Top 14 Round 8 Wrap-Up
We’re detailing the thrills and spills, winners and losers, try scorers and goal kickers from Round 8 of France’s Top14 League
Toulon v Castres
FT = Toulon 41 – 19 Castres
Despite Toulon Centre Jeremy Sinzelle receiving a 47th minute Red Card for a head-high tackle, the home side still managed to pull off a convincing 41-19 victory. It was a close first half with the score 19-12 at the main break- with Castres actually outscoring RCT 2 tries to 1- but the Rouge et Noir gave the Stade Mayol faithful much more to cheer about in the second period when they stacked on 22 unanswered points. It was Winger-come-Centre Tuicuvu who scored his second try of the day right after half time via a superhuman, Superman style flying finish in the right-hand corner, before fellow Winger and young Espoirs’ Gael Drean crossed for his own brace of tries inside a 7-minute period. Man-Of-The-Match and Toulon’s Fly-Half, Enzo Herve, contributed a masterful 21 kicking points of his own, before CO gave the scoreboard some semblance of respectability with an 80th minute Babillot try.
Bordeaux v Perpignan
FT = Bordeaux 46 – 22 Perpignan
Bordeaux versus Perpignan was all about the ‘Penaud Show!’ The try scoring machine was on fire on his home debut at Stade Chaban-Delmas; crossing for not 1, not 2, not 3, but crossing for 4 tries…in the first half alone. His first came just 3 minutes into the game before further scores on the 17th, 33rd and 39th minutes to give his Burgandy boys a dominant 34-5 half time lead. 3 of Damien’s tries came from slick backline movement, whilst the other from a midfield intercept. The matches second 40 minutes actually belonged to Perpignan who scored 3 tries (Roelofse, Sobela, McIntyre), compared to UBB’s 2 tries (Lamonthe, Poirot), but it was too little too late for the Catalan club.
Lyon v Bayonne
FT = Lyon 42 – 29 Bayonne
It was a long afternoon for Bayonne who conceded 42 points to home side, Lyon at Matmut Stadium. L’Aviron may have struck first from a Camille Lopez penalty, but that 12th minute goal was to be their last score for over half an hour. Lyon ran in first half tries through French Scrum-Half Couilloud, former fellow International Romain Taofifenua, plus 7 points off the tee from Paddy Jackson. The Irishman kept up his dominance after the break, this time crossing for his own try before adding the extras. A flurry of Bayonne scoring occurred mid-match with the team being duly rewarded for making a Round 8 record of 17 entries into the 22. Within 5 minutes L’Aviron Bayonnaise had piled on 19 points after Bosch, Callandret and Tom Spring crossed the whitewash. Not to be outdone, Lyon hit back with a Jackson drop goal- giving him the accolade of a Full House for the afternoon- and a brace of tries from Regard. However, 2 Yellow Cards to the Wolves on the 80th minute (to Lambey and Page-Relo), gave Bayonne the last score courtesy of a Cassieum try and Lopez conversion.
Montpellier v Oyonnax
FT = Montpellier 21 – 26 Oyonnax
Even with a new coaching set-up of Patrice Collazo and Manager Bernard Laporte, it was yet another worrying defeat for Montpellier; this time at home to the Top 14’s newly promoted Oyonnax club. The match started off nicely for the hosts who jumped out to a 7-0 lead inside just 4 minutes thanks to a Sam Simmonds try, but a see-saw exchange of tries- MHR’s Bastien Chalureau’s was sandwiched between Oyonnax’s Daniel Ikpefan and Justin Bouraux’s- led to a 14-all half-time score. Despite the visiting side beginning the second period with 2 players sin-binned (Farrell and Raynaud), MHR was incapable of capitalising. Contrariwise, it was Oyonnax themselves who succeeded in crossing for 2 more 5-pointers and a 14-26 unassailable lead. Montpellier did manage to walk away from their home GGL Stadium with the last score of the game- a Willemse converted try- and a Losing Bonus Point, but it won’t be enough to lift them off the bottom of the Top 14 standings.
Pau v Stade Francais
FT = Pau 30 – 6 Stade Francais
It appears the purple patch of fantastic form has halted for Stade Francais with the Parisian club again losing, failing to score a try, unable to hit double-digits on the scoreboard, and are again relying on Joris Segonds boot to accrue 100% of their game day tally. The match was all but over by half time as Pau’s attack flourished and pushed them out to a 30-6 advantage. Stade’s sole first half points came from 2 Segond penalties whilst the home side where already 7-0 up inside 4 minutes courtesy of a Zegueur try. Section Palois added tries through Capelli and 10 points from ever-reliable Joe Simmonds. The second period was all Verte et Blanc with an additional 5 Simmonds points from the tee to go with a try from Luke Whitelock. Stade made zero line-breaks and never looked threatening near the line, compared to a young Pau outfit who rebounded superbly after their big loss last weekend.
Toulouse v Clermont
FT = Toulouse 31 – 10 Clermont
If the first half at Stade Ernest-Wallon was a dreary affair, then the second half was an absolute delight! It was 1 Anothy Belleau penalty versus 1 Chocobares converted try at the main break, with not much for the crowd to cheer about. But Le Rouge et Noir found their straps as of the 54th minute when they piled on tries from Germain, and a brace from Tauzin, whilst French International Full-Back, Thomas Ramos kicked over an extra 9 points. ASM were able to orchestrate a Simone try, but it was not to be for Les Jaunards. Even with seconds to go on the clock, luck was not on Clermont’s side when Toulouse’s Baptiste Germain slid in for an 80th minute 5-pointer, and subsequently denied ASM even a Try Bonus Point.
Racing 92 v La Rochelle
FT = Racing 32 – 10 La Rochelle
Racing 92 recruit Siya Kolisi, was making his debut for the Sky and Whites with the side capping off a fantastic team performance with the win. Things started off badly for the visitors who conceded the first of 4 tries inside 5 minutes thanks to some Imhoff magic. Nolann Le Garrec was on target with the extras before Les Maritimes Antoine Hastoy pegged back 3 points with a penalty just before the 10-minute mark. Soon after, things went from bad to worse for La Rochelle as Teddy Thomas was Red Carded for a dangerous clothesline tackle, resulting in his side being reduced to 14 men for 55 minutes. And that is when Racing piled on an additional 14 unanswered points before the break to give them a commanding 24-3 lead. Levani Botia kept La Rochelle in the match with his 6 carries, 5 tackles and 20 metres made to help set-up teammate Tanga Mangene for a try just after the half. But the defensive exertion soon told as R92 amassed another 8 points; 1 Tedder penalty and an Arundell try.