La Rochelle hit the summit of the Top 14 on Sunday with a 27-21 victory at Toulouse.
In a first-half dominated by kickers, Zack Holmes got the better of Sebastien Bezy, kicking four penalties to the Frenchman’s two to give he unlikely table-toppers s 12-6 lead at the break.
Joe Tekori touched down 10 minutes into the second half for Toulouse but the conversion attempt drifted wide and La Rochelle held the lead.
Brock James added a penalty for the visitors and then converted Jone Qovu Nailiko’s try to give La Rochelle some breathing room at 22-11 going into the final quarter.
Bezy and La Rochelle’s Pierre Aguillon traded penalties before Julien Marchand struck to give the home side hope. Jean-Marc Doussain converted, but La Rochelle held out for the win.
Diarmid Courreges/AFP/Getty Images
Toulon’s playoff ambitions suffered a setback as Brive defeated Toulon 15-5 on Saturday evening .
In difficult conditions, Bryan Habana scored the only try of the game, but it came too little, too late for Mike Ford and his team.
In an uneventful first-half, penalties from Gaetan Germain and Thomas Laranjeira separated the teams at the break.
Laranjeira added further penalties to put Brive in a commanding 15-0 lead going into the final five minutes when Habana struck for the only try of the game.
Remy Gabalda/AFP/Getty Images
At the top Clermont Auvernge fell to a 26-16 defeat away to Castres Olympique.
The teams couldn’t be separated in the first-half with Clermont’s Stephen Brett and Castres’ Rory Kockett trading early penalties. Peceli Yato saw yellow for Clermont who then saw Jody Jenneker touch down to give the hosts the lead. Kockott converted but it was level at the break when Nick Abendanon crossed for the visitors.
Kockott and Benjamin Urdapilleta added penalties after the restart for Castres with Brett and Ludovic Radosavljevic leveling the game up with just under 15 minutes to play.
But Anthony Jelonch’s try was converted by Urdapilleta, who then added a penalty in the final 10 minutes to seal the win.
Jean-Pierre Clatot/AFP/Getty Images
Grenoble did their survival hopes no harm at all when they defeated Racing 92 19-10.
A Chris Masoe red-card inside five minutes saw Racing in trouble early on, and Jonathan Wisniewski kicked three first-half penalties to a solitary kick from James Hart as Bernard Jackman’s team led 9-3 at half-time.
Lucas Dupont touched down 14 minutes after the restart, with Wisniewski converting as the hosts took control. In injury-time Teddy Thomas crossed for a try for Racing who had an opportunity to leap-frog Toulon into sixth with victory.
Gaizka Iroz/AFP/Getty Images
A Tom Taylor penalty five minutes from time saw Pau deny bottom of the table Bayonne victory as they tied the game 25-25.
Watisoni Votu scored a try for Pau after four minutes with Bayonne’s Baptiste Chouzenoux grabbing the only other try of the game 13 minutes in. From then on the kickers took control, with Martin Bustos Moyano kicking six penalties and Tom Taylor adding five to Colin Slade’s earlier kick.
Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images
Stade Francais defeated Bordeaux Begles on Sunday 32-9, a defeat which sees the visitors drop to fourth from bottom.
Waisea Nayacalevu, Djibril Camara and Jeremy Sinzelle all touched down before the end of the first quarter.
French international Jules Plisson added five kicks in total and a conversion. Bordeaux’s points came courtesy of the boot of Simon Hickey (two) and Ian Madigan.
Romain Lafabregue/AFP/Getty Images
The final match of the weekend saw Lyon edge Montpellier 16-3 which saw them climb 10 points clear of Grenoble who are second from bottom.
Mike Harris converted two penalties in the first half and added a third in the second before Hemani Paea touched down for the games only try.
Willie du Plessis kicked Montpellier’s only score on the hour mark.
Source Article from http://www.espn.co.uk/rugby/story/_/id/18824211/top-14-wrap-toulon-clermont-fall-defeat-la-rochelle-go-top
TOP 14 Wrap – La Rochelle go top
www.espn.co.uk – RUGBY