Stade battle for Top 14 play-offs

Toulon climbed to the top of the Top 14 log with a 46-31 win over Perpignan, while Stade Français knocked on the door of the top six by beating Bordeaux 37-23.

But while home advantage is still up for grabs, Stade, in seventh place on points difference with Toulouse, face a difficult last match against Toulon next week and could still miss the play-offs. Stade's Springbok flyhalf Morné Steyn was again left kicking his heels on the bench until the 68th minute, when he was brought on for fullback Djibril Camara. It was left to scrumhalf Jerome Fillol to convert three of Stade's five tries and add two penalties.

There is a four-way battle to avoid joining Biarritz in the second tier next season; but Grenoble, having lured Stormers wing Gio Aplon and Sharks scrumhalf Charl McLeod for next season, missed the chance to put distance between themselves and the other strugglers. They drew 21-21 with Bayonne, while Oyonnax would be more appreciative of their 19-19 draw with Toulouse. Grenoble remain three points ahead of Bayonne, Oyonnax and Perpignan.

Rory Kockott kicked three penalties and converted a try which should have been his as Castres held off Montpellier 22-15 on Friday night. Kockott made 40m before being hauled down a metre from the line, but Brice Dulin was on hand to finish it off.


Castres 22 Montpellier 15
Oyonnax 19 Toulouse 19
Perpignan 31 Toulon 46
Biarritz 19 Brive 13
Grenoble 21 Bayonne 21
Racing Métro 22 Clermont 6
Stade Français 37 Bordeaux-Bègles 23

Photo: Remy Gabalda/AFP Photo