La Rochelle sink Toulouse, Toulon slip to first loss
August 30, 2014
Maxime Machenaud breaks to score the crucial try for Racing Metro in their defeat of Toulon © Getty Images
Newly promoted La Rochelle recorded a memorable 37-25 victory over four-time European champions Toulouse, a week after they had shipped 60 points against Toulon. Two second-half tries by New Zealand-born winger Alofa Alofa and 22 points from the boot of scrum-half Jean Audy secured the win. "This was a very disappointing performance," said Toulouse captain Thierry Dusautoir. "We made a lot of mistakes in the first half but we made even more in the second, especially in the scrum. We need to learn from this and bounce back immediately."
There was another upset in the evening match as Racing Metro handed Toulon their first loss of the season as they won 17-10. Racing scored the opening try through François van der Merwe when Toulon were down to 14 men but that was cancelled out by James O'Connor. Maxime Machenaud scored the vital second for Racing Metro after selling a slick dummy and then converting his own try.
The 2013 champions Castres finally managed their first win of the season in a bonus-point 30-6 stroll against Basques Bayonne. Marcel Garvey, Julien Dumora and Brice Mach scored the tries while scrum-half Rory Kockott knocked over three conversions and two penalties.
Grenoble also won for the first time, a hat-trick from Alipate Ratini inspiring them to a 37-23 victory over Bordeaux-Bègles.
Lyon won for the first time since their return to the top flight as they beat Brive 24-6 in a scrappy match. Both sides lost a succession of players to yellow cards and also repeatedly conceded penalties.
Oyonnax eased to a 33-6 win over Stade Français as they turned in an impressive display of forward power, also aided by some wayward kicking from the visitors.
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