Top 14 Wrap: Castres top the standings, Toulouse crush Biarritz

Top 14 Wrap: Castres top the standings, Toulouse crush Biarritz

Castres finish the Top 14 regular season at the top of the table after beating Pau 16-26, securing a semi-final spot in doing so.


The seedings for the Top 14 playoffs were decided on the final day of action with Castres, Montpellier, Bordeaux, Toulouse, La Rochelle, and Racing 92 securing spots in the playoffs.


Meanwhile, Clermont claimed the final Champions Cup spot with Toulon missing out after Lyon won the Challenge Cup.


Biarritz finished bottom of the table and will be relegated to the PROD2 next season while Perpignan will face Mont-de-Marsan in the Promotion-Relegation match on 12 June.


Pau 16-26 Castres

Castres secured top spot with a 16-26 win over Pau in what was Antoine Hastoy's final game for the home side.


Vilimoni Botitu got Castres off to a perfect start with a try inside the first minute of the match. Ben Urdapilleta added the extras to give Castres a 0-7 lead.


Pau were quick to respond with a try in the third minute for Thibault Daubagna. Urdapilleta and Hastoy slotted penalties as the sides remained square at 10 points apiece.


Julien Dumora scored a try just before the break as Castres led 10-17 at half-time. Hastoy added two more penalties in the second half but Castres took control of the match from there. Julien Dumora nailed a drop goal after the hour mark before Urdapilleta converted two more penalties to seal the win. 


Clermont 20-15 Montpellier

Morgan Parra and Camille Lopez bid Clermont farewell with the pair starting for the 93rd and final time together.


Parra is set to join Stade Francais next season while Lopez will join Bayonne.


Clermont needed a win over Montpellier and needed Biarritz to beat Toulouse in order to make the playoffs but the defending Top 14 champions did Clermont no favours.


Giorgi Beria scored in the seventh minute to give Clermont a bright start in the seventh minute. Benoit Paillaugue hit back from the tee in the 10th minute for Montpellier.


Clermont would hold their 7-3 lead until halftime. Parra put Clermont a further three points ahead in the opening minute of the second half before Vincent Rattez closed the gap to three points with an unconverted try in the 50th minute.


Jean-Pascal Barraque scored four minutes later with Parra converting the try, which proved to be his final points in Clermont colours. Gela Aprasidze scored in the 66th minute with Paolo Garbisi's conversion making it a two-point game in the final ten minutes.


Camille Lopez stepped up in the 73rd minute to convert a penalty, his final points for Clermont, to seal the result.


Perpignan 22-15 Bordeaux Begles

Perpignan gave retiring flanker Damien Chouly a fitting send-off in his final home game for the club.


The 48 test cap flanker calls time on his career at the end of the season having played over 100 times for Clermont and Perpignan.


Perpignan will play Mont-de-Marsan in the promotion-relegation after finishing the season in 13th place as Brive beat Stade Francais 17-33.


Tristan Labouteley, Lucas Dubois, and Genesis Mamea Lemalu all scored tries in the win over Bordeaux with Romain Buros and Ulupano Seuteni dotting for Bordeaux.


Despite the loss, Bordeaux finished the season in third place and will now face Racing 92 in the playoffs on 12 June.


Toulouse 80-7 Biarritz

Knowing that they needed a win to secure passage into the playoffs, Toulouse put on a show against PROD2 bound Biarritz.


Ugo Mola's side ran in 12 tries to thrash Biarittz 80-7 to set up a playoff clash against last season's finalist La Rochelle.


Julien Marchand got the ball rolling for Toulouse with a try in the sixth minute with tries from Pierre Fouyssac, and Antoine Dupont giving Toulouse a 21-7 lead at the break.


Selevasio Tolofua, Thomas Ramos Joe Tekori, Matthis Lebel and Anthony Jelonch scored in the opening 20 minutes of the second half as Toulouse brought up their half-century.


Retiring outside back Maxime Medard scored out wide in the 70th minute with a fellow retiree and second-rower Joe Tekori converting the chance.


Lebel grabbed another soon after with Nelson Epee and Peato Mauvaka scoring before the end of the match. Tekori lined up and converted the final try.


Lyon 26-29 La Rochelle

Lyon bid farewell to Leinster bound centre Charlie Ngatai in their final match of the season after failing to make the playoffs.


La Rochelle came out on top in the fixture between the two European champions. Lyon stretched out to a 19-5 halftime lead with tries from Dylan Cretin, Josua Tuisova, and Baptiste Couiloud.


Ronan O'Gara's charges fought back in the second as Joel Sclavi, Jules Favre and Uini Atonio dotted down to put La Rochelle up 19-24 after 54 minutes.


Yanis Charcosset's try gave Lyon the lead in the final 10 minutes of the match but Levani Botia put La Rochelle back ahead four minutes later to hand La Rochelle the win and secure a place in the knockout stages.


Racing 92 21-16 Toulon

Racing 92 brought an end to Toulon's six game-winning run in the Top 14, ending their season in doing so.


Both sides needed a win to progress to the knockout stages and it Toulon who got off to a better start with two penalties through the boot of Louis Carbonel.


Yoan Tanga closed the gap to one point with a try in the 11th minute but Toulon were back in front with a try from Duncan Paia'aua in the 24th minute. Racing trailed 8-13 at half-time. 


The two sides traded penalties in the second half before Juan Imhoff scored the decisive try after the hour mark to hand Racing the win despite Noalann Le Garrec missing three late penalties.


Stade Francais 17-33 Brive

Brive avoids the Top 14 promotion-relegation match after defeating Stade Francais 17-33 in their final match of the season.


Knowing that a win would mean they retain Top 14 status next season, Brive ran in three tries with Thomas Laranjeira scoring 18 points from the tee (four penalties, three conversions). 


Setariki Tuicuvu and Joris Jurand scored first-half tries for Brive to lead 10-20 at the break. Vasil Lobzhanidze scored another try in the 62nd minute as Brive opened up a 10-33 lead.


Marcos Kremer scored a try in the 78th minute as Stade Francais finished their season with a  17-33 loss.


It was also Antoine Burban's final match for Stade Francais having made his debut for the side back in 2006. The one club legend played well over 170 times for the club.


The final standings


Knockout fixtures:

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