Top 14 Wrap: Castres see off Montpellier

Date published: January 28 2017

Wins were claimed by Grenoble, Pau, Castres and Lyon in the Top 14 on Saturday, while La Rochelle beat Toulon at Stade Mayol.


Toulon 20-23 La Rochelle
Grenoble 44-22 Stade Français
Toulouse 10-20 Pau
Castres 38-25 Montpellier
Lyon 37-25 Racing 92

Grenoble 44-22 Stade Français
Stade des Alpes, Grenoble

Grenoble picked up an important 44-22 victory over Stade Français at Stade des Alpes that gives their chances of survival a boost.

The hosts came from behind to lead 16-15 at half-time which was impressive due to the fact they leaked two tries inside seven minutes.

Wings Julien Arias and Jérémy Sinzelle got the ball rolling for Stade Français, with Jules Plisson converting one of those tries for 12-0.

Grenoble managed to get a foothold in the match thanks to two Jonathan Wisniewski penalties before Plisson hit back, making it 15-6.

But the Top 14 strugglers would go into the dressing rooms ahead thanks to hooker Arnaud Heguy's converted try and another penalty.

Grenoble seemed full of confidence upon their return and two more penalties from fly-half Wisniewski pushed them further ahead at 22-15.

They weren't finished as their second try arrived on 55 minutes from centre Fabrice Estebanez, with a Wisniewski penalty goal making it 30-15 before Xavier Mignot crossed as Grenoble continued to pull away from their visitors, who had yet to trouble the scorers in the second-half.

Chris Farrell added Grenoble's fourth try on 77 minutes but it would be Stade Français who had the final say, with outside centre Waisea Nayacalevu's try papering over a poor 40 minutes from the Paris side.

The scorers:

For Grenoble:
Tries: Heguy, Estebanez, Mignot, Farrell
Cons: Wisniewski 3
Pens: Wisniewski 6
Yellow Card: Estebanez

For Stade Français:
Tries: Arias, Sinzelle, Nayacalevu
Cons: Plisson, Steyn
Pen: Plisson
Yellow Card: Papé

Grenoble: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Xavier Mignot, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Fabrice Estebanez, 11 Lucas Dupont, 10 Jonathan Wisniewski, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Rory Grice, 7 Fabien Alexandre, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Aly Muldowney, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Dayna Edwards, 2 Arnaud Heguy, 1 Denis Coulson
Replacements: 16 Loïck Jammes, 17 Dylan Jacquot, 18 Mathias Marie, 19 Mahamadou Diaby, 20 Lilian Saseras, 21 David Mélé, 22 Armand Batlle, 23 Jarrod Firth

Stade Francais: 15 Hugo Bonneval, 14 Julien Arias, 13 Waisea Nayacalevu, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Jérémy Sinzelle, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Jono Ross, 6 Willem Alberts, 5 Paul Gabrillagues, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Giorgi Melikidze, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Zurabi Zhvania
Replacements: 16 Aled de Malmanche, 17 Jean-Baptiste de Clercq, 18 Pascal Papé, 19 Sylvain Nicolas, 20 Clement Daguin, 21 Morné Steyn, 22 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 23 Entienne Swanepoel

Referee: Romain Poite

Toulouse 10-20 Pau
Stade Ernest Wallon, Toulouse

Pau kept their play-off hopes alive when they beat Toulouse 20-10 in a hard-fought encounter at Stade Ernest Wallon.

The visitors got the rub of the green during the early stages and held a 17-7 lead at half-time thanks to tries from Thomas Bianchin and Julien Fumat. Paul Perez crossed for Toulouse's only try during this period.

Pau made a superb start when Bianchin crossed for the opening try in the third minute but suffered a setback when Ben Mowen was yellow carded for a cynical foul at a ruck inside his 22 in the 13th minute.

Toulouse made their numerical advantage count when Perez dotted down in the 21st minute but Pau struck back shortly afterwards when Fumat crossed the whitewash.

Colin Slade kicked both conversions and added a penalty on the stroke of half-time which gave his side a 10-point lead at the interval.

The second half was a close affair and a Toby Flood penalty shortly after the break gave the hosts some hope but a place-kick from Slade – after Semi Kunatani was sent to the sin bin – sealed Pau's win in the 78th minute. 

The scorers:

For Toulouse:
Con: Flood
Pen: Flood
Yellow Card: Kunatani

For Pau:
Tries: Bianchin, Fumat
Cons: Slade 2
Pens: Slade 2
Yellow Card: Botia

Toulouse: 15 Maxime Médard, 14 Semi Kunatani, 13 Paul Perez, 12 Florian Fritz, 11 Arthur Bonneval, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Samuel Marques, 8 Gillian Galan, 7 Piula Faasalele, 6 Thierry Dusautoir, 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Gregory Lamboley, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Vasil Kakovin, 18 Richie Gray, 19 Talalelei Gray, 20 Yacouba Camara, 21 Sébastien Bezy, 22 Luke McAlister, 23 Maks van Dyk

Pau: 15 Charly Malié, 14 Louis Dupichot, 13 Julien Fumat, 12 Watisoni Votu, 11 Mosese Ratuvou, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Thibault Daubagna, 8 Steffon Armitage, 7 Sean Dougall, 6 Ben Mowen, 5 Julien Pierre, 4 Fabrice Metz, 3 Malik Hamadache, 2 Thomas Bianchin, 1 Jamie Mackintosh
Replacements: 16 Quentin Lespiaucq, 17 Geoffrey Moise, 18 Masalosalo Tutaia, 19 Dan Ramsay, 20 James Coughlan, 21 Julien Tomas, 22 Brandon Fajardo, 23 Sylvain Charlet 

Referee: Adrien Descottes

Castres 38-25 Montpellier
Stade Pierre Antoine, Castres

Castres consolidated their position in the top six after they beat fellow play-off hopefuls Montpellier at Stade Pierre Antoine on Saturday.

