Toulon put nine tries on La Rochelle
August 23, 2014
Toulon's Virgile Bruni takes flight for his try © Getty Images
Champions Toulon continued their impressive start to the season with a nine-try 60-19 hammering of La Rochelle at Stade Felix-Mayol.
La Rochelle managed to muster three of their own - with Alofa Alofa crossing after just one minute - but Toulon were in control throughout and were 27-7 to the good at the break. Matt Giteau pulled the strings majestically at fly-half for Toulon and finished the game with 20 points while David Smith grabbed a brace of tries.
In the first-half it was a fairly close affair until La Rochelle were hit by two sin-binnings in the space of a minute and Toulon made the 13-man side pay with Smith and Mathieu Bastareaud running in tries alongside Virgile Bruni's and Giteau's. Come the second-half, Drew Mitchell opened the scoring just one minute after the break with Smith grabbing his second four minutes later. Delon Armitage, Chris Masoe and James O'Connor also scored as secured their spot at the top of the table.
Clermont made it two from two in the Top 14 thanks to a 21-6 win at Brive on Saturday.
Brive's scrum experienced all sorts of woe against the visitor's front-row and Camille Lopez punished them from the tee as he slotted 15 of Clermont's 21 points alongside his drop-goal and an early three points from Morgan Parra.
Clermont's Jamie Cudmore tries to make some yards © Getty Images
Try-scoring opportunities were at a premium with Napolioni Nalaga going the closest for Clermont in the first-half and Arnaud Mela just missing out in the second 40 for Brive, but Lopez's accuracy from the tee guided Clermont home.
The match saw four sin-binnings with Clermont's David Zirakashvili dispatched for a late tackle in the first-half and he was later joined by Brive's Petrus Hauman who was penalised for catching Aurelien Rougerie in the air. Come the second 40 repeated penalties at the scrum eventually saw Brive tight-head Damien Jourdain shown a yellow card with Zac Guildford dispatched late on for an infringement at the breakdown.
Montpellier were made to work for their 20-17 win over Grenoble with Jonathan Pelissie's 80th minute penalty snatching a victory from the draws of a draw. Grenoble outscored the home side two tries to one with Albertus Buckle and Ratu Ratini going over while Alex Tulou crossed for Montpellier.
Stade Francais beat newly-promoted Lyon 23-20 at Stade Jean-Bouin. The away side outscored Stade three tries to two with Ricky Januarie, veteran lock Lionel Nallet and Dean Fourie going over while the Parisians mustered tries through Digby Ioane and Jeremy Sinzelle with Jules Plisson slotting 13 points to edge the game.
Bordeaux-Begles saw off Racing Metro 30-21with Sofiane Guitoune's late try giving them essential breathing space. Johnny Sexton started the game for Metro and scored nine points with Johan Goosen replacing him in the second-half. Teddy Thomas scored twice for Metro but it was not enough to secure them even a losing bonus point.
Bayonne secured maximum points against Oyonnax with a five-try 38-12 win. Joe Rokocoko, Scott Spedding (two), Gregory Arganese and Santiago Fernandez crossed for Bayonne with Guilliaume Bousses and Thibault Lassalle scoring for Oyonnax.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton
Kiwi coaches can be found far and wide across the globe, and Murray Mexted believes the All Blacks benefit every bit as much as their rivals
Clermont, Toulon, player burnout, Sam Burgess and a farewell to Adams Park - Monday Maul looks back at the weekend's action
The latest Week in Pictures takes in some original ways of welcoming teams to the field and plenty of tries from the European Champions Cup