Toulouse claim new Top 14 record
TOP 14 WRAP: Toulouse secured a record 12th successive league game without defeat beating Stade Francais 28-9 in the French Top 14 on Sunday.
The previous best 11-match run was set by the Stade Ernest-Wallon outfit in 2011-2012, when they went on to win the title, and La Rochelle five years later.
Gillian Galan, Lucas Tauzin, Piula Faasalele and Matthis Lebel dotted down for the visitors at Stade Jean-Bouin who re-established their six-point advantage at the top of the table.
The Parisians only points came through Nicolas Sanchez’s right foot and Heyneke Meyer’s big spenders remain one spot away from the top six places.
Despite an early penalty goal from Sanchez to give Stade Francais a 3-0 lead Toulouse had the best of the opening quarter with a one-man advantage.
Lock Alexandre Flanquart was shown a yellow card on his own tryline after three successive misdemeanours by the Parisian pack.
Bearded back-rower Galan pounced at the back of a powerful Toulouse scrum five metres out after 13 minutes and wing Tauzin added a second seven minutes later.
The 19-time French champions were temporarily down to 14 men themselves just before the half-hour mark as flank Rynardt Elstadt was given his marching orders for a dangerous tackle on Sanchez.
The Argentina flyhalf added two further penalties of the match the score to 12-9 at the break.
Australian Zach Holmes extended the league leaders’ advantage five minutes into the second-half with his final penalty.
Sanchez, key in keeping the Parisians in the game with his goal-kicking left the field with a groin injury after an hour of play.
Five minutes later Holmes established a nine-point lead for Toulouse as the home side were pinned at the breakdown.
The record was clinched for French rugby’s most successful club in the final 10 minutes.
Scrumhalf Sebastien Bezy found substitute Faasalele on the touchline to squeeze over in the corner and youngster Lebel added a fourth to extend the run which stretches back to October.
Earlier in the day, Toulon claimed their first away win of the campaign beating bottom of the table Perpignan 24-11.
French Top 14 results:
Stade Francais 9-28 Toulouse
Perpignan 11-24 Toulon
Clermont 52-17 Grenoble
Montpellier 37-10 Bordeaux-Begles
Pau 27-17 Agen
Racing92 50-14 La Rochelle
Lyon 15-23 Castres