Brock James stars in Clermont triumph
August 31, 2013
Brock James slots a drop-goal as part of his 18-point haul for Clermont © Getty Images
Guided by Australian playmaker Brock James, Clermont stretched their unbeaten home record to 61 matches with a bonus-point 38-19 victory over 19-time champions Toulouse in France's Top 14 rugby competition on Saturday.
The influential James produced 18 points with his boot as Clermont outgunned Toulouse by four tries to one. It was a perfect response after a humbling 30-19 defeat by Top 14 newcomers Oyonnax last weekend.
Meanwhile, former Wallabies star Matt Giteau's late try was not enough to prevent Toulon suffering their first defeat of the season as Jonny Wilkinson missed a potential match-levelling conversion in the dying seconds in a 28-26 loss at Grenoble. The former England fly-half made all seven penalties before Giteau's try gave Toulon hopes of snatching a draw, but Wilkinson was off target as Toulon fell from the unbeaten ranks.
Elsewhere, Bordeaux-Begles edged defending champions Castres 21-20 at the Stade Chaban Delmas with fly-half Pierre Bernard kicking all of his side's points, including a match-winning 75th-minute drop goal.
Bayonne bounced back from last week's drubbing in Toulouse to beat Perpignan 31-20, backed by tries from southern-hemisphere trio Joe Rokocoko, Gabiriele Lovobalavu and Scott Spedding. New Racing Metro recruit Jonny Sexton kicked five penalties and converted a Virgile Lacombe try in a 22-9 win over promoted Oyonnax, while fellow newcomers Brive were beaten 33-24 at Montpellier.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September