Toulouse rocked by Biarritz
August 1, 2012
Damien Traille scored Biarritz's try against Toulouse © Getty Images
Biarritz landed a heavy blow on reigning Top 14 Orange champions Toulouse at the Parc des Sports Aguilera on Saturday, running out 22-17 victors.
France international Damien Traille crossed under the posts on 29 minutes to hand the hosts a 16-6 half-time lead, with Jean Pascal Barraque adding the extras and three penalties. Lionel Beauxis landed two penalties either side of half-time to keep Toulouse in the hunt, but Barraque was able to match his efforts from the tee. France wing Vincent Clerc finally breached the Biarritz defence three minutes from time, ensuring that Toulouse finished within seven.
Toulon remain hot on their heels having maintained their own unbeaten start to the season with a 29-15 victory over basement side Mont-de-Marsan. Tries from Steffon Armitage, Joe van Niekerk and Pierrick Gunther propelled the visitors to victory with Jonny Wilkinson once again proving a steadying and prolific presence at fly-half.
Clermont Auvergne bounced back to winning ways with 53-31 victory over Perpignan to maintain the pressure on the leaders. Les Jaunards handed their Catalan rivals a third successive defeat of the season thanks to seven tries courtesy of two tries from Julien Bonnaire and other scores from Morgan Parra, Noa Nakaitaci, Loic Jacquet, Elvis Vermeulen and Benson Stanley.
Castres made it back-to-back victories with a 31-10 success against Bayonne with scores from Brice Dulin, Romain Martial and Rodrigo Cape Ortega proving pivotal. Racing Metro were another side to return to winning ways with six penalties from fullback Gaeta Germain proving enough to clinch an 18-7 victory over Bordeaux-Begles
Montpellier sit mid-table having heaped further woe on strugglers Agen. Tries from Giorgi Jgenti, Matt Carraro, Timoci Nagusa and Julien Tomas carried them to a 32-15 victory with Agen's points coming from the boot of fly-half Conrad Barnard.
Grenoble ran in two tries in a 26-12 win over Stade Francais, the newly-promoted side's second victory of the season. Grenoble scrum-half Valentin Courrent kicked three first-half penalties to put his side 9-6 ahead at half-time, while Jerome Porical landed a brace of penalties for the Parisian side.
After the break though, Grenoble continued to handle the wet and windy conditions better to take a firmer grip on the match. Porical kicked Stade level in the 43rd minute, but two minutes later Rida Jahouer took advantage of a weak Fillol kick to score the first try of the night, that Courrent converted. Porical kicked another penalty, but Courrent responded to restore Grenoble's seven-point lead. Wing Lucas Dupont then took advantage of a dropped pass in the Stade Francais backs to kick through and dive on the ball for Grenoble's second try of the night that wrapped up the win.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup
The reopening of the openside debate, a dominant wolf-pack and a sublime performance in defeat - Monday Maul looks at the weekend's talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Rugby Championship alongside the best photographs from around the domestic game
Amy Perrett, the Australian referee who whistled the Women's Rugby World Cup final after handling only six Tests, talks to Jamie Lyall