Top 14 wrap: Clermont and Toulouse maintain unbeaten starts

Date published: September 15 2018

Clermont Auvergne and Toulouse remain unbeaten in the Top 14 following impressive victories, while Lyon, Agen and Castres also secured wins on Saturday.


Lyon 55-13 Montpellier
Agen 22-17 Bordeaux-Bègles
Castres 29-13 Grenoble
Pau 23-27 Clermont Auvergne
Toulouse 30-17 Racing 92

Lyon 55-13 Montpellier
Matmut Stadium de Gerland

Lyon produced an outstanding performance to thrash Montpellier and get their season well and truly up and running.

Pierre Mignoni’s men had struggled for consistency going into this contest but they were far too good for the visitors, scoring eight tries in all.

It leaves Vern Cotter, boss of last season’s runners up, with plenty of questions. They appear to be suffering a hangover from that defeat in the Top 14 final and the away side were completely outplayed after the break.

Montpellier were competitive in the first half, only going into the interval five point in arrears. Toby Arnold and Noa Nakaitaci tries had given the hosts an advantage, but Nico Janse van Rensburg’s effort meant it was still in the balance.

However, Lyon ran amok in the second period as quick-fire Baptiste Couilloud and Hendrik Roodt efforts moved them clear before Etienne Oosthuizen made it 36-13.

Paul Willemse was then yellow carded and Mignoni’s charges completed an impressive victory through Thibaut Regard and Charlie Ngatai, who scored a brace.

The scorers:

For Lyon:
Tries: Arnold, Nakaitaci, Couilloud, Roodt, Oosthuizen, Regard, Ngatai 2
Cons: Wisniewski 4, Doussain 2
Pen: Wisniewski

For Montpellier:
Try: Janse van Rensburg
Con: Cruden
Pens: Cruden 2
Yellow Card: Willemse

Lyon: 15 Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 14 Toby Arnold, 13 Thibaut Regard, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 Noa Nakaitaci, 10 Jonathan Wisniewski, 9 Baptiste Couilloud, 8 Liam Gill, 7 Patrick Sobela, 6 Dylan Cretin, 5 Hendrik Roodt, 4 Felix Lambey, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Jeremie Maurouard, 1 Raphael Chaume
Replacements: 16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Hamza Kaabeche, 18 Etienne Oosthuizen, 19 Manuel Carizza, 20 Jean-Marc Doussain, 21 Loann Goujon, 22 Xavier Mignot, 23 Clement Ric

Montpellier: 15 Henry Immelman, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Yvan Reilhac, 12 Arthur Vincent, 11 Benjamin Fall, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Julien Tomas, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Wian Liebenberg, 6 Kelian Galletier, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 3 Antoine Guillamon, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Gregory Fichten
Replacements: 16 Vincent Giudicelli, 17 Yvan Watremez, 18 Julien Ledevedec, 19 Julien Bardy, 20 Enzo Sanga, 21 Thomas Darmon, 22 Vincent Martin, 23 Jannie du Plessis

Referee: Romain Poite
Assistant referees: Maxime Chalon, Arnaud Blondel
TMO: Eric Gonthier

Agen 22-17 Bordeaux-Bègles
Stade Armandie

Agen made it successive home victories following an impressive triumph over a Bordeaux side that harbours big ambitions this season.

Philippe Sella’s men have been tipped to struggle and those predictions seemed apt following heavy away defeats to Clermont Auvergne and Racing 92, but they are a different beast at the Stade Armandie.

Against a team containing the talent of Semi Radradra, Baptiste Serin and Cameron Woki, the hosts controlled the first half and deservedly went 3-0 up via Jake McIntyre’s penalty.

Although Serin almost immediately levelled matters from the tee, McIntyre regained Agen’s lead before they increased their buffer through Yoan Tanga.

Their fly-half kicked the conversion and added a brace of three-pointers either side of the interval before the visitors gave themselves hope through Adrien Pelissie.

The pressure could have increased on the home side but McIntyre’s accuracy with the boot kept the opposition at arm’s length and duly helped them to an important win, meaning UBB’s last minute penalty try was in vain.

