Sport

Racing92 cling on to win Paris derby by one point

Jules Plisson missed a penalty kick from 35 metres with nine minutes left as Stade Francais lost at home to Parisian rivals Racing 92, 16-17, on Sunday.

Kylan Hamdaoui gave Stade Francais an early lead but the home team could not add another try
Kylan Hamdaoui gave Stade Francais an early lead but the home team could not add another try (AFP)

Jules Plisson missed a penalty kick from 35 metres with nine minutes left as Stade Francais lost at home to Parisian rivals Racing 92, 16-17, on Sunday.

Stade remained second in the Top 14 standings, but now trail Clermont, who thrashed Toulon on Saturday, by six points. Racing stayed third, but closed to within a point of their neighbours.

In a tight match at Stade's Jean Bouin stadium, both teams scored one try.

Morne Steyn made all his kicks, booting three penalties and a conversion for the home team. For Racing, Finn Russell went a crucial one point better, missing a conversion, but kicking all four penalties he attempted.

Kylan Hamdaoui put Stade ahead in the 14th minute, taking a long pass from Steyn, throwing a dummy and darting through a gap to run more than 25 metres to the line. Steyn converted.

Racing went ahead just before half time. Russell made a half break and flicked the ball out of contact to Henry Chavancy whose little pass left Virimi Vakatawa with a clear run to the line but looked suspiciously forward.

Stade were more expansive but could not pierce the Racing defence and the key blows in the second half were all kicks or punches.

Steyn kicked Racing two points ahead in the 57th minute.

Four minutes later, Stade back Djibril Camara punched Racing back-row forward Antonie Claassen who barely flinched. The blow only drew a yellow card, but Russell kicked the resulting penalty to put Racing back in front.

Playing a man short, Stade pressed and won a penalty for a high tackle but Plisson, who had replaced Steyn after 65 minutes, missed the difficult attempt.

Perfect reply

On Saturday, Clermont eased past struggling Toulon with a bonus point 28-8 win to stretch their lead.

Victory for Clermont was their fifth of the season and was the perfect reply after losing against Bordeaux last weekend.

"It was a good performance tonight," said Clermont scrum-half Morgan Parra. "We knew that Toulon would come here fired up so to get five points is very satisfying."

For big-spending Toulon, who were fourth last season, it was a fourth defeat in six games and left them fourth from bottom.

In 31 meetings dating back to 1936, Toulon have only won once away to Clermont soil, emerging 35-9 winners in 2015.

"It's not been easy for anyone this season in Clermont," said Toulon coach Patrice Colazzo.

"We started well but they were able to score very quickly and we didn't take advantage of our chances."

Argentinian fly-half Benjamin Urdapilleta was the hero for defending champions Castres as he hit a late drop-goal and penalty to seal a last-gasp 26-22 victory over Toulouse.

Toulouse raced to a 20-point lead thanks to opening tries from Sebastien Bezy and Maxime Medard with Castres' Mathieu Babillot in the sinbin. Teenager Romain Ntamack added another for Toulouse.

But the visitors clung in to win a true game of two halves.

Urdapilleta converted a brace of tries by American Samoa-born No 8 Alex Tulou before his 72nd minute drop-goal handed Castres the lead for the first time, a third penalty two minutes later confirming what had seemed an unlikely victory.

'Incredible match'

"What an incredible match!" beamed Castres flanker Babillot. "We went to sleep in the first half... but at the break Christophe (Urios, the coach) blew up at us and we woke up."

Captain Rodrigo Capo Ortega added: "A match lasts 80 minutes, not 40 or 60. After our first try we said to ourselves that it was possible to come back."

In other matches, Montpellier kept Perpignan, at one point down to 13 men, winless and firmly rooted to the bottom of the table with a narrow 23-20 away win.

Bordeaux-Begles outscored La Rochelle four tries to two in a 34-22 victory, while Fiji-born France winger Noa Nakaitaci helped Lyon to a 34-6 bonus-point walloping of Grenoble in the Alps derby.

Lyon's international scrum-half Baptiste Couilloud suffered a serious ankle injury and could miss at least three months of action.

Antoine Hastoy scored 23 points including a 76th minute penalty to help Pau to a nail-biting 28-25 win over Agen.