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Top 14
Toulon thrash Montpellier
ESPN Staff
December 21, 2013
Juan Smith goes over for Toulon's first try © Getty Images
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Toulon carried over their momentum from Europe and recorded a crushing 43-10 victory over Montpellier at Stade Mayol.

The European champions were twice made to work hard by Exeter in the Heineken Cup in the last two weeks but prevailed on both occasions, but looked like they were in no mood for another nervy match on return to domestic duty. Montpellier were a tough outfit to break down and only allowed flanker Juan Smith to sneak through four minutes before half-time as the hosts went in 19-3 up thanks to the kicking of Jonny Wilkinson and Matt Giteau.

But the visitors lost Wynand Olivier to the sin-bin not long before the break and Toulon took advantage, with David Smith waiting just two minutes to cross after a turn of pace down the wing in the second half. Jean-Charles Orioli and Drew Mitchell then grabbed a try apiece in quick succession to guarantee the bonus point.

A solitary Mamuka Gorgodze try for Montpellier was little more than a footnote as Toulon ran out comfortable winners as Delon Armitage added another try in added time.

Clermont solidified their position at the top of the Top 14 with a comprehensive 35-6 win over Biarritz.

They had to wait until the second half to hit their best after the scores were 3-3 at half-time before the flood gates opened, as Julien Malzieu's 50th-minute try opened the floodgates.

Gerhard Vosloo and Regan King scored twice in quick succession after the hour mark before Thierry Lacrampe secured the bonus point in the closing stages of the game.

Jonathan Sexton's last-minute kick earned Racing Metro a share of the spoils in a cagey 9-9 draw against Brive.

Winter conditions were far from ideal for both sides and this contributed to the low-scoring nature of the game. All the points were limited to the boots of Gaetan Germain and Sexton, with Brive leading three times through the match.

It looked like they had done enough for victory but Ireland fly-half Sexton had other ideas as he booted his side level at the death.

Reigning champions Castres scored two tries in either half as they beat Perpignan 37-13, while Oyonnax edged past Bayonne with a narrow 9-6 win at Stade Charles Mathon to move out of the relegation zone at their opponent's expense.

Julien Arias looks to hand off Grenoble fly-half Blair Stewart © Getty Images
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Stade Francais scored a try in either half as they were made to work hard to see off Grenoble 21-6 in Paris on Friday evening.

Geoffrey Doumayrou crossed the whitewash on 25 minutes to open the scoring for the hosts but the floodgates did not open as it looked like they might, and the Parisian side held a narrow 8-3 lead at half-time.

It was a cagey second period but eventually Stade got the decisive try 11 minutes from time as fly-half Meyer Bosman touched down, before fellow South African Morne Steyn added three late penalties to put gloss on the win.

Pos Team P W D L F A PD TF TA TBP LBP Pts
1 Clermont Auvergne 14 9 1 4 409 276 +133 41 22 5 2 45
2 Castres 14 8 1 5 338 239 +99 33 15 5 2 41
3 Toulon 14 8 1 5 362 239 +123 30 12 3 4 41
4 Stade Français 14 9 0 5 276 251 +25 21 25 1 2 39
5 Toulouse 13 7 0 6 273 214 +59 27 13 5 3 36
6 Montpellier 14 6 1 7 325 285 +40 26 25 3 5 34
7 Grenoble 14 7 1 6 254 304 -50 13 23 1 2 33
8 Racing Metro 14 7 1 6 222 275 -53 13 20 0 3 33
9 Brive 14 5 2 7 268 277 -9 19 21 2 4 30
10 Perpignan 14 6 0 8 280 313 -33 22 24 2 4 30
11 Bordeaux Begles 13 6 0 7 310 315 -5 28 23 3 3 30
12 Oyonnax 14 7 0 7 233 290 -57 14 24 0 1 29
13 Bayonne 14 5 0 9 223 341 -118 14 32 1 5 26
14 Biarritz 14 3 0 11 178 332 -154 10 32 0 5 17

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