Racing Metro stun rivals Stade Francais
March 29, 2014
Yoann Huget brings down David Smith during Toulon's win over Toulouse © Getty Images
Racing Metro put in arguably their best performance of their season to beat Stade Francais 32-22 on Saturday. After a mixed season for the big-spenders, Metro supporters will have some reason to smile after they saw off Stade in the Stade Jean Bouin with Jonathan Sexton finishing the match with 17 points. Metro got the scoreboard ticking over after six minutes when Benjamin Fall went over, a try that was later followed by one from Juandre Kruger just before the half-hour mark.
Racing went into the break 18-6 to the good but Stade started the second-half the better when Waisea Vuidravuwalu scored. But despite hints of a fightback Antoine Battut's score in the 67th minute gave Metro a commanding lead and despite a late consolation try from Vuidravuwalu, Metro held on for a key win.
Montpellier moved to the top of the table with a convincing 43-27 win over relegation-threatened Bayonne. After an even first half - Montpellier only led 19-17 at the break - they pulled clear in a one-sided second half to claim the vital bonus point.
Frederic Michalak scored 27 points for Toulon as they beat Toulouse 32-38. He scored two tries, played a major part in the third, and kicked two conversions and six penalties. The win left Toulon in second place.
Rock-bottom Biarritz came from behind to salvage a 34-34 draw at home to defending champions Castres, a result which dents their hopes of retaining their title. The game ended in controversy after referee Salem Attalah appeared to indicate to Castres there as time left only to blow for time when their kick to set up an attacking line-out found touch.
Second-bottom Oyonnax easily beat Grenoble 40-13 in a basement battle and only a late try for Grenoble gave the score any respectability.
Bordeaux-Begles, who climb to seventh, had few problems in beating Perpignan 23-5 who now find themselves being sucked into a relegation fight.
On Friday night Clermont went down 26-24 at Brive. Brive stormed into a 20-3 lead at half-time thanks to tries from Elia Radikedike and Gaetan Germain and a further 10 points from Germain's boot. Goderzi Shvelidze and Patrick Barnard saw yellow for Brive and Clermont threatened a fight-back in the second 40 with a try from Damien Chouly and a brace from Napolioni Nalaga bringing them close but Germain's pair of penalties earlier in the second-half proved crucial.
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