Top 14 Orange - Round 9
Leaders Clermont thrash Biarritz
ESPNscrum Staff
October 29, 2011
Toulon's Jonny Wilkinson clashes with Brive's Julien Caminati during their Top 14 Orange clash, Toulon v Brive, Top 14 Orange, Toulon, France, October 29, 2011
Jonny Wilkinson scored 18 points during Toulon's victory over Brive © Getty Images

Clermont Auvergne moved back to the summit of the Top 14 table with a 41-0 victory over bottom-side Biarritz at the Stade Marcel Michelin on Saturday.

Fly-half Brock James contributed 19 points with a try, four conversions and two penatlies while Wesley Fofana crossed twice along with Gonzalo Canale and Gerhard Vosloo.

Clermont enjoyed a flying start as James crossed for the opening try in only the second minute. He swiftly added the conversion and was soon landing another conversion after centre Fofana breached the Biarritz defences in the seventh minute.

James kicked a penalty in the 19th minute and another four minutes prior to the break to give the hosts a 20-0 advantage at half time. Fofana grabbed his second try after the break with James again showing the required accuracy with the conversion.

Fellow centre Canale also touched down for Clermont before replacement Vosloo barged over and fellow substitute David Skrela landed the conversion to complete the rout for the hosts.

Castres had previously squandered the chance to pull clear at the summit of the Top 14 as they suffered a 23-19 defeat at home to Racing Metro on Friday night.

Fly-half Sebastien Descons was the star of the show at the Stade Pierre Antoine and it was he who opened the scoring nine minutes in with a penalty. Descons' half-back partner Mathieu Loree then slotted a drop goal as the visitors made the early running.

Fullback Romain Teulet got Castres off the mark with a penalty on 14 minutes but Castres reasserted their superiority with a try from Descons at the tail end of the opening quarter.

However, No.8 Chris Masoe flopped over for the home side in the 24th minute and Teulet converted before landing a penalty right on the stroke of half-time to level the tie at 13 points apiece.

The momentum was now with Castres and Teulet kicked two more penalties to edge them into a six-point lead. However, fullback Gaetan Germain drew Racing back into the game with a penalty just after the hour and the visitors claimed a dramatic win courtesy of a 76th-minute try from Virimi Vakatawa.

Meanwhile Toulouse kept the pressure up on the league leaders with a hard-fought 18-15 win over rivals Stade Francais at the Ernest Wallon stadium.

Both sides were void of their French World Cup heroes but it was one of the forgotten men of the international scene who put Stade Francais ahead in the opening moments of the match with Julien Dupuy hitting two early penalties. However, the Top 14 champions struck back in the seventh minute when Yannick Nyanga crossed the line. Lionel Beauxis - playing at fullback with Luke McAlister at fly-half - converted the try and he added another penalty moments later. A sole Dupuy penalty proved to be the only other score of the first 40 as the hosts went into the break leading 10-9.

After Dupuy and Beauxis exchanged penalties a try from Toulouse inside centre Yves Donguy put his side in the lead but Beauxis failed to add the extras. A late flurry ensued with Felipe Contepomi hitting a drop goal for the visitors but it proved to be too little too late as the hosts held on for a valuable win taking them up to second in the table.

England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson kicked all of Toulon's points as they beat Brive 18-3 at the Stade Félix-Mayol. Wilkinson kicked penalties in the second and 22nd minutes to give the hosts a 6-0 lead at the break . The Toulon fly-half added a further two penalties in the early stages of the second half before the game sparked into life with an altercation between Davit Kubriashvili and Pablo Henn.

Both players were sent to the sin bin and during their absence Wilkinson landed a further two penalties while replacement Mathieu Belie kicked Brive's first points of the game from a penalty. Brive's cause was not aided by a second yellow card - this time for former England centre Jamie Noon for killing the ball. Down to 14 men for the rest of the game, Brive failed to threaten in the closing stages.

Struggling Bayonne jumped up the table with a narrow 18-16 victory over Perpignan at Stade Jean Dauger. Bayonne fly-half Benjamin Boyet kicked three penalties in the opening 20 minutes to establish a 9-0 lead for the hosts. Perpignan fullback Jerome Porical landed a penalty for the visitors but Boyet was accurate from the tee again to maintain the nine-point cushion going into the second half.

Scrum-half Cedric Garcia swept over a drop goal as Bayonne looked increasingly comfortable in their lead. However Perpignan mounted a comeback with Porical landing a penalty before replacement Damien Chouly barged over with the Television Match Official confirming the try. Porical added the extras to take the visitors within two points.

Another penalty from Boyet stretched Bayonne's advantage again but Perpignan were given further hope when replacement Aretz Iguiniz was sin binned for killing the ball as the visitors threatened to score.

With Bayonne down to 14 men Porical kicked Perpignan to within two points. But that is as close as visitors got with Bayonne's defence holding out to secure the win.

Fly-half Conrad Barnard kicked 18 points as Agen beat Montpellier 18-12 at the Stade Armandie. The teams were locked at 9-9 at the break after two penalties from Martin Bustos Moyana and a drop goal from Santiago Fernandez matched Barnard's three kicks at goal for Agen. Moyana nudged the visitors ahead after half time but three more successful penalties from Barnard sealed the game for Agen.

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