Planet Rugby

Top 14 wrap: Biarritz breath again

05th September 2010 16:09

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Imanol Harinordoquy Biarritz stade francais

Hard yards: Imanol Harinordoquy

Agen came back from 20-0 down to score a shock draw with Perpignan on Sunday while Toulouse ran 50 points past La Rochelle.

Toulon failed to score a try as they played most of their match in Brive with fourteen men, handing their hosts a bonus point win.

As expected, Montpellier's winning run came an end against defending champions Clermont.

Racing-Métro had to settle for a losing bonus point in a tightly-contested game in Castres.

Bayonne continued their impressive start to the season with a hard-fought win in Bourgoin.

Results:

Castres 31-25 Racing-Métro
Clermont 27-10 Montpellier
Toulouse 50-3 La Rochelle
Bourgoin 23-28 Bayonne
Agen 23-23 Perpignan
Brive 27-9 Toulon
Biarritz 19-11 Stade Français

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Castres Olympique 31-25 Racing-Métro 92
Stade Pierre Antoine, Castres

Racing-Métro continue to pick up valuable points on the road while Castres take a place amongst the leaders.

In a very evenly contested battle, Castres led 12-9 after a try-less first half.

Racing fly-half Juan Martin Hernandez slotted his customary drop after 15 minutes while Castres full-back Romain "Robocop" Teulet kept banging them over from the kicking tee. Racing played ten minutes without scrum-half Mathieu Loree, who was sent to the bin for 10 minutes just before the break for deliberately knocking the ball down.

The duo continued to add three-pointers in the second half but Teulet's faultless kicking display had his team 21-12 up going into the final quarter.

The game's first try was a sublime effort by Castres' Fijian centre Seremaia Baï, who first chipped ahead for wing Yoan Audrin and then followed up in support to touch down. Racing replied almost immediately though as hooker Benkamin Noirot barged over to leave the scores at 28-22.

A late penalty assured Castres of the win before Hernandez nailed another drop after the final hooter to earn a bonus point for Racing.

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ASM Clermont Auvergne 27-10 Montpellier HR
Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin, Clermont Ferrand

Clermont got the job done at home for the second time this season and never really looked like losing despite making an uncharacteristically large amount of errors.

Clermont led 20-10 at the break after making the most of their opportunities, especially when Julien Malzieu touched down just before the half-time hooter.

Montpellier got off to strong start as wing Pierre Berard's try at the end of the first quarter cancelled out Clermont prop Davit Zirakashvili earlier five-pointer.

But the visitors couldn't keep up the intensity and struggled to contain the champions. Both team suffered in the heat of the day as the game progressively lost rhythm.

Clermont continued to hammer away until lock Jamie Cudmore crashed over in the 80th minute.

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Stade Toulousain 50-3 Stade Rochelais Atlantique
Stade Ernest Wallon, Toulouse

As expected, La Rochelle just didn't the firepower to compete with Toulouse's big guns. The scoreline says it all.

The hosts raced to a 29-3 lead at half time, scoring four tries, including one by Maxime Medard inside the game's first two minutes.

Centre Remi Lamerat, scrum-half Nicolas Vergallo and flank Sylvain Nicolas all crossed the whitewash while David Skrela added the extras from the kicking tee.

It was the same story in the seocnd half as Virgil Lacombe, Nicolas Bezy and William Servat got onto the scoreboard as Toulouse hit the 50-point mark.

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CS Bourgoin-Jallieu 23-28 Aviron Bayonnais
Stade Pierre Rajon, Bourgoin

A fourth victory for Bayonne keeps the Basque club firmly amongst the leaders while a losing bonus point for Bourgoin will be a bitter pill to swallow.

It was all-square at half time after Bourgoin recovered from a poor start to drag themselves back into the game.

South African full-back Joe Pietersen scored his first try for Bayonne in the fourth minute after Benjamin Boyet had but the vistors ahead with a cheeky early drop against his former team-mates.

Bayonne lock Robin Linde was sent to the bin on the half-hour mark which helped CSBJ to claw their way back into contention which they did with to a try by wing Jean-Francois Coux to level the scores at 16-16 at the break.

Bourgoin prop Kopelaini crashed over to put the home side ahead after the break but when Bayonne turned the screw in the last haf-hour, the hosts had no reply.

The visitors' pack mauled their way to one try and then sent wing Yohan Huget in for a second to seal the game.

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SU Agen 23-23 USA Perpignan
Stade Armandie, Agen

What a shock! What a result for Agen! And what a comeback! No one would have expected the newcomers to the top flight to outscore the former champs three tries to one.

It was one-way traffic in the first half as USAP cruised to a 20-0 lead at the break thanks to a try from centre Joffrey Michel, a drop from fly-half Gilles Bosch and three penalties from full-back Jerome Porical.

Agen were playing positive rugby however and were rewarded for their enterprise soon after the break when wing Romain Edmond Samuel crossed.

Six minutes later scrum-half Sylvain Dupuy sold a dummy and dived over from short range.

A remarkable comeback saw Valentin Current send over a penalty before Aussie wing Junior Pelesasa latched onto a high ball to score and draw Agen level at 20-20!

Agen took the lead when Current slotted a drop, but Porical soon leveled the scores as the Catalan hung to avoid defeat and giving away a bonus point!

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CA Brive Corrèze 27-9 RC Toulon
Stade Amédée Domenech, Brive

It was always going to be an uphill battle for Toulon once Australian centre Mafileo Kefu was handed a red card after just five minutes for a swinging arm high tackle.

The visitors defended well and managed to make it to half time still level at 6-all.

But Brive cut lose in the second period as loose forwards Gerhard Vosloo and Simon Azoulai scored. The third try a the bonus point came ten minutes from time when French international full-back Alexis Palisson rounded off a prolonged period of pressure.

Once again it was left to Jonny Wilkinson to kick all of Toulon's points. Things are just not going to plan for RCT.

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Biarritz Olympique 19-11 Stade Français Paris
Parc des Sports d'Aguilera, Biarritz

Dimitri Yachvili was the hero of the day as he put in another awesome performance in an error-riddled match.

The sides were locked at 6-6 at half time after opposing scrum-halves Yachvili and Julien Dupuy exchanged penalties.

BO dominated the first twenty minutes of the second half which was played almost exclusively in Parisian territory. The hosts moved ahead shortly after half-time when lock Manuel Carizza muscled his way over after Yachvili had attacked from the base of a scrum.

In the last quarter Stade Français finally got some go-forward ball. Sergio Parisse bust through the Basque defensive curtain to set up Mathieu Bastareaud for the visitor's try.

Immediately after the restart however Yachvili smashed over a drop goal from the half-way line to give Biarritz an eight-point lead which they defended in the last ten minutes.

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