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

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Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse13:45
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Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
Sunday , November 2
Toulon vs Grenoble13:00
Saturday , November 8
Castres vs Toulon18:00
Racing Metro Paris vs Bayonne18:00
Montpellier vs Brive18:00
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Top 14
Sunday , October 12
Toulouse 21 - 10 ToulonToulouse vs Toulon Report
Saturday , October 11
Bordeaux-Begles 59 - 7 CastresBordeaux-Begles vs Castres Report
Montpellier 25 - 9 Oyonnax
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 10 La Rochelle
Stade Francais 23 - 19 Racing Metro ParisStade Francais vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Lyon 24 - 19 Bayonne
Friday , October 10
Grenoble 26 - 25 BriveGrenoble vs Brive Report
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles 51 - 21 Clermont Auvergne
Bayonne 10 - 15 Montpellier
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  • Top 14 Table
Overall 2014
Top 14 Table
PosTeamPPts
1Clermont Auvergne931
2Toulon928
3Bordeaux-Begles927
4Montpellier926
5Stade Francais926