Lyon end Toulouse's perfect Top 14 start

Paris (AFP) –


Lyon condemned Toulouse to their first defeat of the French Top 14 season on Sunday with a 25-19 victory.

Toulouse had gone into the game with six wins from six but Lyon won a second successive match to regain third place in the championship, two points behind Bordeaux-Begles.

Toulouse still top the standings with a three-point advantage.

Back-rowers Beka Saghinadze and Dylan Cretin scored tries for Lyon as did scrum-half Baptiste Couilloud.

Lyon winger Ethan Dumortier was yellow-carded just after the hour mark which allowed hooker Peato Mauvaka to grab Toulouse's only try of the night.

It was enough at least to secure a defensive bonus point for the reigning French and European champions.

"It feels really good. We are going to sleep very well tonight," said Lyon fly-half Leo Berdeu.

"We wanted to be the ones who beat Toulouse first this season. I don't know if it's a benchmark match because we have played good matches.

"We lost here two weeks ago against Bordeaux. We want it to be an impregnable stadium."

Stade Francais, the under-performing financial heavyweights of the French Top 14, won a second successive match for the first time this season on Saturday.

A narrow 23-22 win at fellow strugglers Perpignan left forwards coach Laurent Sempere describing the knife-edge triumph as "mission accomplished".

On the scoresheet: Stade Francais  flanker Sekou Macalou scores one of his two tries
On the scoresheet: Stade Francais flanker Sekou Macalou scores one of his two tries RAYMOND ROIG AFP

Stade, who are reported to be bankrolled to the tune of just under 40 million euros this season, were indebted to international flanker Sekou Macalou who scored two tries.

It was a timely performance by the back-row forward with France due to announce their squad for the autumn Tests next week.

La Rochelle, runners-up in the Top 14 and European Champions Cup last season, are also finding their feet after a poor start.

On Saturday, they squeezed past Brive 8-6 with winger Arthur Retiere scoring the only try of the game.

Bordeaux-Begles stayed second with a 37-33 win at Pau.

Matthieu Jalibert scored two tries, and kicked 15 points, with Ulupano Seuteni and Romain Buros also on the scoresheet.

South African star winger Cheslin Kolbe was introduced to the Toulon crowd after his switch from Toulouse.

However, he then watched as the three-time European champions were beaten 27-20 by Racing 92.

Lock forward Brian Alainu'uese and Australian centre Duncan Paia'aua scored second-half tries for Toulon.

Back-row forwards Yoan Tanga and Ibrahim Diallo grabbed Racing's two tries as Toulon were defeated at their Stade Mayol home for the first time since February.

Rock-bottom Biarritz were beaten 38-20 at Castres.

In three away games this season, Biarritz have conceded 130 points at an average of just over 43 per game.

Clermont edged Montpellier 22-20 with Camille Lopez kicking 17 points while South African World Cup winner Handre Pollard missed a late penalty which could have won the game for Montpellier.