Toulouse slip up as Racing edge Stade - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Toulouse slip up as Racing edge Stade

05/12/2010 06:12:59 AM Comments (0)

Racing Metro's powerful pack helped them edge out Stade Francais 15-13 on Saturday in a French Top 14 derby which propelled Pierre Berbizier's men into third place.

Despite the snowy conditions, Racing kept the heat on leaders Toulouse - who went down to a 32-25 loss at Clermont which at least earned them a bonus point.

Racing's pack forced Stade into a raft of errors and the hosts needed no second bidding as Francois Steyn and Jonathan Wisniewski stepped up to boot home penalties - Wisniewski claiming four to one for Steyn.

"I'll take the four points - the weather made things tough this week. We controlled the match well," said Racing coach Simon Mannix.

"We showed desire and put them under pressure. The pitch was pretty bad but the groundsman did a massive job on it."

Racing's Argentine star Juan Martin Hernandez told reporters: "It's always good to win a derby. In weather like this you have to know how to adapt your strategy accordingly."

Steyn fired over a penalty on the quarter hour after a Julien Dupuy penalty just a minute into the contest had seen Stade draw first blood.

Dupuy struck again on 23 minutes but Wisniewski then produced his quartet of kicks sandwiching the only try of the game by Stade's English wing Ollie Phillips on the hour - after a Dupuy kick had come off the woodwork. The latter duly converted.

Stade coach Michael Cheika said he felt his side had been unfortunate.

"We deserved a bit more even if we were not disciplined enough. In the second half we shipped four or five penalties in quick succession - we were lucky they missed a couple."

Toulouse suffered their fourth loss of the campaign at a Clermont side who with seven wins and six losses are a byword for inconsistency - although this success at the Stade Marcel-Michelin took the titleholders into sixth place.

Toulouse appeared to be on track when, after Morgan Parra had landed an opening penalty for the hosts, Maxine Medard went over on seven minutes with David Skrela - who had already notched a penalty - kicking the conversion before adding a second penalty.

But Clermont roared back with Julien Malzieu grounding the ball on 18 minutes before Alexandre Lapandery touched down five minutes before the interval.

Then it came down to the boot of Parra, who converted both efforts and then added four penalties to his earlier efforts.

Skrela took his penalty tally to five and Frederic Michalak pulled out a second try for the leaders in the 72nd minute but any hope Toulouse had of averting a loss evaporated with Parra's final penalty three minutes later.

Montpellier - now two points adrift of the summit - missed a chance to go top of the heap following Friday's 29-13 loss at Toulon, now fourth in the table.

Toulon thanked English veteran Jonny Wilkinson, shrugging off his recent shoulder injury setback, for 19 points in that win while compatriot Paul Sackey and Geoffroy Messina added tries.

In other early Saturday action Castres showed their top five credentials with a 23-13 win over Perpignan which delighted coach Laurent Labit.

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