Kockott leads Castres to dramatic win

South African scrumhalf Rory Kockott played a major role in Castre's dramatic win over Toulouse in the Top 14.

The former Shark, who recently committed himself to the club after a protracted flirtation with Toulon, scored 14 points with a try, three conversions and a penalty as Castres hauled themselves back from 22-3 down to win 29-27.

A yellow card for Toulouse's South African prop Schalk Ferreira, last seen in Kings colours, enabled Castres to score the first of two penalty tries as they hauled themselves back into the game. A similar sanction for Census Johnston opened the way to another penalty try before Kockott gave his grateful club the lead for the first time when he spotted a gap at a lineout and lanced through. Wing Marcel Garvey's 73rd-minute try gave Castres a 29-22 cushion.

It was a dramatic ending as Toulouse, who have lost six players to the national side and top hooker Chiliboy Ralepele to injury, staged a furious assault on the line in the last minute of play. Castres were given two yellow cards as they tried to stop the onslaught, which finally saw Vincent Clerc score in the corner. The conversion, which would have secured the draw, hit the post. The win takes Castres to third on the log.

One Morné Steyn penalty was the difference between his Stade Français and Oyonnax, after both scored four tries and three conversions. The 29-26 scoreline pushed Stade into second place.

Montpellier slipped back after being beaten 42-16 by Clermont, who played for 60 minutes without France international halfback Morgan Parra after he earned a straight red by head-butting wing Rene Ranger.

Toulon had to rely on the boot of Jonny Wilkinson, with four penalties and a drop, to beat Bayonne 15-9. Their expensively assembled foreign brigade, which included South Africans Juan Smith, Craig Burden and Michael Claassens, as well as the likes of Drew Mitchell, Matt Giteau, Ali Williams and Carl Hayman, could make little impression on the relegation-threatened Bayonne, but at least they climbed to fourth with this win.

Former Stormer Joe Pietersen contributed two penalties to Biarritz's surprise 22-10 win over Grenoble. Biarritz, cemented to the bottom of the log, are now playing for pride.


Clermont Auvergne 42 Montpellier 16
Bordeaux Begles 25 Racing Métro 9
Grenoble 20 Biarritz 22
Perpignan 12 Brive 6
Stade Français 29 Oyonnax 26
Castres 29 Toulouse 27
Bayonne 9 Toulon 15

Photo: Remy Gabalda/AFP Photo