Toulouse beat Clermont to maintain home record
January 5, 2014
Maxime Medard and Yoann Huget celebrate the former's try against Clermont © Getty Images
Toulouse defeated league leaders Clermont Auvergne 19-12 at Stade Ernest-Wallon in the final match of Top 14 round 16 on Sunday, their ninth win from as many home matches seeing them claim fourth spot on the log.
Clermont fly-half Brock James kicked the first of three penalties to open the scoring, but Toulouse countered with a converted try through Maxime Medard. The try, ultimately decisive, was controversial as Yoann Huget's pass for Medard appeared to drift forward before it was awarded after consultation between referee Christophe Berdos and the TMO
James and Toulouse counterpart Jean-Marc Doussain then traded penalties before the home playmaker landed a drop-goal and a penalty after the break. Mike Delany kicked a goal for Clermont five minutes from full-time, after replacing James, but the league leaders would claim nothing more than a losing bonus point after spilling the ball on attack in the final moments.
On Saturday, Grenoble stunned Top 14 giants Toulon while lowly Oyonnax knocked over Racing Metro 6-0 in a day of shocks.
At the Stade Felix Mayol, for 79 minutes of the game, it looked as if Jonny Wilkinson was going to be Toulon's hero as his 21 points had given the side a 21-15 lead over Grenoble. The game was played in blustery conditions with the rain pouring for much of it with a rare spark a second-half punch-up which led to Drew Mitchell and Benjamin Thiery seeing yellow.
But as the clock ticked closer to the end of the match, Grenoble Alipate Ratini's snuffled up a loose pass from Wilkinson and went over under Toulon's posts. Julien Caminati knocked over the extras and despite Bernard Laporte's touchline protests, Grenoble hung on for a hugely impressive victory.
Mathieu Bastareaud forces his way forward against Grenoble © Getty Images
Oyonnax found themselves second bottom in the Top 14 going into Saturday's match against Racing Metro, a team featuring three British & Irish Lions, but a stunning team effort saw them snatch a narrow 6-0 win. A penalty in both halves from Regis Lespinas proved to be the difference as Oyonnax held off a late Metro surge to secure a memorable victory.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Stade Francais' compounded Biarritz's woe with a 18-6 triumph while Perpignan saw off Bayonne 20-8 at the Stade Aime Giral.
On Friday evening, Castres saw off Bordeaux-Begles 15-9 with Geoffrey Palis slotting 12 points for the home side alongside a further three from Cedric Garcia. Castres were momentarily reduced to 13 men in the first-half with Yannick Caballero and Palis seeing yellow.
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