Top 14 Round Two Recap

Top 14 Round Two Recap

Clermont claimed top spot on the Top 14 log after they handed Racing 92 their first defeat at the U Arena.


Pau 20 - 10 RC Toulon 

Colin Slade starred in Pau's victory over Toulon this weekend with the former All Black first five spoiling the party for his fellow All Blacks Julian Savea and Liam Messam who were on debut for Toulon.

Slade was solid off the tee and controlled Pau's attack well. Josua Tuisova opened the scoring for Toulon and Pau replied through Sean Dougall about 15 minutes later.

Toulon's ill-discipline on defence allowed Pau to keep the scoreboard ticking over as they took an 11-7 lead into the break. 

Anthony Belleau added narrowed the lead to just one point soon after the break but once again Pau extended the lead through two Slade penalties and a third from Tom Taylor.

Castres Olympique 19-16 Lyon

Castres claimed their second win of the season after an impressive win over Montpellier last weekend.

Jonathan Wisniewski opened the scoring with two penalties before Jeremie Maurouard scored and try before the break. 

The two sides traded penalties before the break which left Castres with a mountain to climb in the second half trying 3-16.

Castres held their opponents scoreless in the second half - for the second week running - as Thomas Combezou ran in two tries and Scott Spedding scored a penalty as they levelled the scores 16 all.

Rory Kockott stepped up to slot a clutch penalty to secure the win.

Montpellier 36 - 14 La Rochelle

A convincing win by Montpellier with their forwards absolutely dominating the first half as they took a 19-0 lead into the break.

La Rochelle was much stronger in the second half with the introduction of Dany Priso and Uini Atonio not only strengthening the scrum but making it a real weapon for the visitors.

La Rochelle were the first side on the scoreboard through a Jeremey Sinzelle try before Paul Willemse responded for the home side.

Sinzelle then sent a brilliant cross kick for Andreu who scored but it was too late for the visitors as Francois Steyn converted a penalty and Romain Ruffenach scored a late try to put the game beyond any doubt.

Stade Francais 20 - 8 Union Bordeaux Begles

Stade Francais continued their winning ways with a solid performance against the Bordeaux Begles.

Both kickers would want to forget the first half with many missed opportunities. The highlight of the first 40 minutes was a fantastic try in the corner by Australian winger Blair Connor as Begles went into half-time with an 8-6 up.

Stade Francais came into the second half looking like a completely different side their power at scrum time was unmatched which lead to multiple penalties and a yellow card for Jefferson Poirot.

This dominance allowed the Stade Francais backline to shine and quickly took the lead with two tries. Plisson found his kicking boots to convert two difficult conversions from the corner. There was simply no answer to the physical Stade Francais pack who saw the game out comfortably.

Grenoble 20 - 23 Toulouse

Toulouse edged Grenoble 23-20 in a tightly contested round 2 French Top 14 encounter.
 
Both sides crossed the whitewash in the opening half but it was two Grenoble penalties that gave them the edge at the break leading 13-7.
 
An early second-half try for Iosefa Tekori saw Toulouse take a single point lead. Toulouse increased their advantage to four points with a penalty with a little under 20 minutes remaining.
 
Grenoble bounced back shortly after with their second try of the game to reclaim the lead 20-17. Toulouse evened things up with a penalty making it 20-20 heading into the final 10 minutes. The see-saw battle continued, as another Toulouse penalty saw the visitors three points clear, a lead they would not relinquish as they held on for their first victory of the season, while it's two losses from two for Grenoble.

The game wasn't without controversy with Alaska Taufa getting a yellow card for this tackle on Romain Nt'amack:

Agen 25 - 23 Perpignan

Agen held on for a 25-23 home win over Perpignan in round 2 of the French Top 14. The sides traded early penalties as Perpignan led 6-3, but Agen hit back with two tries to surge ahead 15-6.
 
Perpignan would finish the first half strongly, with a try and a long-range Paddy Jackson penalty giving them the lead by a single point 16-15 at the break.
 
Agen got off to the perfect start in the second half, with a try moving them in front 22-16. An Agen penalty extended the hosts advantage to nine points with a little under 20 minutes remaining. An Enzo Selponi try reduced the deficit to just two points heading into the final 10 minutes to set up a tense finish.
 
Perpignan was awarded a penalty on halfway near the touchline with the final play of the game but unfortunately for the travelling side Paddy Jackson was not able to repeat his heroics of the first half with the kick drifting.
 
 
Racing 92 17 - 40 Clermont Auvergne

What was expected to be a humdinger of a game did not disappoint as both sides managed to keep the scoreboard ticking in the opening 10 minutes, Clermont managed to come out of this period with a 6 - 3 lead.

What followed next was all Clermont as they gained a 20 -3 lead going into halftime through two penalties conversions by Laidlaw and a few moments of magic from Camille Lopez who slottd a drop goal and a brilliantly set Wesley Fofana up for his try.

Racing 92 did well to come back and started the second half strong with a try from Virimi Vakatawa which was then converted by Finn Russell. The rest of the half was pretty much Clermont as Laidlaw soon after added to penalties. Peter Betham and Damian Penaud then managed to cross over the line with Parra converting the latter's try. Ill-discipline cost Racing 92 with two of their players spending time in the bin. However they did manage to close the game off on a high not with a well-constructed try by Zebo and Iribaren adding the extras which denied Clermont a winning bonus point.
 
 
One of the Highlights of the match was this thumping hit by Donnacha Ryan:

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