Top 14 Wrap: Agen off the bottom

Date published: February 27 2016

Grenoble and Agen enjoyed much-needed wins in the Top 14 on Saturday, with the latter's result moving them off the bottom of the table.

Clermont and Bordeaux-Bègles also claimed victories, following Toulon's win over Brive in the early fixture, while Racing 92 lost to Castres.


Toulon 44-15 Brive
Stade Français 18-33 Grenoble
Agen 31-27 La Rochelle
Clermont 44-16 Oyonnax
Pau 3-15 Bordeaux-Bègles
Racing 92 9-13 Castres

Stade Français 18-33 Grenoble
Stade Jean Bouin, Paris

Last season's champions suffered their ninth defeat of the campaign as they went down to Grenoble in a disappointing showing.

Julian Arias had given them an early lead when he crossed for a try on nine minutes, but Grenoble hit back through centre Chris Farrell before the break as they went into the dressing rooms with a 16-11 advantage.

Grenoble were trailing 18-16 soon after the break though when hooker Laurent Panis crossed for the hosts as the tide looked to be turning.

However, the visitors then moved through the gears as two tries from hooker Arnaud Heguy set them on their way before back-row Rory Grice put the seal on an impressive win when he crossed the try-line late on.

The scorers:

For Stade Français:
Tries: Arias, Panis
Con: Steyn
Pens: Steyn 2

For Grenoble:
Tries: Farrell, Heguy 2, Grice
Cons: Bosch, Wisniewski
Pen: Bosch 3

Stade Français: 15 Hugo Bonneval, 14 Julien Arias, 13 Waisea Nayacalevu, 12 Paul Williams, 11 Jeremy Sinzelle, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Julien Dupuy, 8 Jono Ross, 7 Raphael Lakafia, 6 Sekou Macalou, 5 Pascal Papé, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Paul Alo-Emile, 2 Laurent Panis, 1 Zak Taulafo
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Emmanuel Felsina, 18 Gerhard Mostert, 19 Mathieu de Giovanni, 20 Clement Daguin, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 23 Adrien Oléon

Grenoble: 15 Fabien Gengenbacher, 14 Lucas Dupont, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Fabien Estebanez, 11 Armand Battle, 10 Gilles Bosch, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Henry Vanderglas, 7 Mahamadou Diaby, 6 Steven Setephano, 5 James Percival, 4 Ben Hand, 3 Dayna Edwards, 2 Arnaud Heguy, 1 Fabien Barcella
Replacements: 16 Laurent Bouchet, 17 Denis Coulson, 18 Hendrik Roodt, 19 Rory Grice, 20 Christophe Loustalot, 21 Jonathan Wisniewski, 22 Daniel Kilioni, 23 Walter Desmaison

Referee: Sébastien Minery

Agen 31-27 La Rochelle
Stade Armandie, Agen

Agen sealed only their third Top 14 victory of the campaign as they fought back to secure a result that lifts them above Oyonnax.

The hosts were trailing 20-14 at the half-time break but 17 points in the second period saw them to a priceless triumph at Stade Armandie.

Agen duo Arsene Nnomo and Johann Sadie scored tries in the first-half while Romain Sezy and Kevin Gourdon went over for La Rochelle.

Then after the break right wing George Tilsey claimed a brace while Burton Francis added seven points, which meant Gourdon's second try came only as a consolation as La Rochelle head home with a losing bonus point.

The scorers:

For Agen:
Tries: Nnomo, Sadie, Tilsley 2
Cons: Francis 4
Pen: Francis

For La Rochelle:
Tries: Sazy, Gourdon 2
Cons: Holmes 3
Pens: Holmes 2

Agen: 15 Filipo Nakosi, 14 George Tilsley, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Lionel Mazars (c), 11 Pierre Fouyssac, 10 Burton Francis, 9 Clement Darbo, 8 Luke Hamilton, 7 Antoine Erbani, 6 Marc Baget, 5 Marco Kotze, 4 Api Ratuniyarawa, 3 Arthur Joly, 2 Mike Tadjer, 1 Arsene Nnomo
Replacements: 16 Jalil Narjissi, 17 Giorgi Tetrashvili, 18 Corentin Braendlin, 19 Remy Vaquin, 20 Sione Tau, 21 Alexi Bales, 22 François Bouvier, 23 Dave Ryan

La Rochelle: 15 Benjamin Lapeyre, 14 Gabriel Lacroix, 13 Pierre Aguillon, 12 Levani Botia, 11 Kini Murimurivalu, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Enrico Januarie, 8 Kevin Gourdon, 7 Afa Amosa, 6 Romana Graham, 5 Leandro Cedaro, 4 Romain Sazy, 3 Gagi Bazadze, 2 Maxime Gau, 1 Thomas Synaeghel
Replacements: 16 Hikairo Forbes, 17 Jordan Seneca, 18 Damien Lagrange, 19 Jone Quvo, 20 Julien Audy, 21 Jean Pascal Barraque, 22 Pierre Bérard, 23 David Feao

Referee: Maxime Chalon

Clermont 44-16 Oyonnax
Stade Marcel Michelin, Clermont Ferrand

There was also a come-from-behind win at Stade Marcel Michelin on Saturday where Clermont recovered to ease past Oyonnax.

Trailing 10-3 with 15 minutes played after flanker Valentin Ursache had crossed for Oyonnax, Clermont managed to find their form and went into the turnaround leading 18-13 thanks to six Morgan Parra penalties.

