Clermont end Stade hoodoo
April 5, 2009
John Senio celebrates his try against Stade Francais © Getty Images
Stade FranÃ§ais 19 - 21 Clermont Auvergne Brive 10 - 42 Toulouse Montpellier 21 - 23 Castres Perpignan 44 - 3 Mont-de-Marsan Toulon 33 - 20 Montauban Bourgoin-Jallieu 43 - 6 Dax
With the French Top 14 reaching its play-off stages all eyes were on Paris where a record crowd for a regular season game, 79,842, saw Clermont Auvergne break their duck at the Stade de France with a 21-19 win over Stade Francais.
Stade had led 13-6 at the break thanks to a try from their rampaging France centre Mathieu Bastareaud, with fly-half Lionel Beaxis also making his mark with the conversion and two penalties. After the break it was the turn of Clermont to take control. With fly-half Brock James kepping them in touch thanks to two first-half penalties it fell to wing Julien Malzieu and John Senio to seal the win with second-half tries. Stade remained theird after the game due to their losing bonus-point, with both sides looking odds-on for a semi-final place.
Reigning champions Toulouse stayed top of the table thanks to an easy victory away to fifth placed Brive. Their emphatic 42-10 scoreline was secured thanks to braces from fullback Maxime Medard and prop Yohann Montes.
Perpignan remain in second place, ten points clear of Stade, thanks to a routine At the other end of the table, two tries from former All Black flanker Jerry Collins secured a vital 33-20 victory for Toulon over Montauban. Toulon are now eight points clear of the relegation zone after Dax lost 43-6 to Bourgoin on Friday night.
Castres prop Yannick Forestier was the hero of a 23-21 win over Montpellier, his late try moving his side clear of relegation worries for this season. Biarritz continued their recent resurgence with a 19-15 win over Bayonne.
The latest Week in Pictures brings you a selection of the best snaps from around the rugby world with scantily clad ladies, O'Driscoll and snow all featuring
"If I miss the first kick of the match, it shouldn't have any impact on the second. They are different entities." Tom Hamilton talks to Northampton Saints' Stephen Myler
It's time for those running Welsh rugby to stop trying to prevent its players heading to France and to start planning a future without them, writes Martin Williamson
Paul Eddison explains how the French sold English clubs down the river and why their domestic game will go from strength to strength