Toulouse and Montpellier shrug off Top 14 rivals

Top 14 Rugby Champions Toulouse shrugged off the absence of their internationals to open up an 11-point lead at the top of the French Top 14 with a 20-15 win at Biarritz on Friday as Montpellier won 22-11 at home against Perpignan.

Despite missing eight players to Six Nations duty, Toulouse notched up their second consecutive away win after beating Racing-Metro in the Stade de France.

The leaders are now provisionally 11 points ahead of second-placed Clermont who on Saturday host a Racing-Metro in crisis amid the fall-out from the departure of Sebastien Chabal.

However Biarritz, playing without Imanol Harinordoquy, Dimitri Yachvili and Marcelo Bosch, move provisionally out of the relegation zone after picking up a bonus defensive point.

The two clubs were also without their regular coaches with Toulouse’s Yannick Bru and Biarritz’s Patrice Lagisquet joining Philippe Saint-Andre in the national coaching setup.

Meanwhile Montpellier, without France fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc, continued their good run despite a lacklustre win over Perpignan, without conceding a bonus point to the Catalan side.

Perpignan, missing internationals Nicolas Mas, Maxime Mermoz (France) and James Hook (Wales), have now gone four Top 14 matches without a win.

Toulon, sitting third, 20 points behind Toulouse, travel to promoted Bordeaux-Begles on Saturday looking for their third away win of the season.

Tailenders Bayonne host Stade Francais, while the Agen-Castres and Lyon-Brive ties have been postponed because of poor weather conditions.

French Top 14 results on Friday:
Montpellier 22 Perpignan 11
Biarritz 15 Toulouse 20

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