• Catrakilis kicks Montpellier to victory

    Demetri Catrakilis scored 20 points as Montpellier beat La Rochelle 25-20 in the French Top 14, while Toulon, Castres, Racing, Bordeaux and Brive also won.

    La Rochelle scored a converted try and a penalty in the first half, but ill discipline cost them as Catrakilis knocked over three penalties which saw Montpellier trail 10-9 at the break.

    The flyhalf continued his excellent kicking display in the second half with three more penalties, before converting flank Ben Mowen’s 68th-minute try.

    La Rochelle did score a late converted try to come away with a losing bonus point.

    Elsewhere, Toulon secured their first-ever victory at the Stade Marcel Michelin when they brushed aside Clermont 35-9. Following their heavy Champions Cup defeat to Wasps, Toulon went on the rampage, scoring four unanswered tries.

    After leading 15-6 at the break, the visitors scored two second-half tries, one by Drew Mitchell and the other a penalty try. Scrumhalf Eric Escande also added two penalties to Toulon’s tally, while Morgan Parra could only add three points to Clermont’s score.

    Maxime Machenaud inspired Racing to a 28-13 victory over Toulouse. The scrumhalf converted two of Racing’s three tries, while also adding three penalty goals for a win which takes them to second in the standings.

    Rory Kockott contributed 13 points as Castres battled past Agen 23-18. The scrumhalf was locked in a kicking duel with compatriot Burton Francis, who nailed six penalties to account for all Agen’s points. But in the end Francis’s perfect kicking display wasn’t enough as Castres outscored them two tries to none.

    Scrumhalf Yann Lesgourgues scored a hat-trick as Bordeaux hammered Pau 46-10 at Stade Chaban Delmas. Bordeaux ran in six tries, while Pau’s response came in the second half when Julien Pierre scored a converted try after they had opened the scoring with a penalty in the third minute.

    No 8 Petrus Hauman scored one of three tries for Brive, who thrashed hosts Oyonnaxx 34-9. Oyonnax led briefly, but Brive took an unassailable lead on the half-hour mark when the Top 14’s top point-scorer Gaëtan Germain crashed over for the first try of the game, and the floodgates opened thereafter.

    Grenoble host Stade Français on Sunday.

    Round 9 results:

    Montpellier 25 La Rochelle 20
    Clermont 9 Toulon 35
    Toulouse 13 Racing 28
    Castres 23 Agen 18
    Bordeaux 46 Pau 10
    Oyonnax 9 Brive 34

    Photo: Montpellier-Rugby.com

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    Mariette Adams