Perpignan crush Toulouse
March 7, 2009
Stade Francais' Mathieu Bastareaud touches down to score againt Bourgoin at Stade Jean Bouin © Getty Images
Castres 31-19 Montauban - Match details Dax 15-17 Brive - Match details Montpellier 33-6 Mont-de-Marsan - Match details Stade Français 53-3 Bourgoin - Match details Perpignan 32-8 Toulouse - Match details
Perpignan stunned Top 14 leaders Toulouse with a thumping 32-8 victory in their clash at Stade Aime Giral on Friday night.
The hosts ran in four tries with No.8 Damien Chouly, centre David Marty, winger Christophe Manas and centre Maxime Mermoz all touching down to ensure the bonus point and close the gap on their title-rivals to one point. Toulouse notched a consolation try through winger Maleli Kunavore in the closing moments of the game.
Perpignan led 10-0 at half-time thanks to the try from Chouly and the conversion and a further penalty from fly-half David Mele. Toulouse's chances suffered a further blow when prop Salavatore Perugini was yellow carded shortly before the break. Marty's try and five more points from the boot of Mele stretched the lead to 20-0 before Toulouse got on the board with a penalty from Frederic Michalak.
Manas' score was followed by that of Mermoz, the latter converted by Mele, before Kunavore restored some pride. A bad night got worse for the visitors when Michalak was sent to the sin-bin in the final minute.
Stade Francais reclaimed second spot in the table with a 53-3 mauling of Bourgoin on Saturday - running in eight tries in the process but their victory was marred by the sending-off of prop David Attoub for two yellow card offences.
Replacement wing Julien Saubade led the way with two second-half tries while scrum-half Alexandre Albouy, No.8 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, centre Mathieu Bastareaud, winger Mark Gasnier, wing Mirco Bergamasco and flanker Geoffroy Messina also touching down.
Fly-half Lionel Beauxis weighed in with five conversions and a penalty while Bourgoin's only score came from the boot of fullback Benjamin Boyet.
Clermont Auvernge's hopes of securing a play-off berth were dealt a blow with an 18-14 defeat at the hands of Biarritz. Two tries from scrum-half John Senio were not enough for the title-chasers who were undone by five penalties from Biarritz No.9 Dimitri Yachvili and a drop goal from Damien Traille.
There was also a big win for Montpellier who recorded a 33-6 victory over Mont-de-Marsan at Stade Yves du Manoir. France fly-half Francois Trinh-duc scored two tries and kicked three conversions for a personal tally of 16 points and his international colleagues Fulgence Ouedraogo and Louis Picamole also notched five-pointers. Lock Michel Macurdy notched his side's other try. Mont-de-Marsan fullback Jean-Marc Mazonetto kicked two penalties for the visitors.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Brive secured a narrow 17-15 victory away at Dax thanks to tries from scrum-half Liam Davies and fullback Barry Davies while 21 points from the boot of fly-half Romain Teulet inspired Castres to a 31-19 success against Montauban.
In the late game on Saturday, Toulon and Bayonne battled to a 3-3 draw at Stade Felix-Mayol. Cedric Garcia gave the visitors an early lead before Conrad Barnard cancelled that penalty out with one of his own midway through the half.
ESPN looks at the forthcoming season of the Guinness PRO12 and assesses how each of the 12 teams will do
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch