French Top 14 Round Up

French Top 14 Round Up

Oyonnax 21 – 27 Toulouse
Despite an Oyonnax fight-back, Toulouse held firm to pull off a 21-27 away win and secure their first back-to-back victory of the season. 12 points from the boot of Billy Searle was complimented by three tries from ST; the first scored by Scrum-Half Paul Graou after a stunning restart take from Theo Ntamack.

On the stroke of half time, Graou would this time set up Lucas Tauzin for his sides second try after brushing off multiple defenders to send his Winger sliding in. The diminutive number 9 wasn’t done just yet, sealing a third and final try for Toulouse (his second) just after the break.

Whilst the home side were held to a mere six first-half points, they had a much better second 40; outscoring Toulouse in points and tries (thanks to Rory Grice and Jonathan Ruru). Ruru’s 80th minute
five-pointer gave the hosts a much-needed losing bonus point.

Castres 37 – 0 Bayonne
A game of high’s for Castres, and lows for Bayonne with the visitors becoming the first club of the season to be held scoreless.

Stade Pierre-Fabre was pumping from the 13th minute when CO Fly-Half Pierre Popelin got the scoreboard ticking over with a penalty goal, right up until the 76th minute when he slotted over a conversion to take his teams final tally to 37 points.

The home side scored just the one try during the first period when new-recruit and last seasons Pro D2 top try scorer, Nathanuel Hulleu, went over a few minutes before the half-time siren.
There was even less joy for Bayonne than zero first half points, when their Prop Quentin Bethune was yellow carded on the 25th minute mark.

The second period saw Castres run in tries through Outside-Centre Adrien Seguret, the age-defying Leone Nakarawa, and substitue Louis Le Brun. Popelin finished the day with 17 points (4 conversions and 3 penalties), and his side, a very important offensive.

Racing 59 – 10 Perpignan
The match was already over for Perpignan by half time after Racing stormed to a 33-0 lead inside the first 40 minutes. The hosts laid on a nine try to two demolition of the Catalan club, with Prop Thomas Laclayat, Back Rower Jordan Joseph and Winger Wame Naituvi each running in for a brace.

It was Racing’s Fly-Half Antoine Gibert who hit the scoreboard first with his own 5-pointer 10 minutes into the match, while Stuart Lancaster’s backline duo of Cedate Gomes and Donovan Taofifenua added the final two tries for the home side inside the games last eight minutes.

Nolann Le Garrec once again had a stellar outing with the boot, knocking over five conversions and creating the magical link between his forwards and backs. Perpignan’s meagre ten points came from two tries;
Winger Lucas Dubois, and Number 8 Lucas Velarte who made amends for an earlier yellow card.


Pau 40 – 10 Lyon
Early Pau ill-discipline gave Lyon multiple opportunities to score, but it wasn’t until the 27th minute did they manage that when Irishman Paddy Jackson sliced over a penalty.

They hit the board again just over half an hour into the match thanks to Thaakir Abrahams who capitalised on a one-man advantage after the home side had Clement Laporte sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on. A Jack
Maddocks try and five points from Joe Simmonds was all Pau had to show for the first period; it finishing 10-10.

However, it was a completely different story in thesecond half when they came out firing with a triple treat of Simmonds penalties and a Theo Attissogbe try. Things went from bad to worse for Les Loupes who
saw both Alban Roussel and then Ethan Dumortier yellow-carded inside the space of two minutes.

That two-man advantage saw Laporte and then again Maddocks, score a try each and secure Pau the offensive bonus-point.
Stade Francais v Montpellier

Stade Francais 17 – 9 Montpellier
This was not the prettiest of games by any means with the second half seeing as  many yellow cards as it did overall points! Montpellier got off to the brighter start thanks to two Louis Carbonel penalties that were notched in quick succession, before Stade Francais hit back through a try from Number 8 Giovanni Habel Kuffner. The 32nd minute saw Carbonel launch a sweetly struck drop-goal.

That was to be the visitors’ final points of the game despite having another 48 minutes to play! Conversely, Stade kept their tally ticking over when Full-Back Kylan Hamdaoui went over for a try seven minutes from half time.

Leo Barre added the conversion to give them a slight 14-9 lead at the half. The second period was more like a poker table with three yellow-cards dished out; Leo Coly (Montpellier), Baptiste Pesenti and Moses Alo-Emile (both Stade); whilst Zack Henry hit the sole three points of the half.

Clermont 11 – 10 La Rochelle
An ugly altercation between ASM’s Benjamin Urdapilleta and the Maritimes Head Coach marred the contest with Clermont’s Fly-Half having since been rightly cited for his manhandling of Ronan O’Gara.
The 16,467 fans were however treated early on when Peceli Yato went over for a try inside the opening three minutes. It took La Rochelle 20 minutes to hit back but they did so beautifully when a superb touch-finder kick led to Number 8 Judicael Cancoriet being awarded a deserved try after magical support play.
The conversion was added by South African Dillyn Leyds before Urdapilleta knocked over a 50-metre kick to give his side a marginal 8-7 half-time lead. Despite the Jaune et Bleu being down
to 14 men courtesy of a Thibaud Lanen yellow card, the visitors could only manage a single penalty.
Clermont’s Fly-Half again sliced over a penalty of his own on the 70th minute, which would set up a nail-bitting final ten minutes that would eventually see the home side victorious 11-10.
Bordeaux 22 – 17 Toulon
Two controversial TMO decisions inside the first ten minutes of the second half, gave Bordeaux a 14-point advantageous swing and ultimately the victory. Yet it was Toulon who hit the scoreboard first after repeated scrum infringements by UBB, sent Enzo Herve to the penalty spot.
Keeping his 100% kicking success rate intact, the Fly-Half nailed the penalty before the hosts- through Garcia Mateo-accrued the next three penalties to take a 9-3 half time lead. Right after the
break, RCT Winger Gael Drean thought he was in for the first try of the game, but the TMO controversially ruled his foot-in-touch.
Not long after the TMO was again called into action when it seemed Bordeaux’s Pablo Uberti didn’t ground the ball for his 5-pointer, yet that was overalled and a try was awarded despite video
evidence suggesting he lost contact and control. RCT crossed for two late tries through young Hooker Yanis Boulassel, and his replacement Christopher Tolofua, to leave Stade Chaban-Delmas with the losing bonus-point.

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