Heini Adams scored a late try as Bordeaux stunned Stade Français 24-21 in the Top 14, while there were also wins for Toulon, La Rochelle, Castres,Toulouse and Clermont.
Both teams scored in the first half, but a fluffed conversion by Stade flyhalf Jules Plisson put visiting Bordeaux 7-5 ahead at half-time.
The lead see-sawed regularly after the break, and Plisson struck a drop goal and a penalty close to the end to have Stade leading 21-17. With the clock ticking at the restart and his team on defence, Adams read play brilliantly. He intercepted and ran the length of the field to score the winning try against the champions in Paris.
Meanwhile, a star-studded Toulon side crushed Agen 53-23 in Mayol. With Ma’a Nonu, Drew Mitchell, Matt Giteau, Duane Vermeulen and Mamuka Gorgodze in the starting XV, Toulon scored eight tries to cruise past Agen, who scored two tries of their own.
La Rochelle comfortably beat Grenoble 33-16 at home. The hosts held an unassailable 23-10 lead at the halfway mark, and Grenoble threatened a comeback at the restart with two penalties by Jonathan Wisniewski. But then, down to only 13 men, La Rochelle extended their lead via two more penalties and a try to put Grenoble away.
Bismarck du Plessis’ career at Montpellier got off to a losing start, as they were ousted 34-19 by Castres. But Plessis and Demetri Catrakilis starred for Montpellier, with the Bok hooker scoring the team’s only try and Catrakilis adding the conversion and four penalties. However, a hat-trick by No 8 Alex Tulou, a self-converted try by Julien Camnati and Rory Kockott’s 11-point haul saw Castres walk away with maximum log points.
Toulouse inflicted a 27-3 defeat on the struggling Oyonnax at home. The visitors opened the scoring with a second-minute penalty, which turned out to be their only points, as Toulouse powered to victory. Flanker Tala Gray scored a brace and former All Black Luke McAlister went over for their third try.
Pau’s replacement scrumhalf Samuel Marques nailed a last-minute penalty as they held Racing to a 15-15 draw. Following a string of penalty kicks, Pau were 12-6 up at half-time. When scrumhalf Maxime Machenaud succeeded with three more penalties in the second half, Racing looked to have secured the result. However, a penalty 40m out from the posts had Pau's Marques stepping up to earn two vital log points for his team.
Clermont withstood a late surge by Brive to record a 26-21 win. Clermont led 13-12 at the break, but Brive's Gaëtan Germain and Morgan Parra traded penalties twice at the restart, before a second try pushed the visitors out to an eight-point advantage. Brive fought hard in the final quarter with Germain knocking over another kick, but excellent defending denied them in the end.
Round 10 results:
Stade Français 21 Bordeaux 24
Toulon 53 Agen 23
La Rochelle 33 Grenoble 16
Castres 34 Montpellier 19
Toulouse 27 Oyonnax 3
Pau 15 Racing 15
Brive 21 Clermont 26
Photo: Martin Bureau/AFP Photo