Planet Rugby

Juan Smith debuts in Toulon defeat

14th September 2013 15:53

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Rory Kockott scores a try Top 14 final v Toulon 2013

Man of the Match: Rory Kockott

Top 14 Champions Castres continued their string of positive results against Toulon on Saturday, winning 22-15 at Stade Pierre-Antoine.

Former Springbok flank Juan Smith made his long-awaited return to rugby in the 61st minute off the Toulon bench but it was his countryman, Castres scrum-half Rory Kockott, who stole the limelight with a man-of-the-match performance as the home side recorded their fourth consecutive win in clashes with the European champions.

Three months after winning the Top 14 Final - the last time these clubs met - Castres underlined their status as a bogey team for Toulon and maintained their unbeaten record on home soil this season.

Castres led 13-9 at the interval thanks to a try on the stroke of half time from hooker Brice Mach.

Kockott's boot did the rest as the South African edged a kicking duel with former England pivot Jonny Wilkinson, who kicked all of Toulon's points.

Wilkinson's 15 points ensured RCT picked up the defensive bonus. However, defeat means the league leaders could lose their place at the Top 14 summit later on Saturday if either Clermont or Stade Franšais win at home to Grenoble or Brive respectively.

Toulon had made the early running with two Wilkinson penalties putting them in the ascendancy.

Kockott replied with a penalty of his own before a huge drop goal from halfway levelled the scores, only for Wilkinson to nudge the European champions ahead again with his third successful effort.

But the turning point came just before the end of the first half as Castres got a rolling maul going and Mach burrowed over.

Kockott kicked the extras to send Castres into the interval leading 13-9.

Wilkinson kicked his fourth penalty and then sent a drop goal off the upright and through the sticks to put Toulon back in front, although that lead lasted less than a minute before Kockot landed a penalty.

Two more scores from the trusty boot of the South African ensured Castres held on for victory and moved up to second, level on points with Perpignan and Montpellier.

The scorers:

For Castres:
Try: Mach
Cons: Kockott
Pens: Kockott 4
Drop: Kockott

For Toulon:
Pens: Wilkinson 4
Drop: Wilkinson

Castres: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Romain Martial, 13 Romain Cabannes, 12 Remi Lamerat, 11 Marcel Garvey, 10 Remi Tales, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Yannick Caballero, 6 Ibrahim Diarra, 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 4 Piula Faasalele, 3 Karena Wihongi, 2 Brice Mach, 1 Yannick Forestier,
Replacements: 16 Marc Antoine Rallier, 17 Michael Coetzee, 18 Richard Gray, 19 Pedrie Wannenburg, 20 Julien Tomas, 21 Seremaia Bai, 22 Geoffrey Palis, 23 Mihaita Lazar.

Toulon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Alexis Palisson, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Rudi Wulf, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Virgile Bruni, 5 Danie Rossouw, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Sebastien Bruno, 1 Xavier Chiocci,
Replacements: 16 Jean-Charles Orioli, 17 Andrew Sheridan, 18 Konstantine Mikautadze, 19 Juan Smith, 20 Vincent Martin, 21 Josua Tuisova, 22 David Smith, 23 Carl Hayman.

  • Top 14 Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Castres vs BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Preview
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
More Top 14 fixtures
  • Top 14 Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Saturday , August 23
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
Saturday , August 16
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 26 GrenobleClermont Auvergne vs Grenoble Report
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
More Top 14 results
  • Top 14 Table
Overall 2014
Top 14 Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulon29
2Toulouse29
3Clermont Auvergne28
4Bordeaux-Begles28
5Stade Francais28