Lyon lead Top 14 after historic Toulon victory
TOP 14, SATURDAY WRAP: Lyon beat Toulon at the Stade Felix Mayol for the first time on Saturday with a 20-6 victory that moves them above Bordeaux-Begles, who squeezed past Castres 34-32, at the summit of the French Top 14 table.
Clement Ric and Pierre-Louis Barassi scored in the second half for the visitors as France lock Felix Lambey was named on the bench five days after missing out on Rugby World Cup selection for ‘Les Bleus’ having spent the past two months with the national set-up.
“It’s the exact start to the season we wanted, we knew the first test would come today with our first away match,” Lambey told broadcaster Canal+.
“I needed to play after preparing a lot this summer, we do this job to play games, I told Pierre Mignoni [Lyon head coach] that I wanted to play straight away,” he added.
With Toulon’s only points coming from two penalty goals from Anthony Belleau, also omitted from France’s squad, last year’s semifinalists Lyon are still yet to concede a try this season.
Georgia forward Mamuka Gorgodze, included in his country’s squad for the tournament despite retiring in 2017, played his final Toulon game before heading to Japan.
Gorgodze lined up along Argentina No.8 Facundo Isa and former New Zealand flank Liam Messam but the three-time European champions failed to avoid a second defeat of the season after losing to Bordeaux-Begles last weekend.
Earlier in the day the Stade Chaban-Delmas outfit continued their impressive start to the campaign sneaking a third victory in as many games so far this term at Castres.
Head coach Christophe Urios celebrated his first return to the side where he lifted the title in 2018 thanks to a 77th minute penalty try from a rolling maul.
Australia forward Scott Higginbotham was also on the scoreboard, dotting down for his first try since joining from Queensland Reds.
Later on Saturday, billionaire-backed Stade Francais claimed their maiden triumph of the season hammering Bayonne 33-27 as 20-year-old wing Adrien Lapegue-Lafeye crossed twice.
France lock Paul Willemse, who was omitted from the World Cup squad due to an injury, scored twice as Montpellier overcame La Rochelle 30-16.
Former Fiji centre Watisoni Votu dotted down with four minutes to play to clinch an 18-12 victory for Pau over Agen.
On Sunday, champions Toulouse welcome Racing 92 looking for their first success of the season after Brive play Clermont in the 100th edition of the derby between the two clubs from central France earlier in the day.
#TOP14 | J3
💉 Piqûre de rappel des résultats de cette journée ! 👀 pic.twitter.com/IqA32MSCBz
— TOP 14 Rugby (@top14rugby) September 7, 2019