Castres dent Racing’s title hopes

Castres claimed a stunning 13-9 win over Racing 92 in the Top 14, while Grenoble, Bordeaux, Clermont, Agen, Toulon and Montpellier were all victorious.

Castres landed a telling blow to Racing’s title aspirations, as the latter relinquished top spot following the four-point defeat at home.

Flyhalf Ben Urdapilleta and Dan Carter, who played inside centre for the hosts, traded early penalties to lock the scores at 3-3. However, a 10-point haul amassed either side of the break, courtesy of a converted try by wing Julien Caminati and a second Urdapilleta penalty, was enough to hand Castres an unlikely win.

Carter slotted two further penalty goals as Racing had to settle for a losing bonus point.

Meanwhile, Grenoble won 33-18 against Stade Français in Paris in the reigning champions’ ninth loss of the season; flyhalf Pierre Barnard was the sole contributor in Bordeaux’s 15-3 defeat of Pau, kicking four penalties and a drop goal; Clermont fought back from 10-3 down inside the opening 15 minutes to claim a crucial 44-16 bonus-point win over Oyonnax; flyhalf Burton Francis scored 11 points to guide Agen to a 31-27 win against La Rochelle and Toulon brushed aside Brive 44-15 at the Stade Mayol. The win coupled with a few other results, moved Toulon to the top of the standings.

In the only fixture on Sunday, Montpellier came out 31-29 victors over Toulouse in a dramatic match. With little over 20 minutes left in the contest, Jake White’s side led 28-10, but two quick-fire tries brought the hosts to within four points.

Demetri Catrakilis then slotted a penalty to put Montpellier in front by seven, but with time up on the clock and the visitors a man down, Toulouse scored in the eighth minute of stoppage time and needed the conversion to draw level and share the spoils. But the conversion hit the posts as Montpellier held on to hand Toulouse a first home defeat in 16 matches.

Round 15 results:

Racing 9 Castres 13
Stade Français 18 Grenoble 33
Pau 3 Bordeaux 15
Clermont 44 Oyonnax 16
Agen 31 La Rochelle 27
Toulon 44 Brive 15
Toulouse 29 Montpellier 31

Photo: Dave Winter/Getty Images

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