Toulouse run 13 tries past Pau
TOP 14, SATURDAY WRAP: Leaders Toulouse scored 13 tries as they thumped Pau 83-6 in the French Top 14 on Saturday, with Thomas Ramos scoring 26 points in a virtuoso display.
Ramos, 23, who made his France debut in this year’s Six Nations, started at flyhalf instead of the usual fullback and crossed for two tries and slotted eight conversions in the biggest win for any side this season.
His performance solidifies his chance of making Les Bleus’ squad for the World Cup later this year, which will be named on June 18.
“We wanted to reassure a lot of different parts of our game, mainly in defence. We fulfilled our contract by making the most of turnover ball. It was an accomplished match,” wing Yoann Huget said.
The festival of tries started on 12 minutes as Maxime Medard dotted down. He was followed by South Africa wing Cheslin Kolbe, France backs Sofiane Guitoune and Huget as well as hooker Selevasio Tolofua and centre Pita Ahki for a 40-6 lead at half-time.
Seven tries followed in a free-flowing second half, including Ramos’ double and Kolbe touching down for his seventh try of the campaign, adding up to Toulouse’s most convincing win of a thrilling campaign which saw them reach the European Champions Cup semifinals.
Pau’s points came from the boot of New Zealand fullback Tom Taylor and their Top 14 status is yet to be secured with two rounds of the regular season to play.
It was Nicholas Godignon and Frederic Manca’s first defeat in charge after they both took over from former head coach Simon Mannix who quit his position in April.
Toulouse are seven points clear of second-placed Clermont after Fiji back-rower Peceli Yato’s hat-trick claimed a bonus point 35-13 victory over relegated Perpignan.
Grenoble’s hopes of avoiding a relegation play-off against the loser of the ProD2 final took a blow after they lost 11-29 at home to 12th placed Agen.
In a re-run of last year’s final, runners-up Montpellier beat champions Castres 12-9 in a gritty affair to keep their hopes of an end of season play-off spot alive.
La Rochelle survived a late Toulon fightback to win 30-21 and move up to third.
Former New Zealand back-rower and La Rochelle captain Victor Vito was rested for the victory ahead of Friday’s Challenge Cup Final against Clermont.
Toulon head coach Patrice Collazo was making his first return to Stade Marcel-Deflandre after leaving at the end of last season.
“We tried not to make eye contact with him, he knows us really well after seven years here. It was strange to have him back here, a little bit weird,” La Rochelle second row Romain Sazy told broadcaster Canal +.
On Sunday, Bordeaux-Begles head to Lyon and Racing 92 play Stade Francais in a Parisian derby.
#TOP14 | J24
Après ce samedi riche en essais et en émotions, voici le point complet sur les résultats ! 🔥🧐 pic.twitter.com/rDZwKupXVj
— TOP 14 Rugby (@top14rugby) May 4, 2019