Top 14 Wrap: Round 8

Date published: February 5 2008

After just eight of 26 rounds France's Top 14 seems to be settling into a comfortable Top 4 and an uncomfortable bottom half dozen.

After just eight of 26 rounds France's Top 14 seems to be settling into a comfortable Top 4 and an uncomfortable bottom half dozen.

Auch and Dax, so recently promoted, are in hot water.,

The separation of those stretching for glory and those trying to avoid ignominy is growing wider after just seven rounds of a 26-round competition on the way to the semi-finals.

Perpignan, usually a competitor for top spots, is this season battling to avoid the drop but they have a home match at Stade Aimée-Giral, traditionally one of the toughest grounds in France to visit, and Montauban are not good travellers in any case.

The Brive-Castres clash could be fascinating, both sides taking hope from last weekend's success and they are both clubs in dire need of success.

But the top clash has been saved for last – Sunday's visit for the Basques to the Massif Central. Biarritz are less smooth this year than they usually are but still managing to keep in touch with the leaders, Clermont Auvergne are a place above them and are smarting from last week's defeat at the hands of Castres.

Toulouse got yet another bonus point to stretch their lead at the top while Stade Français' away win and Biarritz's away defeat meant that the two glamorous clubs have swapped placed.

Dax helped their cause with victory but Castres, vanquishers of Clermont the weak before, fell heavily in Brive. Albi took a point off the Parisians but Auch look to be in dire straits.

Results of Round 8

Brive vs Castres, 26-13
Bayonne vs Auch, 25-10
Clermont Auvergne vs Biarritz, 12-9
Dax vs Bourgoin, 15-14
Perpignan vs Montauban, 23-3
Stade Français vs Albi, 23-18
Toulouse vs Montpellier, 35-13

Standings after Round 8

1. Toulouse 34
2. Clermont 27
3. Paris 25
4. Biarritz 23
5. Montauban 20
6. Bayonne 20
7. Montpellier 20
8. Brive 17
9. Perpignan 16
10. Bourgoin 16
11. Castres 13
12. Albi 13
13. Dax 12
14. Auch 6

Match information

Brive vs Castres, 26-13

Giant-killers one week, Castres were slain the next as they went up a mountain to Brive and Stade Amédée-Domenech.

Brive led 9-3 at half-time.

Scorers:

For Brive:

Tries: Hufanga, Domingo
Cons: Orquera 2
Pens: Orquera 4

For Castres:
Try: Terrain
Con: Lagardere
Pen: Teulet
Drop: Teulet

Castres: 15 Romain Teulet, 14 Laloala Milford, 13 Lionel Mazars, 12 Phil Christophers, 11 Rafael Carballo, 10 Anthony Lagardere, 9 Sébastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Alexandre Bias, 7 Florian Faure, 6 Gerhard Vosloo, 5 Colin Gaston, 4 Tim Barker, 3 Kees Meeuws, 2 Akventsi Giorgadze, 1 Carl Hoeft (captain).
Replacements: 16 Romain Terrain, 17 Danie Saayman, 18 Tekori, 19 Leiataua Tomiki, 20 Kevin Senio, 21 Steve Kefu, 22 Brad Fleming

Brive: 15 Barry Davies, 14 Filimone Bolavucu, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Ben Johnston, 11 Ben Cohen, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Jean-Baptiste Péjoine (captain), 8 Simon Azoulai, 7 Vincent Forgues, 6 Ryno van der Merwe, 5 Johan van Zyl, 4 Fabien Domingo, 3 Pierre Capdevielle, 2 Jawad Djoudi, 1 Davit Khinchagishvili.
Replacements: 16 Jean-Philippe Bonrepaux, 17 Petrisor Toderasc, 18 Antoine Claasen, 19 Alex Manta, 20 Grégory Mahé, 21 Maxime Petitjean, 22 Sukanaivalu Hufanga

Bayonne vs Auch, 25-10

Auch are not a bad side, but they do keep on losing.

