Planet Rugby

Top 14 Wrap: Round Thirteen

21st November 2009 16:41

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Frans steyn Paris derby win

Frans Steyn and Sereli Bobo celebrate victory in the Paris derby

Castres were the big winners this weekend as a bonus-point victory over Toulouse sent the Tarnais the summit of the Top 14 standings.

Toulon maintained their unbeaten record at home with victory over Brive while Montpellier confirmed their good form with an away win at the death in Bourgoin.

Bayonne finally managed to get a decent result as they won easily at home to Montauban, while Racing Metro won the Paris derby over Stade Français by a squeak.

Biarritz fought back to snatch a thriller in Clermont, meaning one team in the top five (Castres) was able to win this weekend.

Results:

Albi 24-23 Perpignan
Bourgoin 20-23 Montpellier
Bayonnais 38-13 Montauban
Toulon 19-10 Brive
Racing Métro 20-18 Stade Français
Castres 30-10 Toulouse
Clermont Auvergne 13-16 Biarritz Olympique

Standings:

1 Perpignan 41
2 Castres 41
3 Toulouse 36
4 Clermont 35
5 Toulon 34
6 Biarritz 32
7 Stade Français 32
8 Racing-Métro 31
9 Montpellier 29
10 Montauban 25
11 Brive 24
12 Bayonne 23
13 Bourgoin 23
14 Albi 14

Racing Metro 92 20-18 Stade Français

Ok, so it's not much of a derby win when the opposition is so short of personnel that they are playing an international centre at number eight, but try telling that to the Yves du Manoir faithful.

There was also further testament to the emergence of Jonathan Wisniewski at fly-half for Racing.

He landed two penalties and two flawless drop goals and controlled a punchy game with considerable aplomb.

It did not start well for the home side, with Pierre Rabadan breaking and Ollie Phillips rounding the move off for Stade after just 104 seconds.

But Wisniewski steadied the ship with two penalties and then, while many defenders were distracted by a punch-up, Sereli Bobo broke away to score Racing's only try.

Falie Oelschig pulled the lead back Stade's way with two penalties of his own, but the visitors were running out of juice even though they led 13-11 at the break.

The drop goals from Wisniewski - with Frans Steyn landing a boomer in between - spelled a 20-13 lead, and although Stade rallied enough to see Mathieu Bastareaud cap his number eight debut off with a try (he popped up on the wing to score), there was not much left to offer.

We'll leave it up to you to imagine the party among the Racing fans.

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Castres Olympique 30-10 Stade Toulousain

Castres do not storm the summit with this win as Perpignan's bonus point on Friday keeps the Catalans there, but Castes deserve to go top.

Toulouse may have been missing a few players, but their back-line still had a full complement of players with international experience and the forwards were no slouches.

Yet Castres obliterated Toulouse's scrum and were 20-3 to the good at half-time, with Cameron McIntyre scoring a try, converting both that and the one by Chris Masoe and adding two penalties.

Toulouse's only answer was a penalty by Freddie Michalak - it's a measure of how far his stock has fallen that he couldn't get a start even with all those internationals missing but he was on for the increasingly brittle-boned Jean-Baptiste Elissalde after a quarter of an hour.

Michalak pulled further points back for Toulouse early in the second half by finishing off a fine break from Yves Donguy and converting, but within three minutes Castres has made the damage good when Masoe took the ball off the back of a scrum and slipped a scoring pass to Thomas Sanchou.

But the real icing on Castres' cake was the fourth try that clinched the bonus point, a rumbling, earthquaking, bulldozing maul that drove 20m for Masoe to grab his second. Castres' dream season continues.

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CS Bourgoin-Jallieu 20-23 Montpellier HRC

Montpellier rode their luck but prop Eugene van Staden peeled off the back of a maul 15m out and plundered the winning try for their fourth win in a row two minutes before time, a win which also puts Bourgoin back into the thick of the basement battle.

Bourgoin led 10-9 at half-time after a tepid half of rugby, with Wessel Jooste capitalising on full-back Anthony Forest's brilliant counter-attack to score the only try after 12 minutes.

Sebastien Laloo converted and added a penalty, while Federico Todeschini landed three goals for Montpol.

The visitors took the lead at the start of the second half, picking off a loose pass by Laloo and finishing in the corner through full-back Julien Alcalde.

A poorly-timed substitution by Montpellier, introducing a new flanker when the scrum was under pressure, backfired when said substitute Marc Giraud gave away a penalty try by breaking early.

That made it 17-16, and Laloo added another penalty which could have seen Bourgoin home before Van Staden's epic finale silenced the Pierre-Rajon.

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Aviron Bayonnais 38-13 Montauban

A bad run came to an end for Bayonne with this win, which included a bonus point courtesy of Sam Gerber's late try.

Bayonne led 18-7 at the break and although Cedric Rosalen did his best to keep Montauban in touch with a penalty and drop goal after, Thibault Lacroix's second try on 55 minutes killed the game off.

It was no more than Bayonne deserved and they now push Bourgoin back into the drop zone, also pushing Montauban perilously close to it as well.

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RC Toulon 19-10 CA Brive-Corrèze

Things lurch from bad to worse in the Corrèze. Brive are now eleventh, only one point clear of the team in the dreaded thirteenth spot.

At least they scored a try this time, through number eight Simon Azoulai, one that actually tied the game up at 10-10 shortly after the break.

But Toulon were not to be denied and Felipe Contepomi's late penalty ensured Brive left the Var region empty-handed.

Fotu Auelua scored Toulon's only try in the first half, while Sebastian Fauqué kicked the other points. It's a useful win for Toulon in a week where Toulouse and Stade Français and one of Biarritz or Clermont came a cropper, and it keeps them fifth for now.

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Clermont Auvergne 13-16 Biarritz Olympique

Biarritz bounced back from 13-3 down early in the second half to claim a rare win at the Stade Marcel Michelin.

Full-back Paul Couet-Lannes got onto the end of the final move of the game to score and seal the deal, with Dimitri Yachvili's conversion icing the cake.

Clermont had looked imperious, with Brock James his usual self from the tee and a fortunate try by Baby - seizing on Jamie Cudmore's charge-down of Yachvili's box-kick - giving Clermont a 10-3 lead at the break.

Baby landed a penalty just after the break, but Biarritz's pack drove them back into the game and Yachvili pulled it back to 13-9 with two penalties.

Baby missed a long-range shot to take his side a converted score ahead with five to go and paid the full price when Couet-Lannes made his moment of glory.

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
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs SharksPumas vs Sharks Preview
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Preview
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Preview
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Preview
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Friday , August 29
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00