Top 14 Orange
Yachvili slows Clermont charge
March 31, 2012
Biarritz scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili accounted for Clermont Auvergne © Getty Images
Clermont Auvergne missed out on a chance to move to the summit of the Top 14 on Saturday, losing out 15-14 to a resurgent Biarritz at the Parc des Sports Aguilera.
Les Jaunards became the latest victim of Dimitri Yachvili, the Biarritz scrum-half, who slotted five penalties to move them further away from the clutches of the relegation places.
Clermont, who included Wesley Fofana, Aurelien Rougerie and Morgan Parra among their international contingent, led 14-6 at the break thanks to tries from Alexandre Lapandry and Benjamin Kayser, but they were unable to add to their score as Yachvili ticked over.
Toulouse made no mistake, beating Stade Francais 22-18 at the Stade de France.
France international centre Florian Fritz scored the only try of the game just after the first quarter, with the match ultimately decided by a kicking battle.
Lionel Beauxis, fresh from an international recall during the Six Nations, slotted the conversion to Fritz's try and five penalties, with Stade mustering six penalties in all, four from Felipe Contepomi and a brace from Julien Dupuy.
Brive put the brakes on Toulon's march to the play-offs with a 14-9 victory at the Stade Amedee Domenech.
Skipper Antonie Claassen's 18th-minute try proved the difference between the teams, with Toulon unable to muster anything other than three kicks from Jonny Wilkinson. Mathieu Belie responded for Brive, landing three of his own, to move them clear of the basement battle.
Montpellier moved two points clear of Castres in fourth spot after routing Agen 44-18 at the Stade Yves du Manoir.
Last season's beaten finalists had a sting in the tail for the visitors, racing clear in the dying stages thanks to a flurry of tries. No.8 Alex Tulou crossed in the first-half to establish a lead at the break - Romain Edmond Samuel replying for Agen - with Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, Timoci Nagusa, Francois Trinh-Duc and Martin Bustos Moyano carrying that dominance into the second-half.
Bayonne's battle to pull clear of the relegation places took a hit at the hands of Perpignan, who smashed their fierce rivals 47-9 at the Stade Aime Giral.
Wales fly-half James Hook finished with 25 points - including a try - to condemn a star-studded Bayonne side, who included Mike Phillips, Joe Rokocoko and Neemia Tialata among their number, to defeat. Florian Cazenave, Damien Chouly, Rudi Coetzee and Bertrand Guiry also crossed for the home side, who are now six points clear of Bayonne in 12th.
The league's basement side, Lyon struck a blow in their bid for survival, beating Bordeaux 24-13 at Matmut Stadium. Winger Remy Grosso and inside-centre Waisale Sukanaveita crashed over for the hosts, with Bordeaux replying in vain through loose-head Hikairo Forbes. Laurent Tranier and Eric Tomamichel also shared four penalties for Lyon.
Racing Metro closed the gap on fourth-placed Castres to one point after their 27-16 victory over their Top14 rivals on Friday night.
Racing ran in four tries to Castres one at the Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir to secure the victory despite Sireli Bobo, Lionel Nallet and Benjamin Noirot all being shown yellow cards at various stages of the second half. Castres were in touch at half-time with Romain Teulet landing two penalties in reply to Francs Steyn's try and Sebastien Descons' penalty.
Wings Bobo and Henry Chavancy crossed in the early stages of the second half before Juan Imhoff grabbed the hosts' fourth try. Descons added two conversions. Teulet landed a second-half penalty as well as converting Romain Martial's try but Castres could not overhaul their opponents despite three players visiting the sinbin for Racing.
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