French Top 14 review
Clermont end Stade hoodoo
April 5, 2009
John Senio celebrates his try against Stade Francais © Getty Images
Stade Français 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.
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