Clermont smash Toulouse in Top 14 Rugby

2010 French Top 14 rugby union champions Clermont handed out a 35-5 thrashing of Toulouse on Saturday in their Top 14 Rugby clash.

Clermont’s victory – in a match missing no less than 14 players away on Six Nations duty – pulls them to within four points of Toulouse with seven matches of the league season remaining.

Toulon are a further nine points adrift of Clermont in third, a position they consolidated on Friday with a 19-6 win over fourth-placed Montpellier.

Dimitri Yachvili almost singlehandedly saw Biarritz to a crucial 38-13 victory over Bordeaux-Begles as the five-time champions battle to avoid relegation – the France star scored 25 of their points including two of the four tries.

Biarritz’s cause was also helped by defeats for both Bayonne and Perpignan, who went down 22-21 and 22-17 away at Racing-Metro and Agen respectively.

Bayonne are ahead of second from bottom Biarritz in terms of points difference only. Perpignan – champions as recently as 2009 – are two points better off than those two.

Biarritz president and France playing great Serge Blanco said that this was just the filip the team needed.

“We gained a bonus point, we have emerged from our torpor,” he said.

“Little by little, we are improving and we can be very satisfied with this result.

“It is vital, though, that we continue to work and to play above ourselves because it is the only objective we have and by playing that way it should see us retain, I hope, our place among the elite for next season.”

Perpignan coach Bernard Goutta was frustrated by the defeat and admitted that they were enmeshed in the relegation battle for the long run.

“At least we got a bonus point so we can be pleased about that,” he said.

“We know the road is going to be a long one with regards to the relegation struggle and that it will go down to the last day.”

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