Toulon return to winning ways
January 25, 2013
Toulon's Mathieu Bastareaud powers up for a run during his side's victory over Mont-de-Marsan at the Stade Mayol © Getty Images
Toulon saw off a determined effort by Top 14 basement side Mont-de-Marsan to claim a 15-9 victory in their clash at the Stade Felix Mayol on Friday night.
First half tries from No.8 Chris Masoe and winger Alexis Palisson and the boot of fly-half Jonny Wilkinson propelled the leaders back to winning ways following a surprise home defeat to Racing Metro in their last league outing.
Toulouse remain hot on their heels following their 19-14 win against Biarritz at the Stade Ernest Wallon. The hosts took control of the contest in the opening minutes of the game with a try from No.8 Louis Picamoles and the kicking exploits of Lionel Beauxis putting them into a 13-0 lead with less than a quarter of an hour on the clock. Biarritz rallied before half time with a try and penalty from fly-half Julien Peyrelongue but Toulouse kept them at bay after the break despite losing replacement Maxime Medard to a yellow card.
Title rivals Clermont Auvergne slipped up with Perpignan claiming a 26-19 victory in their meeting at the Stade Aimé Giral. Morgan Parra got the better of a first half kicking duel with James Hook to put Clermont into a 12-6 lead at half-time but lock Romain Taofifenua crossed for Perpignan after the break to bring his side right back into the contest. Clermont hit back with a try of their own through Julien Bardy but Hook steered Perpignan home with three late penalties.
Montpellier maintained their play-offs push with a 13-9 victory over strugglers Agen. A try for winger Timoci Nagusa put the visitors on course for the win and a red card for Agen fullback Ben Seymour handed them a significant numerical advantage but two penalties from Conrad Barnard ensured it was only a one-point game at the break. Montpellier had their own indiscipline problems in the second half with two yellow cards but they still claimed the win thanks to two penalties from fullback Martin Bustos Moyano.
Racing Metro kept their title challenge alive with a 22-15 win at Bordeaux-Begles thanks largely to 14 points from Jonathan Wisniewski that included a conversion of Alexandre Dumoulin's try. Stade Francais scored the biggest win of the night with a 35-6 victory over Grenoble. Tries from centre Geoffrey Doumayrou, winger Jérémy Sinzelle, centre Morgan Turinui and winger Paul Williams saw the hosts home and secured a bonus point.
In Thursday night's game, Bayonne scored a 22-12 victory over Castres.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Ireland's Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton