Planet Rugby

Top 14 Wrap: Clermont sink Perpignan

Sergio Parisse stade francais v bourgoin

Sergio Parisse scored for Stade Français

29th December 2010 20:02

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Italian center Gonzalo Canale Clermont v perpignan

Vital result: Centre Gonzalo Canale scored for Clermont

Clermont were the big winners in the Top 14 on Wednesday, running out 22-16 victors over Perpignan in a rematch of last season's final.

The result lifts the defending champions up to sixth in the standings while Perpignan are left languishing in tenth!

Toulouse will finish the year at the top of the table thanks to an easy win away to Agen.

Montpellier will start the new year in second place after being made to work hard to maintain their unbeaten home record in a narrow win over Biarritz.

Toulon were always going to struggle after being reduced to fourteen men in the first quarter away to Bayonne, who battled to a 20-9 win.

Racing Métro remain third but will be disappointed by their 6-6 draw at home to Brive.

Elsewhere, Stade Français breathed a sigh of relief with a much-needed win in Bourgoin while a hat-trick for lock Iosefa Tekori helped Castres dispatched La Rochelle.

Results

Montpellier 22-16 Biarritz
Bayonne 20-9 Toulon
Agen 8-25 Toulouse
Castres 25-10 La Rochelle
Bourgoin 16-26 Stade Français
Racing Métro 6-6 Brive
Clermont 22-16 Perpignan

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Montpellier HR 22-16 Biarritz Olympique
Stade Yves Du Manoir, Montpellier

A game of two very different halves left Biarritz having to settle for a losing bonus point as their winning streak came to an abrupt end on the Mediterranean coast.

Montpellier ruled the first half to open a healthy lead but Biarritz launched a spirited fightback in the second period.

The hosts led 19-3 at half-time thanks to an intercept try from returning France fly-half François Trinh-Duc and a handful of penalties from Argentine wing Martin Moyano.

Biarritz looked dangerous with ball in hand but were guilty of giving possession away cheaply.

The Basques were right back in the game however when Montpellier centre Santiago Fernandez was sent to the bin for an intentional knock-down and Fijian wing Ilikena Bolakoro scored in the corner to narrow the gap to six points.

BO dominated the second 40 minutes but saw their chances of victory evaporate when Moyano nailed his fifth penalty. The visitors managed to sneak a bonus point when Damien Traille slotted a drop after the full-time hooter.

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Aviron Bayonnais 20-9 RC Toulon
Stade Jean Dauger, Bayonne

It was an uphill battle for Toulon form the start after lock Jocelino Suta was shown a red card after just 18 minutes for a shoulder charge.

Toulon were nevertheless able to hang on and it took a try after the half-time hooter from wing Jean-Baptiste Peyras-Loustalet to give Bayonne a 8-6 lead.

Jonny Wikinson kicked both of Toulon's early penalties before coming off and it was loose forward Juan Fernandez-Lobbe who slotted their third!

Toulon played with plenty of enterprise but were bleeding penalties and Bayonne scrum-half Cedric Garcia made them pay with three efforts from the tee before adding a late drop.

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SU Agen 8-25 Stade Toulousain
Stade Armandie, Agen

Toulouse scored all their points in the first half to secure victory in the derby de la Garonne.

Toulouse dominated from the word go. A Vincent Clerc try and bunch of penalties from David Skrela gave the European champions a 25-3 lead at the break.

Agen were outclassed in every sector but managed to pull a try back with ten minutes left on the clock as their pack mauled their way to the line to crash over in a pile of bodies.

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Castres Olympique 25-10 Stade Rochelais Atlantique
Stade Pierre Antoine, Castres

Castres remain on track for the play-offs and a place in Europe with their seventh consecutive win at home.

Castres were cruising at 18-0 at half time after lock Iosefa Tekori scored twice.

La Rochelle fought back with a try from wing Manoel Dall'Igna early in the second period but Tekori's third try in the final quarter left the result beyond doubt.

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CS Bourgoin-Jallieu 16-26 Stade Français
Stade Pierre-Rajon, Bourgoin

A workman-like performance from Stade Français was enough to ensure their hopes of making the play-off are still alive.

It ended two-tries a piece but Bourgoin will regret their numerous errors and their inability to capitalise on their chances against a solid Parisian defence.

The visitors enjoyed a 9-3 lead at the break thanks to an early drop from Lionel Beauxis and two penalties from Julien Dupuy as Stade Français kept it tight.

The visitors opened a big gap soon after the restart as both skipper Sergio Parisse and centre Mathieu Bastareaud scored.

Bourgoin fought gamely with late tries from Silvere Tian and Nemani Nadolo after Alberto Di Bernardo smacked over a pair of penalties.

But the fightback proved too little too late. The ProD2 beckons.

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Racing-Métro 6-6 CA Brive Corrèze
Stade Yves Du Manoir - Colombes (Paris)

Brive will be delighted with a draw in Paris as two vital points lift them out of the relegation zone.

Racing-Métro were left frustrated by an ultra-motivated Brive defence and even a succession of drop goal attempts from Frans Steyn and Juan Martin Hernandez (who started at fly-half) could not salvage the win for the hosts.

In game deprived of any real attacking flair, the sides were locked at 3-3 at the break after Mirco Bergamasco and Mathieu Belie exchanged penalties. The duo did the same in the second period and try drought at Stade Yves Du Manoir continues

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ASM Clermont Auvergne 22-16 USA Perpignan
Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin, Clermont Ferrand

The scoreline is fair reflection of closely-fought game that delivered plenty of entertainment and a nail-biting finale.

Fly-half Brock James was simply outstanding for the hosts, kicking five penalties and a conversion as well as making the break that would lead to Gonzalo Canale's vital try early in the second half.

Despite doing most of the attacking in the first period, Clermont heading to the changing rooms trailing 13 -9. After soaking up mountains of pressure, Perpignan struck on the half-hour mark when wing Julien Candelon collected his own chip ahead to score from close range.

Clermont came out guns blazing in the second half and after the referee played multiple advantages as Clermont attacked from all angles, Canale finally breached the USAP defence.

Jerome Porical added his third penalty for the Catalans who ultimately were victims of a combination of their own indiscipline and Clermont's attacking flair.

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