Scorers:

For Bayonne:
Tries:
Larrechea, Peyras-Loustalet, Edmonds
Cons:Dourthe 2
Pen:Dourthe

For Auch:
Try:
Brana
Con:Couzier
Pen: Olivier

Auch: 15 Léo Pesteil, 14 Thierry Brana, 13 Mehadji Tidjini, 12 David Spicer, 11 Pierre Aguillon, 10 Naas Olivier, 9 Lionel Duthil, 8 Opeti Fonua, 7 Antoine Battut, 6 Nicolas Bontinck, 5 Sergio Valdes, 4 Tao Tapassu, 3 Pascal Idieder, 2 Sébastien Bortolucci, 1 Fabien Barcella.
Replacements: 16 Sébastien Bruere, 17 Grégory Menkarska, 18 Robins Tchale-Watchou, 19 Stéphan Saint-Lary, 20 Alexandre Ricaud, 21 Brice Salobert, 22 Frédéric Couzier

Bayonne: 15 Daniel Larrechea, 14 Sam Gerber, 13 Richard Dourthe (captain), 12 Dwayne Gower, 11 Jean-Baptiste Peyras-Loustalet, 10 Manny Edmonds, 9 Anthony Salle-Canne, 8 Dwayne Haare, 7 Jacques Deen, 6 Louis Massabeau, 5 Mikaera Tewhata, 4 Rob Linde, 3 Agustín Lopresti, 2 Arnaud Heguy, 1 Pierre-Philippe Lafond.
Replacements: 16 David Roumieu, 17 Aretz Iguiniz, 18 Jean-Joseph Marmouyet, 19 Cédric Bergez, 20 Benoît Marfaing, 21 Henri-Pierre Vermis, 22 Vincent Inigo

Clermont Auvergne vs Biarritz, 12-9

There were 15 000 people to watch 2 beat 3 in a try-less encounter. 2 beat 3 because 4 kicks beat 3 kicks.

Scorers:

For Clermont Auvergne:
Pens:
James 4

For Biarritz:
Pens:
Dupuy 3

Clermont Auvergne: 15 Anthony Floch, 14 Vilimoni Delasau, 13 Marius Joubert, 12 Seremaia Baï, 11 Grant Esterhuizen, 10 Brock James, 9 Pierre Mignoni, 8 Sam Broomhall, 7 Emmanuel Etien, 6 Jamie Cudmore, 5 Thibaut Privat, 4 Christophe Samson, 3 Martin Scelzo, 2 Mario Ledesma, 1 Laurent Emmanuelli.
Replacements: 16 Mirko Lozupone, 17 Davit Zirakashvili, 18 Pierre Vigouroux, 19 Arnaud Pic, 20 Fabien Alexandre, 21 Benoît Baby, 22 Pierre-Emmanuel Garcia

Biarritz: 15 Nicolas Brusque, 14 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 13 Henry Fa'afili, 12 Romain Cabannes, 11 Benjamin Thiery, 10 Marcelo Bosch, 9 Julian Dupuy, 8 Imañol Harinordoquy, 7 Trevor Hall, 6 Serge Betsen, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Jérôme Thion (captain), 3 Denis Avril, 2 Benjamin Noirot, 1 Eduard Coetzee.
Replacements: 16 Benoît August, 17 Benoît Lecouls, 18 David Couzinet, 19 Steeve Malonga, 20 Dimitri Yachvili, 21 Julien Peyrelongue, 22 Ashwin Willemse

Dax vs Bourgoin, 15-14

This is a big win for battling Dax and it won't matter to them that Bourgoin scored two tries to their none.

Scorers:

For Dax:
Pens:
Hore 5

For Bourgoin:
Tries:
Coetzee, Wyatt
Cons: Boyet

Dax: 15 Gavin Williams, 14 Grégory Tutard, 13 Duncan Bell, 12 Ludovic Courtade, 11 Paul Dabrin, 10 Charles Hore, 9 Nicolas Morlaes, 8 Thomas Lièvremont, 7 Matthieu Lièvremont, 6 Vincent Deniau, 5 Kane Thompson, 4 Rudolph Bérek, 3 Kas Lealamanua, 2 William Bonnet, 1 Renaud Boyoud.
Replacements: 16 Yves Pedrosa, 17 Régis Rameau, 18 Mattin Auzqui, 19 Anthony Mazel, 20 Purdie, 21 Julien Lesgourgues, 22 Irakli Giorgadze

Bourgoin: 15 Florian Denos, 14 Anthony Forest, 13 ,Nicolas Carmona 12 Rudy Coetzee, 11 Jean-François Coux, 10 Benjamin Boyet, 9 Mickaël Forest, 8 Yann Labrit, 7 Sylvain Nicolas, 6 Julien Frier, 5 Bryce Williams, 4 Julien Pierre, 3 Pablo Cardinali, 2 Jean-Philippe Genevois, 1 Arnauld Tchougong
Replacements: 16 Rémy Vigneaux, 17 Karena Wihongi, 18 Chris Wyatt, 19 Brice Monzeglio, 20 Rémy Mandon, 21 Matthieu Nicolas, 22 Sébastien Laloo.

Perpignan vs Montauban, 23-3

Victory for the Catalans