It was a fine start from Castres as scrum-half Antoine Dupont crossed just a minute into the clash for a try, converted by Julien Dumora.

Demetri Catrakilis landed a penalty on five minutes and when in-form wing Nemani Nadolo scored it was 8-7 to Montpellier on 14 minutes.

There was then a response off the tee from fly-half Dumora as he struck two penalties to move Castres back in front at 13-8 to the good.

But the drama continued until the half-time turnaround as the lead changed hands twice more, with Montpellier second-row Paul Willemse and Castres wing David Smith crossing for their respective side. That meant the score was 20-15 to the home side in an entertaining first-half.

Dumora strengthened Castres' position with two penalties – in the 42nd and 57th minute – to push his outfit 26-15 in front, but Montpellier would not give up on the game and Willemse's second try came on the hour. That unconverted score pulled them back to within six points.

Castres though showed their class and kept Montpellier at arm's length when Rory Kockott got over for a converted score that made it 33-22 before a late Yannick Caballero try saw the hosts seal an impressive win.

The scorers:

For Castres:
Tries: Dupont, Smith, Kockott, Caballero
Cons: Dumora 2, Urdapilleta
Pens: Dumora 4
Yellow Cards: Combezou, Jenneker

For Montpellier:
Tries: Nadolo, Willemse 2
Cons: Catrakilis 2
Pens: Catrakilis 2
Yellow Card: Jacques du Plessis

Castres: 15 Pierre Bérard, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 David Smith, 10 Julien Dumora, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Steve Mafi, 7 Anthony Jelonch, 6 Yannick Caballero, 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 4 Victor Moreaux, 3 Daniel Kotze, 2 Jody Jenneker, 1 Mihaita Lazar
Replacements: 16 Brice Mach, 17 Antoine Tichit, 18 Loic Jacquet, 19 Alexandre Bias, 20 Rory Kockott, 21 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 22 Florian Vialelle, 23 Daniel Kotze

Montpellier: 15 Benjamin Fall, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Vincent Martin, 12 Joseph Tomane, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Tomas O'Leary, 8 Antoine Battut, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 5 Nico Janse van Rensburg, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Charles Geli, 1 Grégory Fichten
Replacements: 16 Shalva Mamukashvili, 17 Mikheil Nariashvili, 18 Robins Tchale-Watchou, 19 Akapusi Qera, 20 Yvan Reilhac, 21 Henry Immelman, 22 Joffrey Michel, 23 Antoine Guillamon

Referee: Pascal Gauzère

Lyon 37-25 Racing 92
Matmut Stadium, Lyon

Lyon claimed a crucial win over Racing 92 as they did their hopes of top flight survival a power of good at Matmut Stadium on Saturday.

Racing 92 hit the front early thanks to a try from wing Teddy Thomas on four minutes but Lyon soon hit back via number eight Carl Fearns.

At 7-7 it was then a kicking battle as Dan Carter and Frédéric Michalak landed a penalty apiece before Carter made it 13-10 on 27 minutes.

Michalak levelled matters soon after but it was Racing 92 who went in ahead thanks to James Hart and Benjamin Dambielle's penalties.

Replacement scrum-half Hart added to Racing 92's lead with his second penalty of the game on 45 minutes that made it 22-13 to them.

Lyon knew the next score would be crucial and they got it eight minutes later when Michalak cut the arrears to six points off the kicking tee.

That got the home crowd believing and when Racing second-row Leone Nakarawa was sin-binned, Lyon sensed an opportunity and took it as Fearns crossed for his second try, converted by Michalak, which pushed them 23-22 in front and set up a mouth-watering final 20 minutes.

Lyon were now motoring and moved further clear on 64 minutes when full-back Toby Arnold went over for a try Michalak again converted.

The hosts had an eight-point buffer at that point but it was cut to five after a Hart penalty. Racing had eight minutes to salvage the win.

Lyon though were not to be denied and put the result beyond doubt on 77 minutes as Arnold claimed his brace in an impressive triumph.

The scorers:

For Lyon:
Tries: Fearns 2, Arnold 2
Cons: Michalak 4
Pens: Michalak 3
Yellow Card: Gomez Kodela

For Racing 92:
Try: Thomas
Con: Carter
Pens: Carter 2, Hart 3, Dambielle
Yellow Cards: Nakarawa, Thomas

Lyon: 15 Toby Arnold, 14 Hosea Gear, 13 Theo Belan, 12 Hemani Paea, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 Mike Harris, 9 Frédéric Michalak, 8 Carl Fearns, 7 Julien Bonnaire, 6 Julien Puricelli, 5 Thibault Privat, 4 Taiasina Tuifua, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Mickael Ivaldi, 1 Albertus Buckle
Replacements: 16 Ti'I Paulo, 17 Alexandre Menini, 18 Josh Bekhuis, 19 Félix Lambey, 20 Nicolas Durand, 21 Curtis Browning, 22 Jérôme Porical, 23 BJ Botha

Racing 92: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Joe Rokocoko, 12 Albert Vulivuli, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Xavier Chauveau, 8 Antoine Claassen, 7 Yannick Nyanga, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Virgile Lacombe, 1 Julien Brugnaut
Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Viliamu Afatia, 18 Gerbrandt Grobler, 19 Chris Masoe, 20 James Hart, 21 Benjamin Dambielle, 22 Etienne Dussartre, 23 Cedate Gomes Sa

Referee: Jérôme Garcès