The scorers:

For Agen:
Try: Tanga
Con: McIntyre
Pens: McIntyre 5

For Bordeaux:
Tries: Pelissie, penalty try
Con: Serin
Pen: Serin

Agen: 15 Mathieu Lamoulie, 14 Nicolas Metge, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Sam Vaka, 11 Valentin Saurs, 10 Jake McIntyre, 9 Paul Abadie, 8 Yoan Tanga, 7 Facundo Bosch, 6 Antoine Miquel, 5 Denis Marchois, 4 Tom Murday, 3 Dave Ryan, 2 Paula Ngauamo, 1 Quentin Bethune
Replacements: 16 Marc Barthomeuf, 17 Giorgi Tetrashvili, 18 Andres Zafra Tarazona, 19 Loic Hocquet, 20 Hugo Verdu, 21 Leo Berdeu, 22 Clement Laporte, 23 Xerom Civil

Bordeaux Begles: 15 Romain Buros, 14 Eto Nabuli, 13 Semi Radradra, 12 Ulupano Seuteni, 11 George Tilsley, 10 Lucas Meret, 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 Afaesetiti Amosa, 7 Cameron Woki, 6 Luke Braid, 5 Jandré Marais, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Lekso Kaulashvili, 2 Adrien Pelissie, 1 Thierry Paiva
Replacements: 16 Maxime Lamothe, 17 Lasha Tabidze, 18 Kane Douglas, 19 Alexandre Roumat, 20 Beka Gorgadze, 21 Jules Gimbert, 22 Nathan Decron, 23 Vadim Cobilas

Referee: Cyril Lafon
Assistant referees: Mathieu Noirot, Thierry Guilloton
TMO: Mourad Zitouni

Castres 29-13 Grenoble
Stade Pierre-Fabre

Defending champions Castres continued their fine start to the campaign following a comfortable triumph over winless Grenoble.

With the newly-promoted outfit losing their previous three matches, there was only going to be one outcome and Christophe Urios’ outfit dominated from the start.

Grenoble may have been competitive in the opening rounds but they were overwhelmed in the first half. Castres began on the front foot and touched down through Marc-Antoine Rallier before successive Gaetan Germain penalties reduced the arrears.

However, the hosts were in control and, after Benjamin Urdapilleta had kicked a three-pointer of his own, tries from Alex Tulou and Rallier gave them a comfortable buffer at the interval.

Tulou joined the hooker in completing his brace 10 minutes into the second period, but they were unable to truly pull away. Instead, to their credit, Grenoble kept fighting and got their reward through Ali Oz’s score, but it failed to spark a comeback.

The scorers:

For Castres:
Tries: Rallier 2, Tulou 2
Cons: Urdapilleta 3
Pen: Urdapilleta
Yellow Card: Moreaux

For Grenoble:
Try: Oz
Con: Latorre
Pens: Germain 2

Castres: 15 Julien Dumora, 14 Taylor Paris, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Florian Vialelle, 11 David Smith, 10 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Alex Tulou, 7 Baptiste Delaporte, 6 Mathieu Babillot, 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 4 Christophe Samson, 3 Marc Clerc, 2 Marc-Antoine Rallier, 1 Antoine Tichit
Replacements: 16 Jody Jenneker, 17 Tudor Stroe, 18 Victor Moreaux, 19 Camille Gerondeau, 20 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 21 Scott Spedding, 22 Robert Ebersohn, 23 Daniel Kotze

Grenoble: 15 Gaetan Germain, 14 Lucas Dupont, 13 Etienne Dussartre, 12 Taleta Tupuola, 11 Jean-Teiva Jacquelin, 10 Adrien Latorre, 9 Jeremy Valencot, 8 Steeve Blanc-Mappaz, 7 Fabien Alexandre, 6 Antonin Berruyer, 5 Hans Nkinsi, 4 Taiasina Tuifua, 3 Beka Gigashvili, 2 Etienne Fourcade, 1 Mihaita Lazar
Replacements: 16 Mike Tadjer, 17 Dylan Jacquot, 18 Killian Geraci, 19 Loic Baradel, 20 Theo Nanette, 21 Clement Gelin, 22 Bastien Guillemin, 23 Ali Oz

Referee: Julien Castaignede
Assistant referees: Jonathan Dufort, Jacques de Lemos
TMO: Laurent Sclafer

Pau vs Clermont
Stade du Hameau

There was late heartbreak for Pau as Clermont maintained their winning start to the campaign after Yohan Beheregaray touched down late on to snatch the victory.

Simon Mannix’s men have not been entirely convincing so far this season but they were improved against Les Jaunards, even though Auvergne provided one final sting in the tail.

The match started slowly, with Colin Slade and Jesse Mogg penalties giving the hosts a 6-0 advantage, but it came to life in the second quarter as two tries were scored.

