Italy's Mori sends Bordeaux-Begles clear in Top 14

Paris (AFP) – Italy winger Federico Mori scored the first double of his senior career as Bordeaux-Begles moved five points clear as leaders of the French Top 14 on Sunday with a 30-27 home win over Biarritz.


Mori, 21, crossed twice in the final quarter as his side improve their advantage over second-placed reigning champions Toulouse.

They missed out an attacking bonus point by conceding two tries in the closing 10 minutes.

"We did the strict minimum," head coach Christophe Urios said.

"We dropped a point and we could have lost more, so it has annoyed me," he added.

The Basques remain bottom of the table but ex-New Zealand centre Francis Saili's late effort which clinched a bonus point leaves them trailing 13th-placed Perpignan only on their head-to-head record.

The recent increase in Covid-19 cases across France has impacted French rugby with one of this weekend's seven games, Montpellier's trip to Toulon, postponed due to coronavirus cases, on top of four matches which were unable to go ahead last weekend.

Additionally, from Monday onwards games will be played in front of a maximum of 5,000 spectators, or 2,000 for Racing 92's home games played at an indoor arena, in an attempt to control the spread of coronavirus.

The in-form Bordeaux-Begles led 13-6 at the break after former France No. 8 Louis Picamoles' try but Biarritz's stern defence kept the scores tight.

After the interval the floodgates opened as Mori crossed either side of Samoa centre UJ Seuteni's seventh try of the season, making him the season's leading scorer.

Mori's second effort finished sourly as he collided with a cameraman on the touchline, who was stretchered off with a knee problem.

Biarritz, five-time league winners, secured what could be a crucial bonus point in their relegation scrap as Salli crashed over five minutes into added time.

"We never give in, we give everything we can, and for that I'm proud of the boys," head coach Shaun Sowerby said.

Earlier, Fiji's Tokyo Olympics champion Aminiasi Tuimaba claimed his second try of the campaign as Pau overcame Brive 43-20 to go nine points clear of the 13th-placed Catalans.

Later, former Maori All Blacks fly-half Ihaia West missed an 83rd minute penalty in La Rochelle's 31-30 loss at Castres and Tuimaba's Test team-mate Josua Tuisova returns from suspension as Lyon host Racing 92.

On Saturday, Toulouse's wait for a first league win at Clermont since 2002 continued after ex-France fly-half Camille Lopez guided the Auvergne outfit to a 16-13 victory.