After the break they found their try-scoring touch as Wesley Fofana, Noa Nakaitaci, Isaia Toeava and Alexandre Lapandry went over for what was a bonus-point victory, which at the break looked an unlikely event.

The scorers:

For Clermont:
Tries: Fofana, Nakaitaci, Toeava, Lapandry
Cons: Parra 2, Lopez
Pens: Parra 6

For Oyonnax:
Try: Ursache
Con: Etienne
Pens: Etienne 3

Clermont: 15 Isaia Toeava, 14 David Strettle, 13 Aurélien Rougerie, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Noa Nakaitaci, 10 Brock James, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Peceli Yato, 5 Loic Jacquet, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Dan Kotze, 2 John Ulugia, 1 Raphael Chaume
Replacements: 16 Zak van der Westhuizen, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 19 Camille Gerondeau, 20 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 21 Camille Lopez, 22 Albert Vulivuli, 23 Clément Ric

Oyonnax: 15 Florian Denos, 14 Daniel Ikpefan, 13 Eamonn Sheridan, 12 Roimata Hansell-Pune, 11 Uwe Tawalo, 10 Quentin Etienne, 9 Fabien Cibray, 8 Pedrie Wannenburg, 7 Patrick Sobela, 6 Valentin Ursache, 5 Geoffrey Fabbri, 4 Leon Power, 3 Marc Clerc, 2 Jeremie Maurouard, 1 Soane Tonga'uiha
Replacements: 16 Jody Jenneker, 17 Lukas Rapant, 18 George Robson, 19 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 20 Arthur Aziza, 21 Regis Lespinas, 22 Jimmy Yobo, 23 Antoine Guillamon

Referee: Laurent Cardona

Pau 3-15 Bordeaux-Bègles
Stade du Hameau, Pau

Bordeaux-Bègles kept in touch with the Top 14 pace-setters after they claimed a workmanlike victory over Pau at Stade du Hameau.

With Toulon and Clermont winning, this was a vital result for UBB, who had the boot of Pierre Bernard to thank for this victory on the road.

Pau, who had stunned Clermont on their travels last week, could not even trouble the scorers in the first period and had to wait until the 54th minute for their first points when Colin Slade landed a penalty goal.

Those points meant UBB were still 12-3 to the good however and Bernard made sure of the win in the 78th minute with another penalty.

The scorers:

For Pau:
Pen: Slade

For Bordeaux-Bègles:
Pens: Bernard 4
Drop Goal: Bernard

Pau: 15 Damien Traille, 14 Julien Fumat, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Watisoni Votu, 11 Mosese Ratuvou, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Thibault Daubagna, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Paddy Butler, 6 Loic Bernad, 5 Daniel Ramsay, 4 Julien Pierre, 3 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 2 Mehdi Boundjema, 1 Chris King
Replacements: 16 Thomas Bianchin, 17 Julien Jacquot, 18 Jovili Domolailai, 19 Jean Bouilhou, 20 Samuel Marques, 21 Santiago Fernandez, 22 Charly Malie, 23 Euan Murray

Bordeaux-Bègles: 15 Jean-Marcelin Buttin, 14 Metuisela Talebula, 13 Felix le Bourhis, 12 Julien Rey, 11 Blair Connor, 10 Pierre Bernard, 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 Marco Tauleigne, 7 Hugh Chalmers, 6 Louis-Benoit Madaule, 5 Julien Ledevedec, 4 Jan Andre Marais, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Ole Avei, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16 Benat Auzqui, 17 Sebastien Taofifenua, 18 Berend Botha, 19 Peter Saili, 20 Yann Lesgourgues, 21 Luke Braid, 22 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 23 Sekope Kepu

Referee: Cyril Lafon

Racing 92 9-13 Castres
Stade Yves du Manoir, Colombes

Racing 92 relinquished top spot in the standings after suffering a shock loss to Castres at Stade Yves du Manoir in the late game.

Castres never trailed in the match as fly-half Ben Urdapilleta slotted a penalty goal after four minutes before Dan Carter made it 3 apiece.

But the key moment came on the half-hour when Castres wing Julien Caminati crossed for a converted score to make it 10-3 at half-time.

Castres further extended their lead two minutes after the break through Urdapilleta's boot, with Racing having to ultimately settle for a losing bonus-point thanks to Carter sending over two penalties before the full-time whistle.

The scorers:

For Racing 92:
Pen: Carter 3

For Castres:
Try: Caminati
Con: Urdapilleta
Pen: Urdapilleta 2

Racing 92: 15 Johan Goosen, 14 Juan Imhoff, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Dan Carter, 11 Marc Andreu, 10 Remi Tales, 9 Xavier Chauveau, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Bernard le Roux, 6 Yannick Nyanga Kabasele, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Julien Brugnaut
Replacements: 16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Davit Khinchagashvili, 18 Thibault Dubarry, 19 Antonie Claassen, 21 Joe Rokocoko, 20 Mike Phillips, 22 Brice Dulin, 23 Luc Ducalcon

Castres: 15 Geoffrey Palis, 14 Julien Caminati, 13 Florian Vialelle, 12 Remi Lamerat, 11 David Smith, 10 Ben Urdapilleta, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Piula Faasalele, 6 Yannick Caballero, 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 4 Christophe Samson, 3 Karena Wihongi, 2 Marc-Antoine Rallier, 1 Antoine Tichit
Replacements: 16 Julien Beziat, 17 Eric Sione, 18 Benjamin Desroches, 19 Mathieu Babillot, 20 Julien Seron, 21 Julien Dumora, 22 Thomas Combezou, 23 Mihai Lazar

Referee: Salem Attalah