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Perpignan lose again
Former champions lose both of their opening matches
Perpignan slummed to their second defeat in as many rounds in the Top 14 on Friday with a 26-22 loss to Bordeaux-Begles at Stade Jacques Chaban-Delmas.
The result leaves the 2009 French champions with just two losing bonus points from their opening two matches of the season after going down at home to Toulon last week.
The game was tinged with controversy from start to finish with referee Laurent Cardona brandishing four yellow cards - all to props - and awarding a penalty try to the visitors while the hosts' only try was also scored in dubious circumstances.
For Bordeaux-Begles, the win represents their first success of the season after losing narrowly to Grenoble on the opening weekend.
Perpignan, who have yet to cross the whitewash this season, will head home harbouring a number of regrets after failing to score when they held a two-man advantage early in the second half.
The scores were locked at 15-15 at the end of a first stanza characterised by indiscipline and a plethora of penalties - against both sides - at scrum time, despite Perpignan's clear dominance at the set piece.
UBB started the second period with 13 men after props Hikairo Forbes and Albert Toetu were both sent to the sin bin.
But after gallantly holding off the Catalans' best attacking efforts (which weren't anything to write home about) centre Andrew Mailei broke the deadlock with a great individual try.
Perpignann's protests that the defenders attempting to stop Mailei's midfield break were illegally held back fell on deaf ears and a couple of penalties from fly-half Camille Lopez saw the hosts build an 11-point lead.
USAP continued to press though and were back in the game thanks to a penalty try awarded when Bordeaux pulled down an advancing Catalan maul.
It proved too little, too late as Kisi Pulu's inconceivable yellow card at a scrum in the dying minutes capped a miserable night for Perpignan.
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Top 14 Table
|Friday 15th August|
|18:45||Bayonne vs Toulon|
|Saturday 16th August|
|12:45||Clermont Auvergne vs Grenoble|
|16:30||Castres vs Stade Francais|
|16:30||Bordeaux-Begles vs Lyon|
|16:30||Toulouse vs Oyonnax|
|16:30||Brive vs La Rochelle|
|18:45||Montpellier vs Racing Metro Paris|
|Friday 22nd August|
|18:45||Toulouse vs Castres|
|Saturday 23rd August|
|12:45||Brive vs Clermont Auvergne|
|16:30||Bayonne vs Oyonnax|
|16:30||Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris|
|16:30||Toulon vs La Rochelle|
|16:30||Montpellier vs Grenoble|
|18:45||Stade Francais vs Lyon|
|Friday 29th August|
|18:45||Clermont Auvergne vs Montpellier|
|Saturday 30th August|
|12:45||La Rochelle vs Toulouse|
|16:30||Castres vs Bay Of Plenty|
|16:30||Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles|
|16:30||Oyonnax vs Stade Francais|
|16:30||Lyon vs Brive|
|18:45||Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon|
|Friday 5th September|
|18:45||Montpellier vs Castres|
|Saturday 6th September|
|12:45||Brive vs Toulouse|
|15:00||Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris|
|16:30||Stade Francais vs Bayonne|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com