Goosen returns as Montpellier stun leaders Toulouse
TOP 14 WRAP: South Africa’s Johan Goosen made just his second appearance during Montpellier’s 29-16 win over Toulouse on Saturday.
Goosen, who is set to join the Bulls, has had an injury-ravaged season.
Meanwhile, his teammate England flyhalf Alex Lozowski scored more than half of Montpellier’s points as the French Top 14 strugglers upset leaders Toulouse.
Lozowski, on-loan from Saracens and ineligible for his country as he plays abroad, kicked 16 points in Toulouse as billionaire-backed Montpellier moved nine points clear of the relegation play-off.
Toulouse, the record 20-time champions, without the likes of Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack on France Six Nations duty, lost for just a second time since November. They are three points clear of La Rochelle, who beat Bordeaux-Begles.
South Africa’s Johan Goosen made just his second appearance of the campaign in an injury-ravaged season while fellow Springbok Cheslin Kolbe started at full-back for the home side.
Lozowski slotted two penalties and a conversion with as No. 8 Alex Becognee crossed and the visitors led 16-6 at the break.
The 27-year-old added eight further points in the second half with Jan Serfontein scoring as they held on despite Matthis Lebel’s try for the hosts with 17 minutes to play.
Earlier, Clermont captain Morgan Parra said Kotaro Matsushima was “fine” after the Japan full-back was the victim of challenges that drew yellow and red cards in a 34-27 win at Stade Francais.
Matsushima passed to Alivereti Raka for a first half score and, late in the game, was on the wrong end of a dangerous tackle from Jonathan Danty that brought a sin bin and then a high boot from winger Lester Etien, who was sent off.
“Kotaro is fine. It’s the law. Etien jumps, firstly his foot is loose then he stiffens it,” Clermont captain Morgan Parra said.
“It’s a job well done for us against a direct opponent for the play offs. It’s very good,” he added.
La Rochelle’s double World Cup winner Victor Vito celebrated his 34th birthday with a 26-11 victory at Bordeaux-Begles.
South Africa wing Dillyn Leyds scored one of visiting La Rochelle’s three tries at Stade Chaban Delmas and former New Zealand Maori flyhalf Ihaia West kicked 11 points.
Vito’s outfit moved four points clear of Racing 92 who are third, outside an automatic semi-final spot.
Argentina wing Juan Imhoff made his 200th appearance for the Parisians in a 13-23 loss at lowly Bayonne.
In the final game of the day, the Springboks’ World Cup winner Eben Etzebeth starts at blindside as Toulon head to Lyon.
Former All Blacks Ma’a Nonu and Isaia Toeava are among the backs for the visitors, who can go above Bordeaux-Begles to fifth with a win.
Stade Francais 27 Clermont 34
Bayonne 23 Racing92 13
Bordeaux-Begles 11 La Rochelle 26
Castres 38 Pau 33
Brive 57 Agen 3
Toulouse 16 Montpellier 29
Lyon v Toulon