On-fire Fickou leads Stade Francais past Pau

Paris (AFP) –


France international centre Gael Fickou continued his blistering new life with Stade Francais by scoring two more tries in a 25-13 away win over Pau in the Top 14 on Sunday.

Fickou, 24 and with 35 French caps to his name having made his international debut in 2013 when he was just 18, took his season tally to five in five games with an impressive turn of pace and mazy running.

Stade's South African coach Heyneke Meyer was left chuffed at an away win after a disastrous season last year that saw the Parisian club finish in 12th position.

"Winning away from home is never easy and last season it never really happened like that for us," Meyer said.

"Our defence was brilliant and tactically we attacked really well."

Fickou notched up the first try of the encounter, an attempted Benson Stanley grubber kick handily bouncing back off Waisea Nayacalevu's legs, the Fijian winger immediately countering from inside his own half before finding the centre in support.

Fickou was next on the scoreboard, the centre signed from Toulouse skipping out of four tackles for a memorable try, ex-Springbok fly-half Morne Steyn knocking over the simple conversion.

Full-back Kylan Hamdaoui made it three when lively South African scrum-half Piet van Zyl snapped up a loose ball to set Stade off in attack.

Thibault Dabagna's early penalty was Pau's sole showing as the first-half finished 22-3.

But the home side got off to the perfect start in the second period, Fijian winger Watisoni Votu touching down a Jessie Mogg kick for a welcome try.

Slick hands saw Votu bag his second from close range with 20 minutes to play.

Stade then suffered a blow when replacement scrum-half, the up-and-coming France under-20s star Arthur Colville, was stretchered off with a nasty-looking right knee injury, having also been yellow carded for the collision which saw his leg buckle and twist under the full weight of Pau full-back Charly Malie.

Steyn hit one more penalty as the game petered out amid a raft of replacements that disrupted the flow of the game and saw Stade miss out on a bonus point.

Toulouse play Montpellier in Sunday's late game seeking to consolidate their place amid the early leaders of the Top 14.

Saturday's action saw Baptiste Serin help Bordeaux-Begles bring Clermont's four-match winning streak to an end with a nail-biting 23-19 victory.

Reigning champions Castres suffered their second loss of the season, going down 27-11 to Racing 92, while La Rochelle beat Lyon 30-13, Toulon dispatched Agen 33-3, and Grenoble survived a late flurry from Perpignan to come out on top of the battle of the winless promoted clubs, 31-22.