Armitage scores as Toulon win
October 5, 2012
Steffon Armitage scored the first of three tries as Toulon went back to first place in the Top 14 © Getty Images
Steffon Armitage scored the opening try of the match as Toulon went back to first place in the Top 14 with a 36-9 win away to Biarritz.
The open-side flanker charged through Aled Brew and Takudzwa Ngwenya's attempted tackles to cross for the only try of the match in the 22nd minute. Matt Giteua and Vincent Martin then went over for late tries to wrap up the try-bonus point.
Jonny Wilkinson converted all three and he finished the match with a personal haul of 21 points after scoring five penalties.
Olly Barkley came off the bench to make his Racing Metro debut, but he couldn't help his new side to a win as the Parisians slipped to a 16-12 loss. Their rivals from the capital, Stade Francais won, though they needed a Jerome Porical penalty six minutes from time to secure a 30-28 victory against Mont-de-Marsan.
Grenoble kept up their impressive form since their return to the Top 14 with a 28-23 win over Perpignan, their fifth of the season. James Hook scored all the Catalans' points with a try and six penalties, but a try from substitute Aloisio Butonidualevu two minutes from time wrapped up the win from the side from the Alps.
Bayonne put their recent controversies behind them to beat Agen 37-16, though Mike Phillips continued his absence following a week's suspension for misconduct, with a hand injury.
Champions Toulouse were made to work hard by Bordeaux-Begles to earn a 34-32 victory away from home. The Atlantic coast side appeared set for a famous victory after two tries from Fijian wing Metuisela Talebulamaijaina and one from Blair Connor. However, a late brace from Timoci Matanavou gave Guy Noves' side the win.
On Friday evening a late penalty from Romain Teulet was enough to give Castres a 16-13 win at home to Clermont.
Clermont went into the clash with just one defeat to their name this season but they came up against a resolute Castres outfit. It was the away side who got the scoreboard ticking over first when Brock James struck a penalty after just nine minutes. But Rory Kockott pinned Clermont back with a nudge of his own four minutes later. Clermont went into the break 6-3 ahead but they were down to 14 men after James was sin-binned.
But their lead was short-lived with Kockott pinning them back soon after the break. Despite Castres coming back into the game, Clermont soon struck back with a try from Jean Marcellin-Buttin. James added the extras to give them a 13-6 lead but the score was soon all-square after Kockott crossed the whitewash and Teulet added the extras.
The match was poised for an exciting finish and it was the home side who came out on top with Teulet nudging over a penalty with just four minutes left on the clock.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
England must find a way to improve their game by tiny margins and they will get there, writes Phil Vickery
"England remind me of a PlayStation rugby team," John Mitchell on tactics and the search for a first-choice fly-half ahead of the World Cup
Augustine Pulu will return home with little more than 20 minutes rugby in one month on tour. It is time for more midweek games writes Craig Dowd
Samoa's Sivi Tau says the team "come completely prepared", the reality is a world away. Seilala Mapusua on Samoa and building a future