Clermont end Stade hoodoo
April 5, 2009
John Senio celebrates his try against Stade Francais © Getty Images
Stade FranÃ§ais 19 - 21 Clermont Auvergne Brive 10 - 42 Toulouse Montpellier 21 - 23 Castres Perpignan 44 - 3 Mont-de-Marsan Toulon 33 - 20 Montauban Bourgoin-Jallieu 43 - 6 Dax
With the French Top 14 reaching its play-off stages all eyes were on Paris where a record crowd for a regular season game, 79,842, saw Clermont Auvergne break their duck at the Stade de France with a 21-19 win over Stade Francais.
Stade had led 13-6 at the break thanks to a try from their rampaging France centre Mathieu Bastareaud, with fly-half Lionel Beaxis also making his mark with the conversion and two penalties. After the break it was the turn of Clermont to take control. With fly-half Brock James kepping them in touch thanks to two first-half penalties it fell to wing Julien Malzieu and John Senio to seal the win with second-half tries. Stade remained theird after the game due to their losing bonus-point, with both sides looking odds-on for a semi-final place.
Reigning champions Toulouse stayed top of the table thanks to an easy victory away to fifth placed Brive. Their emphatic 42-10 scoreline was secured thanks to braces from fullback Maxime Medard and prop Yohann Montes.
Perpignan remain in second place, ten points clear of Stade, thanks to a routine At the other end of the table, two tries from former All Black flanker Jerry Collins secured a vital 33-20 victory for Toulon over Montauban. Toulon are now eight points clear of the relegation zone after Dax lost 43-6 to Bourgoin on Friday night.
Castres prop Yannick Forestier was the hero of a 23-21 win over Montpellier, his late try moving his side clear of relegation worries for this season. Biarritz continued their recent resurgence with a 19-15 win over Bayonne.
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year
With just two rounds left in the 2014 championship, the intensity cranks up a notch at Twickenham. Tom Hamilton previews the weekend's action
"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry
Are the margins between the teams in the Six Nations getting smaller year-on-year? Huw Richards gives some answers