Tuisova 'makes rugby easy' as Lyon go fifth

Paris (AFP) –


Lyon captain Dylan Cretin said Josua Tuisova "makes rugby easy" after the Fiji winger scored twice in Saturday's 41-30 home win over 14-man Clermont to move them to fifth in the French Top 14.

Tuisova's efforts came either side of the break as the Olympic gold medallist made his first start for a month after being sidelined with a calf injury.

"Josh played really well. Rugby is easy when Josh scores on his own," Cretin said.

"We're happy with the win. Clermont put us under pressure. We could have made things easier for ourselves," he added.

The visitors, who had flanker Judicael Cancoriet sent off just before half-time, left Stade Gerland empty-handed but remain fourth, eight points behind leaders Toulouse who entertain Racing 92 later on Saturday.

Lyon climb to fifth, three points behind Clermont and three ahead of sixth-placed Bordeaux-Begles whose scheduled match at home to Montpellier on Sunday was called off.

Bordeaux-Begles, who travel to Toulouse in a European Champions Cup semi-final next Saturday, recorded another Covid-19 case after registering seven since the quarter-final win over Racing 92 on April.

According to Champions Cup rules a team will forfeit a game if they have one or more positive tests from testing three days prior to kick-off.

At Stade Gerland, Lyon led 10-7 after a quarter of an hour with Xavier Mignot's try and Jean-Marc Doussain's penalty cancelling out Clermont's early try from Tuisova's international team-mate Peceli Yato.

Tuisova's first effort came after 20 minutes as he broke through five defenders in a break started on the halfway line.

Just before the interval Cancoriet was sent off for elbowing Doussain while carrying the ball.

- Late comeback -

With 20 minutes left Clermont, who announced this week that La Rochelle's Jono Gibbes will return as head coach next season, seemed to be invigorated by the red card and led 23-20.

Morgan Parra and Doussain traded penalties before ex-All Blacks centre George Moala dotted down.

The lead changed three times before the 75-minute mark and France scrum-half Baptiste Couilloud made the most of a dominant Lyon maul to make it 34-30 with Doussain's conversion.

Tuisova's second try, and his 12th of the campaign, came with the clock in the red as the home side made the most of Clermont's attempt to run the ball from their own half.

Stade Francais kept their play off hopes alive with a 46-32 victory over struggling Pau in the capital.

The Parisians, in their first game since Gael Fickou's mid-season move to Racing 92, went to within four points of Bordeaux-Begles.

The side from the Pyrenees, who will have new signing in South Africa's Rugby World Cup winner Elton Jantjies available for next month's trip to Agen after the fly-half finished his Covid-19 isolation period, stay three points adrift of safety, with four matches of their season left.

The day ends as les Bleus centre Fickou makes his Racing debut off the bench at the holders.