Top 14 Round 12 Wrap-Up

Top 14 Round 12 Wrap-Up

Ultimate Rugby and Larissa Falls are detailing the thrills and spills, winners and losers, try scorers and goal kickers from Round 12 of France’s Top14 League.

Pau v La Rochelle

FT = Pau 20 – 29 La Rochelle

La Rochelle clocked their first away win of the season and subsequently handed Pau their first loss at home. Les Maritimes went into the clash having defeated the Vert et Blanc on their previous 6 encounters, and this was to be no different. The home side did go into half-time with a 14-9 advantage with Winger Samuel Ezeala’s try being the point of difference. Otherwise, it was a kicking duel between the competition’s leading points scorer, Joe Simmonds, and La Rochelle’s young gun, Hugo Reus. Pau may have had twice as many 22m entries and nearly 3 times the metres made, but it didn’t show on the scoreboard. Instead, it was the visitors who struck first right after the break thanks to a Judicael Cancoriet try and another 5 Reus points. The 45th minute mark is when Jaune et Noir took the lead, and they never relinquished it; Teddy Thomas grabbing himself a try and Reus finishing with a 19-point personal tally.

Bordeaux v Bayonne

FT = Bordeaux 24 – 23 Bayonne

Bordeaux kept their 7-game winning streak alive after fighting back to prevail over Bayonne at home. The match started fast and ended feverously, with little happening in between. Aussie Adam Coleman crossed for the hosts inside just 3 minutes. Both teams then exchanged penalties before Bayonne’s Winger Arnaud Erbinartegaray scored his own touchdown. Not to be outshone, big Ben Tameifuna went over for UBB’s second 5-pointer of the opening quarter. Coleman went from hero to zero when he was Yellow Carded on the half hour mark, but L”Aviron were unable to exploit the 1-man advantage. In fact, neither side added to the scoreboard for over half an hour; Bordeaux taking a minor 17-13 lead into the changerooms. Stade Chaban-Delmas had to watch and wait as they saw Bayonne hit their stride on the hour dot; Lopez and Baget again combining for a scintillating cross-field try for Remy, whilst Camille added the extras and then another penalty. The visitors had taken the lead- 17-23- with 9 minutes remaining. But a Bosch Yellow was disastrous for his side, as UBB pounced; Maxime Lucu scoring the winning try, and Jalibert’s conversion sealing the victory for good!

Perpignan v Oyonnax

FT = Perpignan 27 – 12 Oyonnax  

It couldn’t have started any worse for Oyonnax who had both Pedro Bettencourt and Christopher Vaotoa Yellow Carded inside the opening 5 minutes. It gave Perpignan the perfect pedestal to launch their attack on the scoreboard with perennial scorer Tavite Veredamu and South African Lock Jacob Van Tonder scoring successive tries. Tommaso Allan was on target to land both conversions, resulting in a 14-0 lead in almost as many minutes. If ill-discipline wasn’t bad enough already for Oyonnax, they then received their third Yellow of the opening half when Wandrille Picault was sent to the bin. Despite the 1-man disadvantage, Oyo did manage to press USAP’s defence and Bettencourt made amends for his early indiscretion by crossing for his sides first score. Domingo Miotti added the extras right on half time to give the scoreboard some respectability. Stade Aime Giral was treated to much the same in the second 40 with Perpignan adding points courtesy of a So’otala Fa’aso’o try, 2 points from Allan and 2 penalty goals from Fly-Half, Jake McIntyre. Oyonnax managed the 1 try from Justin Bouraux on the 75th minute mark, but they continue a downward spiral having won only 1 game in their past 5. Conversely, the Catalan club sealed their third successive victory to give themselves some breathing space from bottom placed Montpellier. 

