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French Top 14 play-off rivals Toulouse and Bordeaux battled out a 13-13 draw on Friday with the record four-time European champions now having gone four games since the start of the Six Nations without a win.
The result kept Bordeaux in fourth spot, just two points behind leaders Racing 92, while Toulouse are fifth on 48 points, a full 10 ahead of Castres in seventh spot and seemingly well set for the play-offs.
After Jean-Marc Doussain and Pierre Bernard had exchanged early penalties, it was left to Toulouse’s former All Blacks star Luke McAlister to conjure up the first try after half an hour at the Ernst Wallon Stadium.
McAlister, playing at full-back, had time to neatly place a crossfield kick into the hands of Samoan winger Paul Perez who sprinted half the length of the field down the right for the score.
Doussain succeeded with the extras for 10-3 although Bernard had time to pop over a second penalty, courtesy of the upright, for 10-6 at the break.
Bordeaux, who came into the game on the back of a four-match winning streak, snatched the lead early in the second period through replacement back Metuisela Talebula.
The Fijian had only been on the pitch for five minutes when he was set clear by a smart kick off the back of a scrum by Baptiste Serin which cleverly switched the direction of play.
Talebula ignored winger Adam Ashley-Cooper, in support, bouncing off two tackles to score.
Bernard added the conversion for 13-10 as Bordeaux were suddenly dreaming of a first win at Toulouse in five years.
Bordeaux’s Wallaby winger Ashley-Cooper had grabbed a hat-trick in last week’s rout of Oyonnax but he came back to earth on Friday when he was yellow-carded for tackling Toby Flood without the ball.
Doussain missed the resulting simple penalty in front of the posts — his second failure of the night — before he was relieved of kicking duties and substituted.
Gloucester club captain Greig Laidlaw will leave the English Premiership Rugby club at the end of the season to join French Top 14 club Clermont. Scotland captain Laidlaw joined...
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