Top 14 Round 2: Montpellier fight back, Toulon crush La Rochelle
Last Updated: 24/08/14 11:39am
Montpellier produced a stirring fightback against Grenoble to get their season back on track thanks to Jonathan Pélissié's last-gasp penalty.
Meanwhile Bordeaux-Bègles made it two wins from two against Racing-Métro, as did Toulon in convincing style against La Rochelle to move top of the table.
Elsewhere Bayonne picked up a morale-boosting win with a comprehensive success over Oyonnax.
Earlier in the day Clermont had powered their way to victory against Brive to make it two wins from two.
Bayonne 38-12 Oyonnax
Stade Jean Dauger
Bayonne bounced back from last week's home defeat to Toulon with an impressive display to see off Oyonnax.
The home side made the perfect start with a try from Joe Rokocoko, back on the wing having spent most of last season in the centres. The former All Black winger took advantage of some great work by Charles Ollivon to cross.
But Oyonnax responded, finding space after a turnover, with Benjamin Urdapilleta's offload out of the tackle sending Guillaume Boussès over. The Argentine's conversion hit the inside of the post but Oyonnax were back in the game.
Round Two results
Toulouse 35-6 Castres
Brive 6-21 Clermont
Bayonne 38-12 Oyonnax
Bordeaux 30-21 Racing-Metro
Montpellier 20-17 Grenoble
Toulon 60-19 La Rochelle
Stade Français 23-20 Lyon
They then lost their winger Dug Cudjo to a yellow card after he took out Marvin O'Connor in the air on the restart.
Blair Stewart added a penalty after 15 minutes to stretch the lead to five, and they added a second try of the afternoon soon after through Spedding.
The attack started with a little chip from Rokocoko which he tapped down to Spedding. The full-back then exchanged passes with his winger before diving over. Stewart converted to stretched the lead to 17-5.
Bayonne were in complete control and they moved further ahead with two more tries in quick succession, hooker Gregory Arganese and centre Santiago Fernandez crossing for the Basques.
Stewart was on fire from the kicking tee, slotting all four conversions as the home side stretched their lead, with Soane Tonga'uiha having been sin-binned in between the two scores.
Oyonnax did however pick themselves up just before the break, scoring their second try of the afternoon through Thibault Lassalle. The second row was on the shoulder after some great work from scrum-half Agustin Figuerola. The Argentinian spotted a gap in the Bayonne defence to make an initial break, before flicking the ball out of the back of the hand to Lassalle.
The hopes of a comeback were quickly put to bed though as Spedding scored his second try of the afternoon immediately after the break.
And that's how the score remained despite Bayonne picking up two second-half yellow cards.
Bordeaux-Bègles 30-21 Racing-Métro
Stade Chaban Delmas
Bordeaux-Bègles made it two wins from two to move up to fourth in the table with an impressive win over Racing-Métro.
The home side scored three tries, including one for fit-again Sofiane Guitoune, as they looked much improved on last week's difficult win over Lyon.
Bordeaux scored the first try of the afternon through prop Patrick Toetu, who used all his size to power over. The Bordeaux back row had made the initial inroads before the tighthead crashed over from close range.
Racing responded with three points from the boot of Jonathan Sexton after a good scrum by the visitors.
Sexton added another penalty as Racing seemed to be working their way into the match, but Bordeaux responded with two penalties of their own from Pierre Bernard to lead 13-6 at the break.
Racing came back in much better shape after the break, and quickly reduced the deficit to four with a Sexton penalty.
And they moved in front for the first time when new signing Teddy Thomas went over. The move started with a great run from Henry Chavancy, and after a little kick forward from Sexton, Thomas dotted down.
Bordeaux reacted wtih a third penalty of the afternoon for Bernard, moving back in front 16-14.
With eight minutes remaining Bordeaux made the decisive move, with Julien Rey going under the posts after a neat chip through from Guitoune. Bernard's conversion stretched the lead to nine points.
The scoring wasn't done with Bordeaux adding another try through a Guitoune interception after Thomas had scored his second of the afternoon.
Montpellier 20-17 Grenoble
Jonathan Pélissié's last-minute penalty allowed Montpellier to escape with the narrowest of victories against Grenoble.
The home side had been dangerous against Racing last week, but eventually paid the price for playing the entire second half with 14 men, losing at home to leave themselves under pressure in the race for the play-offs.
They simply had to win this game, but they looked dead and buried when Grenoble scored twice in quick succession early in the second half, only to produce a stirring comeback.
But they looked in good shape early on, with their offloading game causing the visitors problems and scrum-half Benoit Paillaugue took advantage of Grenoble's indiscipline to knock over two penalties for a 6-0 lead.
And with a dominant scrum helping them get the upper hand in the territory battle, they added a third penalty on the stroke of half-time to lead 9-0.
