vs Grenoble18:30
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Lyon20:45
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs Montpellier20:45
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Lyon vs Brive18:30
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FixtureDetails
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Top 14
Saturday , August 16
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 26 GrenobleClermont Auvergne vs Grenoble Report
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
Brive 37 - 15 La Rochelle
Montpellier 16 - 19 Racing Metro ParisMontpellier vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Bordeaux-Begles 18 - 9 Lyon
Friday , August 15
Bayonne 15 - 29 ToulonBayonne vs Toulon Report
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Overall 2014
Top 14 Table
PosTeamPPts
1Brive15
2Toulon14
3Bordeaux-Begles14
4Clermont Auvergne14
5Stade Francais14