Planet Rugby

Top 14, Week Eleven wrap

31st October 2009 16:23

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Bourgoin v Brive stock

Bourgoin and Brive fought out a draw

Toulouse were the big losers on day eleven of the Top 14, falling to a 27-20 defeat at Racing Metro, who scored their fourth win in a row.

Biarritz also tumbled to defeat, going down 14-5 at Montauban on a low-scoring day.

In the clash of the heavyweights, Clermont and Stade Franšais drew 19-all, meaning Perpignan will end the weekend as leaders.

Elsewhere, Brive only managed a disappointing draw, this time at Bourgoin, while Montpellier gave Albi another defeat and Bayonne fell at home once again, this time to Toulon.

Week Eleven results:

Friday
Perpignan 17-15 Castres - report here

Saturday:

Racing Metro 27-20 Toulouse
Albi 15-18 Montpellier
Bayonne 8-14 Toulon
Bourgoin 14-14 Brive
Clermont 17-17 Stade Franšais
Montauban 14-5 Biarritz

Standings after Week Eleven:

1 Perpignan 35
2 Castres 34
3 Clermont 33
4 Toulouse 31
5 Toulon 30
6 Biarritz 28
7 Racing Metro 27
8 Stade Franšais 27
10 Montauban 25
9 Bourgoin 22
11 Montpellier 21
12 Brive 20
13 Bayonne 17
14 Albi 9

Racing Metro 27-20 Toulouse

All the action came in the second half of this one, after Jonathan Wisniewski outscored opposite number Fred Michalak three penalties to one in the first half.

But quick tries by Wisniewski - who is building quite a reputation - and Johny Leo'o, with the fly-half converting his own score, helped give Racing a 24-6 lead going into the final 20.

Tries by William Servat and Greg Lamboley, both converted by Michalak, made it a tense finish for the Parisians, but a late Wisniewski penalty eased the tension and they closed out a win that left Toulouse's players fuming at themselves at the final whistle and Guy Noves visibly restraining himself.

Bourgoin 14-14 Brive

Neither side would have settled for a draw before this one, but it does more damage to Brive than Bourgoin.

Tied 3-3 at the break in a miserable game, Brive fly-half Fabrice Estebanez opened things up with a try in the first minute of the second half.

Bourgoin fly-half Alberto di Bernado quickly gave his side back the lead with a couple of quick penalties though, and the stalemate began once again.

Jean-Francois Coux scored a try for Bourgoin to make it 14-8, but the home side let their visitors dominate the final stages and a penalty by Alexis Palisson and a drop goal by Estebanez ensure Brive at least shared the spoils.

Bayonne 8-14 Toulon

Bayonne, on this performance and given the internal ructions during the week, look to be possible relegation candidates.

Certainly they made a scrap of it, but Toulon soaked it up and found enough to grab the win.

The visitors led 9-3 at the break through penalties by Sebastian Fauque against the one by Manny Edmonds.

Then Christian Loamanu broke for the killer score early in the second half, before the visitors sat back.

Vincent Inigo ran in for a try by the Basques, but many of the spectators had left already. Things are gloomy in Bayonne.

Albi 15-18 Montpellier

Montpellier led 15-6 at the break in a game of two halves.

Thierry Brana, the impressive young winger, was on the end of two flowing moves, one of which was converted by Federico Todeschini and embellished by the same with a penalty.

Albi could only muster two penalties from Fred Manca in reply.

But the Albigeois are nothing if not spirited and staged a sturdy second-half comeback with tries by Manca and Boulogne with Boulogne adding a penalty.

But up stepped Todeschini to kick the winner with twelve minutes remaining.

Clermont 19-19 Stade Franšais

After drawing with Toulouse a few weeks ago, Stade Franšais must share the honours again with another heavyweight. The Parisians will head back to the capital ruing a missed chance after a Brock James penalty in the final minute saved two points for Clermont.

The host lead at the break thanks to a try from Julien Bonnaire but saw Stade Franšais come back strongly in the second period. Ollie Phillips touched down for the visitors who looked set to score their first away win of the season.

It wasn't to be though as James came to Clermont's rescue once again. Les Jaunards missed a chance to take the lead, but that is surely the lesser of two evils when compared to defeat at home.

Montauban 14-5 Biarritz

Biarritz did not deserve much from this game, but will be seething that Dimitri Yahcvili could not convert Taku Ngwenya's late try to secure at least a losing bonus point.

But up to then, they had been clear second best, clearly out to limit damage and take any scraps that came their way. Montauban offered none.

Earlier in the match, the home side roared into an 11-0 lead by the interval through a try by Mirko Lozupone and a drop goal and penalty from Cedric Rosalen.

In a dire second half, Rosalen extended the lead on 51 minutes, before Ngwenya's late show. That was that.

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