Top 14 Round-up
Perpignan upset champions Toulouse
September 15, 2012
Toulon's Frederic Michalak shifts the ball during his side's victory over Montpellier at Stade Yves du Manoir © Getty Images
Perpignan got their second win of the season with a hard fought 34-20 victory over Top 14 champions Toulouse on Saturday.
The home side had already secured their four-try bonus point by half-time and went over in just the third minute thanks to a score from winger Farid Sid. Luke McAlister got Toulouse back into the game with a penalty but by half-time Perpignan had a strangle hold on the match. They add a further three tries through Bertrand Guiry, Guilhem Guirado and Alasdair Strokosch and went into the break 29-6 ahead.
At the start of the second 40 injury joker and former Wasps fullback Richard Haughton went over for Perpignan. Toulouse rallied and scored a brace of tries thanks to a penalty try and a score from Yannick Nyanga in the 67th minute but it proved to be in vein as the champions fell to their second loss of the campaign.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Clermont Auvergne leaped into second in the Top 14 thanks to a late try from flyer Napolioni Nalaga. Nalaga's score gave them a hard fought 14-6 win over the league's new boys Mont de Marson. Along with the try, penalties from Ludo Radosavljevic, Brock James and a drop-goal from David Skrela was enough to cancel out Jean-Baptiste Claverie's pair of penalties.
Biarritz were in second but they surrendered their spot due to a 28-13 loss away at Castres. It was an ill-tempered affair with four yellow cards being shown but Rory Kockott was the hero of the match for the home side with a try, a conversion and four penalties to his name. It was Biarritz who went into the break 13-12 in front with Julien Peyrelongue's try alongside a pair of penalties and a conversion enough to put the visitors in the ascendancy. But a pair of yellow cards for Biarritz in the early stages of the second-half appeared to knock the wind out of their sails and the home side cantered home.
Meanwhile Bayonne slumped to their fourth defeat of the season with Racing Metro coming away from the Stade Jean-Dauger with a 25-18 victory. Francois van der Merwe scored the sole try of the match with the boot of Bayonne's Jacques-Louis Potgieter and Metro's Gaetan Germain keeping the scoreboard ticking over.
And there was a first win of the season for Agen who overcame Grenoble 32-26. Saimoni Vaka grabbed a brace for the home side while Rudi Coetzee and Henry Vanderglas scored for Grenoble. But the boot of Conrad Barnard was enough to give Agen the victory.
Bordeaux-Begles recorded their second win of the season with a 30-22 win over Stade Francais. Tries from Heini Adams and Félix Le Bourhis along with penalties from the boots of Adams and Camille Lopez brought up Bordeaux's total. Paul Williams scored Stade's sole try and Jerome Porical provided the rest of the points with the boot.
On Friday night, Toulon made it five wins out of five in this season's Top 14 with a 32-25 victory over Montpellier at the Stade Yves du Manoir.
Bernard Laporte's sde took control of the contest in the first half with fly-half Frederic Michalak, who finished the game with 22 points, landing three penalties and converting a try from flanker Pierrick Gunther just past the half hour mark. Michalak extended his side's lead shortly after the break before a try from hooker Erasmus Jansen van Vuuren offered Montpellier some hope of their third win of the campaign.
Van Vuuren would add a second within five minutes but Michalak's boot kept the hosts at bay before flanker Joe van Niekerk crossed to give them a little more breathing room. There was still time for fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc to cross for Montpellier with a last-gasp penalty from replacement Eric Escande enough for a bonus point but not enough to deny Toulon an impressive fourth win on the road this term.
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