Grenoble came back after the break with more ambition, and they got on the board through a Jonathan Wisniewski penalty after an initial break down the right had the Montpellier defence scrambling and offside.
They then took a shock lead a quarter of an hour into the second half, with Alipate Ratini causing carnage on his wing. The Fijian made the intial ground and when the ball was recycled it was eventually Albertus Buckle who barrelled over from close range. Wisniewski's conversion made it 10-9.
And they stretched their lead with a second try of the afternoon through Ratini. The Fijian started the move again, and when the ball came back to the right, Grenoble had a huge overlap, and it was Ratini who was on hand to finish, with Rene Ranger sin-binned for a late tackle in the build-up to rub salt into the wounds. Wisniewski added the conversion out wide to stretch the lead to 8.
Montpellier had the chance to get back in touch with a penalty deep in Grenoble territory, but after choosing not to take the three points, Fulgence Ouedraogo knocked the ball on as they struggled to make ground. They eventually did earn a penalty through their scrum, and this time they took the shot at goal, Jonathan Pélissié bringing the deficit back to five points.
And Grenoble didn't help themselves two minutes later when Hendrik Roodt was sin-binned for tackling Pelissié when in an offside position.
Montpellier were in the ascendancy, and they went to their scrum to move back level, shoving Grenoble back allowing Alex Tulou to score. Pélissié's conversion was pulled wide though and the scores stayed level.
Ebersohn then gave away a stupid penalty when he slapped the ball away at a ruck, but Wisniewski's effort from 45m went wide.
And when Charl McLeod committed the same infringement on the Grenoble line, Pélissié made no mistake to give his side a crucial victory.
Toulon 60-19 La Rochelle
Stade Félix Mayol
Toulon overcame a sluggish start to thrash La Rochelle in their first game of the season at Mayol.
It was La Rochelle who made a flying start with a try after just two minutes from new signing Alofa Alofa. The former Waratahs winger collected the ball in the corner after good work by his three-quarters to stop.
However Toulon reacted well, with some great work from Matt Giteau putting Virgile Bruni into space, and the flanker showed his pace to sprint over from just outside the 22. Giteau converted to level the scores.
Giteau added another penalty soon after and despite battling gamely, the visitors made things more difficult for themselves picking up two yellow cards in as many minutes to find themselves down to 13 for the second straight week, with Kevin Gourdon and Thomas Synaeghel in the bin.
And Toulon took full advantage to run in their second try of the afternoon, through David Smith, before Mathieu Bastareaud finished off another move to extend the lead to 22-7 with Giteau's conversion from out wide.
By this point La Rochelle were chasing shadows, and Giteau turned the screw with another try before half-time. The Aussie fly-half showed his quick feet to sneak between two tacklers and cross as Toulon led 27-6 at the break.
It didn't get any easier in the second 40, with Toulon running in their fifth try within two minutes. This time it was Drew Mitchell causing havoc, collecting the ball inside his own half before beating a number of La Rochelle defenders to go under the posts.
La Rochelle were not helping themselves. After their two first-half yellow cards, they then conceded a sixth try of the afternoon when Jean-Pascal Barraque saw his kick charged down. Smith was the man who put him under pressure and he took advantage to score his second try of the afternoon.
Toulon were not done, and they added a seventh try through Delon Armitage, the full-back profiting from a miss-pass from Giteau to cross.
La Rochelle did manage to respond however, with Barraque adding a second try for the visitors.
But Toulon responded with two more tries in the closing stages from Chris Masoe and James O'Connor to complete a convincing win.
Stade Français 23-20 Lyon OU
Stade Jean Bouin
Stade Français were relieved to come away with the win after being outscored three tries to one following a strong comeback by Lyon.
Stade came out of the blocks quicker scoring their first try through Digby Ioane after 11 minutes. Jules Plisson had already given the home side the lead with an early penalty, and they extended it when Jonathan Danty pierced the Lyon defence before finding Djibril Camara. The full-back beat one man before releasing the former Wallaby to score, Plisson's conversion made it 10-0.
Lyon were struggling and they conceded a second try midway through the half. Plisson started the move with a half-break before passing to Ioane, who fed Jeremy Sinzelle to go over. Plisson converted once more to make it 17-0.
Lyon responded with a try of their own, Ricky Januarie having a go off the back of a ruck to dive over. Lachie Munro missed the conversion but quickly added a penalty to bring the deficit back to nine.
However Stade finished the half the stronger and Plisson added another penalty five minutes before the break to give the home side a 20-8 lead.
Plisson stretched the lead with another penalty after the break before Lyon pulled a try back with a driving maul. Lionel Nallet was the scorer but the chances of a LOU comeback were dealt a blow Coenie Basson was shown a yellow card for swinging his handbag.
Lyon kept coming though Deon Fourie touched down and Stephen Brett added the extra to make the score 23-20.