Parra puts Clermont top of the league
February 8, 2014
Morgan Parra's try put the gloss on another impressive home performance by Clermont © Getty Images
Morgan Parra was the star of the show as Clermont rose to the top of the Top 14 summit with a 25-13 win over Stade Francais.
After six penalties for Parra to just two from the boot of Morne Steyn, Clermont led 20-6 at the hour mark over the Paris side, who came into the weekend top of the table. Clermont demonstrated just why they have such a fearsome reputation at home, with Parra then crossing the whitewash ten minutes from time to secure a resounding victory.
Stade grabbed a late consolation from Digby Ioane four minutes later but it was far too little too late for the visitors.
A last minute penalty from Eric Escande saw Montpellier hand Toulouse their first home defeat of the Top 14 season with a 15-12 victory.
Neither side scored a try in a cagey affair, but it looked as though Toulouse has snatched a draw when Nicolas Bezy knocked a penalty over two minutes from time. But it wasn't to be as Toulouse - missing six French players to international duty - conceded a penalty in field goal range with the clock in the red for Escande to convert, dropping the home side to seventh in the league.
After the match, Toulouse president Jean-Rene Bouscatel launched scathing criticism of the French federation and the league for the system which has deprived him of so many of his top players.
Toulon ended a run of three successive league defeats as they left it late to beat the league's bottom side, Biarritz, 33-20.
The European champions have slipped down the table with their recent form but early first-half tries from Joe van Niekerk and Delon Armitage giving them a perfect start. But their lead did not last long, as a Seremaia Burotu try and three penalties from Dimitri Yachvili put Biarritz 14-10 up at the break. Yachvili and Jonny Wilkinson exchanged penalties after the half-time but it was not until Matt Giteau and Armitage crossed in quick succession five minutes from time that Toulon wrapped up the victory.
Reigning champions Castres kept pace with the leading pair as they avoided an upset with a narrow 17-16 win over Oyonnax. Bayonne edged Brive 9-6, while Perpignan and Racing Metro shared the spoils in a 16-16 draw.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Crusaders' wing Robbie Fruean has undergone surgery after he fractured his right arm in the Crusaders' loss to the Chiefs on Saturday
The Brumbies have been working their rehabilitation group in an altitude room at the University of Canberra in a bid to gain an edge over their Super Rugby rivals
The frustrations of coaching were never more evident than after Scotland slumped to a last-minute defeat by Italy at Murrayfield on Saturday
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger welcomed a positive response to midweek European misery as his team beat Everton 2-0 at Emirates Stadium
Rafael Nadal lifted his first title in nearly nine months Sunday after defeating Juan Monaco 6-4 6-1 at the Argentina Open
Greg Growden assesses the impact of Stephen Larkham's coaching on the Brumbies, and how he can boost the Wallabies for the Rugby World Cup
Despite James O'Connor's impressive return to Super Rugby for the Reds, Will Genia impressed the most to claim Australian Man of the Round honours
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin
With the World Cup only a few months away, the last thing France needed was doubts over the future of their coach, writes Huw Richards
They came to Murrayfield looking to put down a marker, but Scotland were sent home with their tails between their legs, writes Tristan Barclay
Tyson Fury moved closer to a shot at Wladimir Klitschko's WBO title with Christian Hammer's corner throwing in the towel after the eighth round at the O2 Arena
Sir Bobby Charlton thinks Louis van Gaal was "surprised by the enormity" of Manchester United when he took over as manager last summer
Chris Eubank Jr has called for a rematch with Billy Joe Saunders after stopping Dmitry Chudinov to claim the WBA 'interim' middleweight title at the O2 Arena in London
Brendan Rodgers hailed Philippe Coutinho as "a joy to watch" after the midfielder scored a spectacular winner against Manchester City and claimed it is "frightening" to think what the Brazilian could be worth
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says Daniel Sturridge's fitness must be managed properly so that the striker "doesn't break"
Former Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher marked his return to football punditry by coining a new name for Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers
We rewind to 2003 when Real Madrid brought a park attitude to their Champions League clash with Manchester United and played out a 4-3 thriller
The tale of the Jamaica bobsled team who triumphed against the odds at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics is embedded in pop culture more than 25 years on, writes Nick Atkin
Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner
In the latest edition of ESPN's Week in Words, Olivier Giroud gets emotional, Dimitar Berbatov is a bit smug, Arsene Wenger is hurting and Rory McIlroy is "p***** off"