Bourgoin shock Castres in Top 14

Bourgoin sprung a surprise 16-9 win over Top 14 leaders Castres in league action on Saturday as defending champions Perpignan edged into second spot thanks to a 29-3 thrashing of Montpellier.

In the day’s other game, Stade Francais posted a 34-10 victory over Bayonne.

At Bourgoin, the home side scored the only try of the game thanks to an interception by Namibian centre Piet Van Zyl, while Alberto Di Bernardo hit a conversion and penalty along with an early Benjamin Boyet drop-goal and a late Sebastien Laloo penalty.

Castres could only manage three penalties from the reliable boot of Romain Teulet but did go home with a bonus point for finishing within seven points of the hosts.

“We would certainly have hoped for something else from this trip other than the bonus defensive point,” bemoaned Castres scrum-half and captain Alexandre Albouy.

“We knew playing at Bourgoin would be tough but we also lacked realism on certain occasions.”


Stade Francais, after two league losses while deprived of a batch of players on international duty during November, outclassed Bayonne 34-10, scoring four tries to bag a bonus point.

Stade owner Max Guazzini will have breathed a sigh of relief in seeing his side shake off the monkey of defeat at the Stade de France after an 18-month losing streak at France’s national stadium, where the Parisians play their top-of-the-table clashes.

Bayonne’s Pierre Bernard struck an early penalty but Stade hooker Benjamin Kayser set the scene for a barnstorming purple patch for the home side with a rampaging 30-metre run for a great try under the posts in the 12th minute.

Returning France scrum-half and Kayser’s former Leicester team-mate Julien Dupuy skipped past Remy Martin to touch down three minutes later.

Bayonne paid the price for the sin-binning of David Roumieu, with lock Pascal Pape scoring Stade’s third, popping up on the left wing to score in the corner after some slick handling following impressive build-up play from Juan Leguizamon.

The second-half failed to deliver the same slick handling as the first with numerous passes going to ground.

Sam Gerber scored a try for Bayonne after collecting a Craig Gower cross-kick, but Stade had the last word when Geoffroy Messina split the defence and set up Australian winger Mark Gasnier for a simple run-in.

Stade coach Jacques Delmas said that the team’s first pleasure came from “winning once more at the Stade de France”.

“The second comes from having taken the bonus point,” he said.

“We’ll go away and build on the desire and determination shown in the first-half.

“It’s positive before next week’s European Cup.”


Defending Top 14 champions Perpignan dealt Montpellier a 29-3 drubbing, full-back Jerome Porical hitting five penalties and converting tries by Perry Freshwater and Yannick Parent for a 19-point haul.

The win moves them within two points of Castres at the top of the table with a game in hand.

In Friday’s game, an impressively steely performance from Montauban saw the unfashionable outfit claim a valuable 20-15 win over Clermont.

On Sunday, Brive entertain Toulouse, Albi play Biarritz, and Toulon travel to Racing-Metro.

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