Morgan Parra had levelled matters with a brace of three pointers before Slade and Remy Grosso traded efforts in the final six minutes of the half.

Charly Malie then scampered across the whitewash for a 20-11 buffer, but Laidlaw reduced the arrears from the tee soon after.

Tom Taylor and Laidlaw traded penalties before a yellow card to Lucas Rey proved crucial. Franck Azema’s outfit increased the pressure and Beheregaray touched down to put them in front for the first time in the game. Laidlaw kicked the conversion and then scored a three-pointer as Clermont went away with their fourth victory.

The scorers:

For Pau:
Tries: Slade, Malie
Cons: Slade 2
Pens: Slade, Mogg, Taylor
Yellow Card: Rey

For Clermont:
Tries: Grosso, Beheregaray
Con: Laidlaw
Pens: Parra 2, Laidlaw 3
Yellow Card: Slimani

Pau: 15 Charly Malie, 14 Jesse Mogg, 13 Benson Stanley, 12 Jale Vatubua, 11 Watisoni Votu, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Thibault Daubagna, 8 Paddy Butler, 7 Pierrick Gunther, 6 Sean Dougall, 5 Daniel Ramsay, 4 Fabrice Metz, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Laurent Bouchet, 1 Geoffrey Moise
Replacements: 16 Lucas Rey, 17 Jamie Mackintosh, 18 Baptiste Pesenti, 19 Martin Puech, 20 Julien Blanc, 21 Tom Taylor, 22 Julien Fumat, 23 Malik Hamadache

Clermont: 15 Setariki Tuicuvu, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 George Moala, 12 Rémi Lamerat, 11 Remy Grosso, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Viktor Kolelishvili, 6 Damien Chouly, 5 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 John Ulugia, 1 Etienne Falgoux
Replacements: 16 Yohan Beheregaray, 17 Loni Uhila, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Peceli Yato, 20 Greig Laidlaw, 21 Samuel Ezeala, 22 Apisai Naqalevu, 23 Michael Simutoga

Referee: Thomas Charabas
Assistant referees: Tual Trainini, Richard Duhau
TMO: Eric Briquet-Campin

Toulouse 30-17 Racing 92
Stade Ernest Wallon

Toulouse maintained their unbeaten start to the season by overcoming Racing 92, giving them their third win of 2018/19.

Having impressed in the opening rounds, Ugo Mola’s men continued their momentum by scoring three tries against the side that finished the previous campaign in second position.

They controlled the early exchanges and Maxime Mermoz, who rejoined the club from Newcastle Falcons over the off-season, touched down.

Although Raphael Lagarde responded from the tee for Racing, Sofiane Guitoune rewarded Les Rouge et Noir’s endeavour by crossing the whitewash once again.

That gave them a 14-3 lead at the break before the hosts’ left winger extended their buffer minutes into the second half.

Simon Zebo and Juan Imhoff went over to give the Parisians hope but Ramos’ place-kicking accuracy ultimately gave Toulouse a reasonably comfortable triumph.

The scorers:

For Toulouse:
Tries: Mermoz, Guitoune 2
Cons: Ramos 3
Pens: Ramos 3
Yellow Card: Tekori

For Racing:
Tries: Zebo, Imhoff
Cons: Lagarde, Volavola
Pen: Lagarde

Toulouse: 15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Pierre Fouyssac, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Sofiane Guitoune, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Sébastien Bézy, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 François Cros, 6 Louis-Benoit Madaule, 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Rynhard Elstadt, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Lucas Pointud
Replacements: 16 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17 Rodrigue Neti, 18 Piula Faasalele, 19 Pierre Gayraud, 20 Carl Axtens, 21 Pierre Pages, 22 Pita Ahki, 23 Dorian Aldegheri

Racing 92: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Louis Dupichot, 13 Olivier Klemenczak, 12 Henry Chavancy, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Raphael Lagarde, 9 Teddy Iribaren, 8 Leone Nakarawa, 7 Fabien Sanconnie, 6 Boris Palu, 5 Dominic Bird, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 Cedate Gomes Sa, 2 Ole Avei, 1 Vasil Kakovin
Replacements: 16 Teddy Baubigny, 17 Guram Gogichashvili, 18 Edwin Maka, 19 Jordan Joseph, 20 Xavier Chauveau, 21 Ben Volavola, 22 Leonard Paris, 23 Census Johnston

Referee: Adrien Descottes
Assistant referees: Thierry Mallet, Sebastien Hebert
TMO: Sebastien Minery