Top 14 Wrap: Montpellier stay top

Date published: April 13 2014

Montpellier retained top spot in the Top 14 with an impressive 36-30 victory over Grenoble at Stade des Alpes on Saturday.

Montpellier retained top spot in the Top 14 with an impressive 36-30 victory over Grenoble at Stade des Alpes on Saturday.

Elsewhere, Racing Métro trounced lowly Biarritz at home to keep up their challenge for a playoff spot, with Jonny Sexton in form, while eight penalties helped Bayonne to victory over Stade Français, and a James Hook-inspired Perpignan beat Oyonnax.

Clermont 23-11 Castres
Bordeaux-Bègles 20-22 Toulon
Grenoble 30-36 Montpellier
Racing Métro 37-7 Biarritz
Bayonne 24-19 Stade Français
Perpignan 22-12 Oyonnax
Toulouse 16-9 Brive

FC Grenoble 30-36 Montpellier Hérault Rugby
Stade des Alpes, Grenoble

The visitors responded to rivals Clermont then Toulon mounting the summit of the standings this weekend with an excellent win over a team that has claimed several major scalps this season at their Stade des Alpes stronghold.

Montpellier raced into a ten point lead courtesy of a converted try from Alex Tulou and a penalty from Francois Trinh-Duc.

The France pivot was on the scoresheet again soon after, converting his own try and adding another penalty before Timoci Nagusa crossed for the visitors' third score.

Two penalties from James Hart were all the hosts had to show for a poor first half, with Montpellier utterly dominant and boasting a 27-6 lead at the break.

Grenoble came out firing in the second half, Andrew Farley crossing for a try, and Julien Caminati adding a penalty. They had some way to go if they were going to trouble the visitors' lead, however.

In reality, they got pretty close, though Montpellier seldom looked in trouble. Three further Trinh-Duc penalties secured the victory, despite a brace of late converted tries from Benjamin Thiery and Henry Vanderglas.

The scorers:

For Grenoble:
Tries: Hart, Thiery, Vanderglas
Cons: Hart, Caminati 2
Pens: Hart 3

For Montpellier:
Tries: Tulou, Trinh-Duc, Nagusa
Cons: Pelissie, Trinh-Duc 2
Pens: Pelissie, Trinh-Duc 4

The teams:

Grenoble: 15 Fabien Gengenbacher, 14 Ratu Ratini, 13 Rida Jaouher, 12 Geoffroy Messina, 11 Benjamin Thiery, 10 Blair Stewart, 9 James Hart, 8 Fabien Alexandre, 7 Peter Kimlin, 6 Jonathan Best, 5 Andrew Farley, 4 Naude Beukes, 3 Richard Choirat, 2 Anthony Hegarty, 1 Albertus Buckle
Replacements: 16 Romain David, 17 Laurent Bouchet, 18 Henry Vanderglas, 19 Hendrik Roodt, 20 Nigel Hunt, 21 Julien Caminati, 22 Mathieu Loree, 23 Dayna Edwards

Montpellier: 15 Pierre Berard, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Anthony Tuitavake, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Rene Ranger, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Jonathan Pelissie, 8 Alex Tulou, 7 Mamuka Gorgodze, 6 Alexandre Bias, 5 Thibault Privat, 4 Mickael De Marco, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Charles Geli, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili
Replacements: 16 Thomas Bianchin, 17 Yvan Watremez, 18 James Hamilton, 19 Paul Grant, 20 Benoit Paillaugue, 21 Sitaleki Timani, 22 Lucas Dupont, 23 Nahuel Lobo

Referee: Pascal Gauzère

Aviron Bayonnais 24-19 Stade Français
Stade Jean Dauger, Bayonne

Eight penalties from the boot of Martin Bustos Moyano secured victory for Bayonne, though Stade bagged a late losing bonus point through a Jerome Fillol three-pointer.

