Planet Rugby

Top 14 wrap: Toulon come good

18th September 2010 15:37

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Perpignan fullback Jerome Porical v Stade Francais

Catalan hero: Jerome Porical

Perpignan came from behind to beat Stade Français by a single point on Saturday before Jonny Wilkinson helped Toulon beat Clermont.

Wilko and Joe van Niekerk starred for RCT as the English fly-half kicked 23 points, including two drop goals, and the South Africa flank score his side's only try to beat the reigning champions.

Jerome Porical was the hero for Perpignan, scoring all his teams points, including a try as the Catalans cut a half-time deficit to win 22-21.

Biarritz got their first away win of the season after also coming from behind at half time against a tenacious La Rochelle side, who pocketed an invaluable losing bonus point.

Elsewhere, Racing Métro took a while to get going before smashing Bourgoin to go top of the standings while Castres comfortably dispatched Brive. In the day's late game, Montpellier comfortably sidestepped Agen with a four-try romp.

On Friday, Toulouse flexed their muscles to topple early championship leaders Bayonne.

Results:

Toulouse 29-20 Bayonne
Perpignan 22-21 Stade Français
La Rochelle 23-29 Biarritz
Castres 26-6 Brive
Racing Métro 51-20 Bourgoin
Toulon 28-16 Clermont
Agen 6-35 Montpellier

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USA Perpignan 22-21 Stade Français Paris
Stade Aimé Giral, Perpignan

Despite playing twenty minutes with a man down, Perpignan pulled the game from the fire to score their third consecutive win over their rivals from Paris.

Stade Français will head back to the capital with a bonus point but a couple of regrets after fading in the second half for the third time in as many weeks.

Stade Français led 18-12 at the break thanks to tries from wings Julien Arias and Quentin Valancon. Perpignan had done most of the playing in the first half but lost the ball too quickly too often to really trouble the visitors, who grabbed every opportunity given to them.

Perpignan scrum-half Florian Cazenave was sent to the bin early on when tempers frayed and his team paid the price almost immediately when Arias was at the end of an overlap to score in the corner.

The Catalans' poor handling cost them again when Valençon picked up a loose ball and turned on the gas to score 40m later.

Perpignan centre David Marty also saw yellow soon after the restart for playing the man without the ball but Lionel Beauxis' single penalty was all Stade could manage in the second period.

Jerome Porical had kept his team in touch with four penalties in the first half and scored their only try in the 55th minute when he chased down his own chip ahead after joining the line at pace.

The full-back put his team ahead for good at the start on the final quarter with his fifth penalty.

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Racing-Métro 51-20 CS Bourgoin-Jallieu
Stade Yves Du Manoir - Colombes (Paris)

Racing-Metro charged to the top of the standings after handing struggling Bourgoin the drubbing many had expected.

Racing scored six tries through fly-half Jonathan Wisniewski, hooker Benjamin Noirot, back-rowers John Leo'o and Jone Qovu, and wingers Sireli Bobo and Henry Chavancy.

Racing were only 17-13 ahead at break after the visitors stood up well defensively.

They fell behind when wing Nemani Nadolo was sent to the bin, but he made amends by scoring soon after returning to the field. South African prop Rudi Coetzee added try in the second half.

The wheels cam off in the final quarter though as Racing Scored four of their tries in the last 22 minutes.

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Castres Olympique 26-6 CA Brive Corrèze
Stade Pierre Antoine, Castres

Brive committed far too many errors to trouble Castres in a match that saw four yellow cards being dished out (two for each side).

Castres lead 9-3 at the break but it should have been a lot more as Romain Teulet was having a rare off-day with a boot and missed half his kicks. Cameron McIntyre had no such problems and helped himself to a drop after half-an-hour.

Teulet found his range in the second period to extend the lead.

The only try of the game came in the final minute when Marc Andreu found some space on the outside after a long pass from fellow wing Yoan Audrin.

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Stade Rochelais Atlantique 23-29 Biarritz Olympique
Stade Marcel Deflandre, La Rochelle

Once again Dimitri Yachvili was the catalyst behind Biarritz's victory. The Basques were outscored three tries to two, but the super scrum-half's boot was the difference in a tight match.

La Rochelle were 18-13 ahead at half time after fighting back from giving away an early try - scored by Biarritz loose forward Raphael Lakafia after just two minutes.

Tries for full-back Florian Ninard and Fijian centre Seru Rabeni saw the hosts take an unexpected but deserved lead.

The second half belonged to Biarritz however as American wing Takudzwa Ngwenya scored shortly after the restart following Yachvili's superb kick ahead.

Yachvili added three penalties to his conversion to give BO some breathing space.

La Rochelle played a penalty quickly in injury time to put Stéphane Clément over to save the bonus point.

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RC Toulon 28-16 ASM Clermont Auvergne
Stade Vélodrome, Marsielle

Toulon get their most important win of the season thanks largely to their star fly-half, a fire-breathing pack and an inspirational captain.

Clermont led 13-9 at the end of a first half characterised by a kicking duel between Wilkinson and his opposite number, Australian Brock James, and a massive battle between the forwards.

Clermont wing Wesley Fofana scored his team's only try after 13 minutes. James broke the line and off-loaded to Julien Malzieu on his inside, the French wing turned on the afterburners before feeding Fofana, who used his pace to finish.

The visitors were down a man early in the second half when full-back Benoit Baby was shown a yellow card for a late tackle on Paul Sackey.

Toulon got the upper hand at scrum time, allowing Wilkinson to put the hosts ahead from the kicking tee at 18-13 after having already slotted two drops.

Les Toulonais moved further head when, off a turnover, the ball was sent wide to find captain Joe van Niekerk in space. The Springbok flank sprinted home to secure a vital win for RCT.

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SU Agen 6-35 Montpellier HR
Stade Armandie, Agen

Montpol rounded off the Top 14 weekend with a fabulous victory over second-bottom Agen as they continued their fine start under Fabien Galthié.

It didn't take the visitors long to get over the whitewash with Fulgence Ouedraogo crossing on just six minutes before scores from Francois Trinh-Duc and Timoci Nagusa were posted either side of another five-pointer from their captain. Argentine fly-half Martin Bustos Moyano and Trinh-Duc added the extra points.

The win takes Les Héraultais from their pre-round position of third up to second on the standings, just one point behind new leaders Racing-Metro.

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Stade Toulousain 29-20 Aviron Bayonnais
Stade Ernest Wallon, Toulouse

Read the match report here

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