Waisea try brace gives Stade Francais relegation respite

Sat, 07 Apr 2018 22:24
Large top 14 results round 23 2018 800

TOP 14 WRAP: Stade Francais eased their relegation worries with a bonus-point victory over champions Clermont on Saturday.

The 2015 champions came into the clash at the Stade Jean Bouin just two points off second-from-bottom Brive, and three points ahead of rock bottom Oyonnax.

But tries from Fijian wing Waisea Nayacalevu, with two, hooker Remi Bonfils, scrum-half Arthur Coville and Georgian prop Zurab Zhvania gave Stade some much-needed respite.

Clermont were well in the match at half-time as Scotland half-back Greig Laidlaw converted a Patricio Fernandez try and kicked two penalties.

But after the break it was one-way traffic as Stade scored 37 unanswered points - flyhalf Jules Plisson kicked four conversions and five penalties - as Clermont's misery continued following last week's European Champions Cup quarter-final defeat to Racing 92.

Clermont dropped to 10th and now cannot mathematically make the play-offs.

Lionel Beauxis converted a Baptiste Couilloud try two minutes from time to give Lyon a 27-25 victory at Brive, who remain second from bottom just ahead of Oyonnax who lost 36-21 at Agen.

Brive scored tries through James Johnstone, Samuel Marques and Seremaia Burotu and led 25-13 with 15 minutes to play but a Liam Gill launch Lyon's victory roll that keeps them in the hunt for a top six finish.

New Zealander lock Alex Tulou scored a try and South African-born scrum-half Rory Kockott kicked a long-range penalty as Castres scored 20 unanswered points to beat Toulouse 28-23.

Victory kept alive Castres' chances of making the top six play-offs in the French league while a losing bonus point did little to boost Toulouse's aspirations of ending the regular season in the top two, and thus earning a bye into the play-off semi-finals.

Early tries from France internationals Gael Fickou and Yoann Huget looked set to propel Toulouse to second place in the Top 14 but Castres mounted a stirring second-half comeback.

Castres paid for first-half indiscipline as Toulouse full-back Thomas Ramos kicked three penalties and converted both Fickou and Huget's tries to send the visitors into the changing rooms leading 23-8.

But Toulouse were unable to score any points after half-time.

Castres full-back Julien Dumora scored a try in each half but it was former New Zealand sevens international Tulou's score that changed the complexion of the match just before the hour mark.

A Benjamin Urdapilleta penalty gave Castres the lead for the first time in the match on 63 minutes and France international scrum-half Kockott sealed victory with his monstrous kick, helped by a strong tailwind, from inside the Castres half.

Baptiste Serin outscored former All Black Colin Slade 19-18 as Bordeaux-Begles beat Pau by the same score.

Serin converted his own try and kicked four penalties, including one six minutes from time, to win his personal battle with Slade, the author of six penalties.

Bordeaux-Begles moved up a pace to ninth while Pau clung onto a play-off berth.

Table (played, won, drawn, lost, points for, points against, bonus points, total points):

 

Montpellier      22 15 0  7 626 458 11 71
Racing92         22 15 0  7 497 395  6 66
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Toulouse         23 14 1  8 632 518  8 66
Toulon           22 12 0 10 636 422 15 63
Pau              23 14 0  9 517 480  6 62
La Rochelle      22 13 1  8 599 439  7 61
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Lyon             23 13 0 10 595 475  9 61
Castres          23 13 0 10 545 544  8 60
Bordeaux-Bègles  23 10 1 12 519 529  5 47
Clermont         23  9 1 13 543 631  7 45
Agen             23  8 0 15 464 676  6 38
Stade Français   23  8 0 15 500 643  6 38
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Brive            23  6 1 16 424 636  6 32
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Oyonnax          23  5 3 15 484 735  4 30

* Top two qualify directly for play-off semifinals
* Third to sixth qualify for play-off quarterfinals
* Bottom side relegated while 13th side into relegation play-off with team from Pro D2

Agence France-Presse