Pumas' Isa guides Toulon out of Top 14 relegation zone

Paris (AFP) – Argentina back-rower Facundo Isa scored his second try this season as struggling Toulon beat Biarritz 13-9 in the French Top 14 on Saturday with incoming head coach Franck Azema watching from the stands.


Isa, 28, came off the bench to cross in torrential rain in the first half as former Clermont coach Azema witnessed his first fixture before replacing the sacked Patrice Collazo next week.

Toulon, three-time European champions, move from 13th, the relegation play-off spot, to 11th with the win with temporary head coach James Coughlan at the helm.

On the Mediterranean coast, the sides were level 3-3 after penalty goals from Anthony Belleau and Ilian Perreaux.

Isa replaced Tongan Lopeti Timani after 28 minutes and made his impact just before the half-hour mark.

Toulon were camped in the Basque 22m before Isa picked up the ball from the base of the scrum and slid over profiting from the greasy surface.

Louis Carbonel and Perraux added a penalty each in the second half as Toulon claimed just their third win in nine matches this season.

Bordeaux-Begles went top with a 25-9 win at home to Clermont to stretch their unbeaten run to eight games.

Yann Lesgourgues, Ulupano Seuteni and Santiago Cordero scored the tries for Bordeaux.

However, their stay at the top may be brief as champions Toulouse can retake pole position on Sunday away to Racing 92.

Elsewhere, clubs were without 28 players away on France duty ahead of next month's Test series.

Two South Africans, who will be joining the Springbok squad next week, scored as Montpellier beat visiting Lyon 30-8.

Cobus Reinach, a contender to replace injured Faf de Klerk at scrum half in the autumn internationals, followed two tries last weekend with another as the home team overpowered Lyon.

Handre Pollard, the starting fly-half for the world champions, played at centre and kicked a penalty. Italian Paolo Garbisi, who was at No. 10, booted eight points.

The home team were helped by indiscipline as Lyon collected four yellow cards and gave away two penalty tries.

The victory lifted Montpellier past Lyon and into fourth in the table.

Argentina's Nicolas Sanchez is a doubt to face Les Bleus after he left the field with less than an hour played in Stade Francais' 18-9 loss at Pau.

Fly-half Sanchez walked off holding an ice pack on his shoulder after a late tackle by opposition back-rower Lekima Tagitagivalu.