Stade Francais v Clermont

FT = Stade Francais 14 -14 Clermont

It was a tale of 2 styles when Stade Francais welcomed Clermont, with the Parisians attacking game up against the solidarity of ASM. The opening half saw the Auvergnats notch just the 1 penalty goal courtesy of Anthony Belleau, whilst Stade recorded a try from Winger Lester Etien and the extras from Zack Henry’s boot. It was however Clermont’s offence- spearheaded by Seb Bezy and Belleau- that gave them the lead early in the second period after a lovely try from Pierre Fouyssac was followed up by 7 points from their Fly-Half. With 4 times as many turnovers won, 50 more tackles, and the top 3 tacklers on the day, ASM did almost hold on and keep out Stade Francais and record an away win. Alas, it was not to be. The Paris outfit used their 80% possession in the final 10 minutes to send Peniasi Dakuwaqa across for a 79th minute try. But still trailing 12-14, they needed to rely on the accuracy of Henry’s boot, for which he did not disappoint. His conversion attempt bisected the uprights and ended the match in a 14-all draw.

Racing 92 v Castres

FT = Racing 34 – 30 Castres 

Wame Naituvi scored Racing’s first of 5 tries inside the opening 60 seconds, and from there on, they never gave up the lead. They crossed for additional first half tries courtesy of French International Camille Chat and were awarded a Penalty Try after CO’s Loosehead Prop Lois Guerois-Galisson was show yellow. In contrast to the Parisians attack, Olympique managed their 12-point half-time tally due to 4 Le Brun penalties. The second period at La Defence Arena saw both sides clock 15 points: 2 tries, a conversion and a penalty apiece. Racings came through speedsters Vinaya Habosi and Henry Arundell, while Fly-Half Meliande hit the conversions, and substitute Antoine Gibert struck a penalty late on. Meanwhile, Castres clawed their way back from a 31-12 deficit with the last 20 minutes all but their own. Nathanael Hulleu dotted down for the visitors, before Wayan de Benedittis did the same on the 77th minute to hand his side the losing bonus point. Racing 92 secured the try bonus point for themselves and now head into the European weekend as the Top14’s leading team.  

Toulouse v Lyon

FT = Toulouse 45 – 0 Lyon   

Toulouse got back to winning ways on Saturday against fellow Noir et Rouge club, Lyon. It was literally one way traffic all match with LOU recording a ‘fanny’ (translation: no score). Compare that to ST who ran in 7 tries, secured the try bonus point and even had the pleasure of seeing Anthony Jelonch kick a 50/22! The half-time scoreboard wasn’t all doom and gloom with Toulouse only leading 12-0 thanks to a tries from Hooker Julien Marchand, and number 10, Thomas Ramos. The second 40 went from bad to worse for the visitors as ST had Stade Ernest-Wallon celebrating at every turn. They ran in another 5 tries courtesy of Emmanuel Meafou, Winger Mathis Lebel, Ramos’ second touchdown, substitute Peato Mauvaka and of course, who else but Dupont to add the icing on the cake with his 81st minute score.

Montpellier v Toulon

FT = Montpellier 27 – 17 Toulon

The hosts took an early 6th minute lead when Geoffrey Doumayrou touched down, and they never looked back. Montpellier struck 2 more penalties courtesy of in-form Fly-Half Louis Carbonel, whilst Toulon’s 6 first-half points were all attributed to the boot of Melvyn Jaminet. RCT did draw first blood 10 minutes out from the main break to close the gap to 13-9, but Les Bleu et Blanc hit back immediately through a Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg try (duly converted by Carbonel who has now leap frogged Garbisi in the race for the number 10 shirt). The Var club tried to stay in the match but were wasteful in the red zone; averaging 0.8 points per 22m entry compared to the clinical Montpellier’s 4.2 points per entry. Despite the home side seeing Tyler Duguid Yellow Carded, Toulon couldn’t capitalise. Rather, it was the team with the 1-man disadvantage who scored through top tackler, Paul Willemse. RCT did manage a late 79th minute consolation try via substitute Prop Dany Priso, which did sadly deny Montpellier a valuable try bonus point.

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