Toulon leap back to Top 14 summit
April 19, 2014
Julien Caminati goes over for Grenoble © Getty Images
Perpignan, Bayonne and Oyonnax will all go into the final round of the Top 14 battling to preserve their top flight status.
All three sides are level on 50 points at the foot of the table with Perpignan falling to Toulon and both Oyonnax and Bayonne snatching late draws in their games.
With the kick-offs staggered on Saturday, Oyonnax went in search of a win at home to Toulouse to alleviate their relegation worries but they were left with two points after a late penalty from Benjamin Urdapilleta saw the game draw level at 19-19. Lionel Beauxis had a late chance to snatch the game for Toulouse but he missed from the tee.
Perpignan are now level on points with Oyonnax after they fell to a heavy 46-31 loss at home to table-toppers Toulon. Perpignan decided to take the match to Barcelona and but it was the visitors who turned on the style ahead of their Heineken Cup semi-final as they ran in four tries through Virgile Bruni, a wonder try from Steffon Armitage and a brace from Rudi Wulf alongside 26 points from Frederic Michalak. Perpignan battled hard but crossed for three tries thanks to efforts from Joffrey Michel, Guilhem Guirado and Wandile Mjekevu.
The Perpignan faithful welcome their team to the field © Getty Images
Bayonne left it late to secure a draw against Grenoble with Martin Bustos Moyano knocking over a late penalty to draw the game level at 22-22. Both teams crossed for two tries with Fabien Alexandre and Julien Caminati scoring for Grenoble and Marvin O'Connor scoring two for Bayonne. Biarritz are already down but they raised some cheer with a 19-13 win over Brive.
In the final round of the season, Perpignan travel to Clermont, Oyonnax journey to Brive while Bayonne host Castres.
At the other end of the tree, Toulon sit pretty at the top of the table after their nearest challengers Montpellier and Clermont both lost. Clermont Auvergne fell 22-6 to Racing Metro in Paris with Juan Imhoff scoring the sole try of the game. Racing's other points came from Maxime Machenaud (11) and three points from Juan Martin Hernandez and three from Jonathan Sexton.
Montpellier fell to a 22-15 defeat to Castres on Friday. Montpellier looked the better side in a frenetic opening period and they led 9-6 midway through the first half. But Brice Dulin's try shortly before the break meant that Castres led 16-9 at half-time. A scrappy second-half produced little of note. Francois Trinh-Duc reduced the deficit to four points but Romain Teulet replied with two penalties to give Castres breathing space. Trinh-Duc had the final say of the game to a secure a losing bonus point but it was the reigning champions who emerged victorious.
Saturday's late game saw Stade Francais get the maximum haul against Bordeaux-Begles as they won 37-23 in Paris. The win sees them move into seventh place, the spot which would see Stade take part in a play-off against a side from the Aviva Premiership for the last spot in next season's European Rugby Champions Cup. Stade's tries came from Waisea Nayacalevu (two), Antoine Burban, Djibril Camara and Digby Ioane.
Montpellier fullback Pierre Berard is brought to a halt © Getty Images
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Seventeen-year-old Max Verstappen will start his second Formula One race from sixth on the grid but admitted it could have been even better without a brake issue in Malaysia
Kimi Raikkonen said he and Ferrari have made life difficult for themselves at the Malaysian Grand Prix after qualifying 11th in mixed conditions on Saturday
Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck has pulled out of the England squad because of a knee injury he suffered in Friday's 4-0 win over Lithuania
Lewis Hamilton does not feel he was unfairly blocked by Nico Rosberg during the final session of qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix
Daniel Ricciardo thinks Red Bull can be happy with a spot on the second row on the grid in Malaysia after struggling at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix
Miroslav Klose scored goals in the World Cup final tournaments of 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014. Has anyone else scored World Cup goals 12 years apart?
Mudslinging and an agreement on something that will never happen, it's all in a day's work for a Formula One boss, as Maurice Hamilton explains...
Who has driven in the most GPs before taking pole position?
Fallout continues from the NSW-Brumbies derby, with one Tahs forward - not Potgieter - surprised by other unsavoury comments during the game, Greg Growden reports
Greg Growden previews Super Rugby round 7. We've also got key stats, team news and all the line-ups to inform your ESPN Footytips Super Rugby picks
Kevin De Bruyne would consider a move back to Chelsea despite barely featuring in his time at Stamford Bridge, sources told ESPN
Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge fears an extended spell out of action after tearing a hip muscle, England manager Roy Hodgson has revealed
Manchester United are determined to keep Angel Di Maria at Old Trafford, club sources have told ESPN, despite recent uncertainty over his future
Barcelona forward Luis Suarez has said he was treated "worse than if I were a hooligan" when FIFA banned him for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup
Andy Murray has expressed fears that his game will regress without full-time coaching in a candid exchange with a fellow Twitter user as he prepares to add former world No.4 Jonas Bjorkman to his coaching team
Everton defender Phil Jagielka is to have surgery on a badly gashed ankle, manager David Moyes has confirmed
Unbeaten heavyweight Dillian Whyte, 28, (14-0, 11 KOs) tells ESPN where his rivalry with Anthony Joshua stems from and outlines the plan for his career this year after returning from a doping ban in November
Who has driven in the most GPs before taking pole position?
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
Who was the first Briton to win the British Grand Prix?