Missed any of the action from France’s Top 14 League? Then we’ve got you covered with a wrap-up of each and every game courtesy of contributor, Larissa Falls.
Oyonnax v La Rochelle
FT = Oyonnax 19 – 17 La Rochelle
La Rochelle have now lost another Top 14 game, this time going down to newly promoted Oyonnax in their fourth defeat of the season. The match was arguably a tale of two halves with the first 40 minutes belonging to the hosts who scored 13 points: 8 from the foot of Argentinian Fly-Half Domingo Miotti, plus a try from Winger, Sweetnam. La Rochelle’s only first-half score came after 24 minutes through an Iribaren penalty goal. It was Oyonnax who again scored first from the dressing room with 2 more Miotti penalties. But from the 59th minute onwards, it was one way traffic for Les Maritimes who’s 14 points gave them a much-needed losing bonus-point to end the afternoon. Front-Rower Joel Sclavi went over first for La Rochelle before fellow Prop Thierry Paiva also crossed four minutes into injury time. Both conversions were added thanks to U20 Fly-Half Hugo Reus, which finally gave Ronan O’Gara’s team something to smile about.
Perpignan v Toulon
FT = Perpignan 26 – 22 Toulon
Celebrations in Catalan country as Perpignan secured their first win of the season despite Toulon’s team comprising nine 2023 Rugby World Cup players. It was however USAP’s star RWC International, Tommaso Allan, who kicked off the match with a 6th minute penalty and ended the day top scorer with 16 individual points. RCT hit back soon after with a try from Charles Ollivon, but the conversion attempt by Dan Biggar caused the fly-half to succumb to a back injury and he was subsequently removed from the game. The rest of the first period see-sawed with the hosts piling on two more penalties, a try from Velarte, and the conversion. Similarly, Toulon scored a try through full-back Amyeric Luc and 5 points from the boot of Enzo Herve. Even though RCT managed more entries inside the 22m (12 v 5) and more metres gained, it wasn’t enough to see off a hungry Perpignan side. An 80th minute Keiran Brookes converted try gave the visitors a lucky losing Bonus-Point.
Bordeaux v Montpellier
FT = Bordeaux 26 – 13 Montpellier
Boosted by the return of notable French Rugby World Cup players Maxime Lucu and Louis Bielle-Biarrey, Bordeaux handed Montpellier another defeat in a season that’s close to unravelling for them. Both sides scored two first half tries- MHR thanks to Gabriel Ngandebe and Elliott Stooke, and UBB courtesy of Uberti and Boniface- but it was the successful boot of Lucu that proved the difference. The Scrumhalf added 2 penalties and a conversion to give the hosts an 18-10 half-time lead. Montpellier’s only second half score came from a Louis Carbonel penalty on the 43rd minute mark, with the side defending almost purely for the remaining 35 minutes. The pressure soon told and Bordeaux breached the line when young flyer Bielle-Biarrey went over for a five-pointer just before the final siren. It was another disappointing performance from MHR who failed to make even a solitary line-break, were wasteful in front of goals, and had Doumenc Yellow-Carded.
Clermont v Bayonne
FT = Clermont 46 – 14 Bayonne
Despite Yan Lestrade’s try for Bayonne, they struggled to live with the elusiveness of Clermont’s substitutes, most notably Scrumhalf, Janeau. A very fine Offensive Bonus-Point performance from ASM who appear to be back in business.
FT = Stade 39 – 16 Castres
The visitors gave the scoreline a little more respectability when Prop Chilachava picked up from the base of the ruck to score in the 82nd minute.
FT = Racing 22 -20 Lyon
FT = Pau 13 – 9 Toulouse