The visitors had led briefly during the first half, with the game's only try notched by Waisea Nayacalevu, and converted by Fillol.

But the metronomic boot of Bustos Moyanos kept the scoreboard ticking over for the hosts, and a late yellow card for Laurent Sempere all but settled the issue before Fillol's salvaging three-pointer.

The scorers:

For Bayonne:
Pens: Bustos Moyano 8

For Stade:
Try: Nayacalevu
Con: Fillol
Pens: Fillol 4
Yellow card: Sempere

The teams:

Bayonne: 15 Scott Spedding, 14 Saimoni Vaka, 13 Joe Rokocoko, 12 Matthieu Ugalde, 11 Marvin O'Connor, 10 Santiago Fernandez, 9 Guillaume Rouet, 8 Dwayne Haare, 7 Jean Jo Marmouyet, 6 Mark Chisholm, 5 Lisiate Fa'aoso, 4 Dewald Senekal, 3 Gert Muller, 2 David Roumieu, 1 JC van Rensburg
Replacements: 16 Anthony Etrillard, 17 Aretz Iguiniz, 18 Charles Ollivon, 19 Jean Monribot, 20 Martin Bustos Moyano, 21 Mathieu Belie, 22 Manu Ahotaeiloa, 23 Neemia Tialata

Stade Français: 15 Hugo Bonneval, 14 Waisea Nayacalevu, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Jerome Fillol, 8 Benjamin Macome, 7 Sylvain Nicolas, 6 Antoine Burban, 5 Pascal Papé, 4 Alexandre Flanquart, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Laurent Sempere, 1 Heinke Van der Merwe
Replacements: 16 Michael Van Vuuren, 17 Zurabi Zhvania, 18 Gerhard Mostert, 19 Scott Lavalla, 20 Clement Daguin,
21 Morne Steyn, 22 Julien Arias, 23 Davit Kubriashvili

Referee: Alexandre Ruiz

Racing Métro 37-7 Biarritz Olympique
Stade Olympique Yves-Du-Manoir, Paris

This was a comfortable win for the Parisians, orchestrated by British and Irish Lion Jonny Sexton, who crossed for a try and added ten points off the tee.

Dimitri Yachvili, who announced his retirement from the game this week, bagged his team's sole try in the first half.

Virgile Lacombe, Sexton and Springbok Jacques Cronje all dotted down, with the hooker grabbing a second late on to secure maximum points for the hosts, and round off another painful day in a long season for Biarritz.

The scorers:

For Racing:
Tries: Lacombe 2, Sexton, Cronje
Cons: Sexton 2, Hernandez
Pens: Sexton 2

For Biarritz:
Try: Yachvili
Con: Yachvili

The teams:

Racing Métro: 15 Juan Martin Hernandez, 14 Benjamin Fall, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Jacques Cronje, 7 Antoine Battut, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Fabrice Metz, 4 Juandre Kruger, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Virgile Lacombe, 1 Julien Brugnaut
Replacements: 16 Jeremie Maurouard, 17 Eddy Ben Arous, 18 Bernard Le Roux, 19 Dan Lydiate, 20 Maxime Machenaud, 21 Alexandre Dumoulin, 22 Adrien Plante, 23 Brian Mujati

Biarritz: 15 Damien Traille, 14 Paul Couet-Lannes, 13 Charles Gimenez, 12 Seremaia Burotu, 11 Teddy Thomas, 10 Dimitri Yachvili, 9 Yann Lesgourgues, 8 Raphael Lakafia, 7 Tanguy Molcard, 6 Benoit Guyot, 5 Mathias Marie, 4 Thibault Dubarry, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Arnaud Heguy, 1 Fabien Barcella
Replacements: 16 Romain Ruffenach, 17 Thomas Synaeghel, 18 Josh Furno, 19 Alban Placines, 20 Geoffrey Sella, 21 Theo Platon, 22 Aled Brew, 23 Ben Broster