Cas­tres edge Bordeaux in French Top 14 thriller

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Cas­tres held on to beat BordeauxBe­gles 33-27 in a six-try thriller in the French Top 14 yes­ter­day. But Bordeaux left with­out even a los­ing bonus point-awarded when teams lose by five points or lessafter for­mer France fly-half Lionel Beauxis missed with a last minute penalty at­tempt.

The vis­i­tors had been on the ra­m­age lead­ing up to that at­tempt with New Zealan­der cen­tre Jay­den Spence miss­ing out on a try when he spilled Beauxis’s upand-un­der in the Cas­tres end zone.

It was a a nerve-wrack­ing end to what was a great ad­vert for French rugby, par­tic­u­larly the first half.

In a thrilling start to the match, Cas­tres fly-half Ben­jamin Ur­dapil­leta kicked two penal­ties be­fore the hosts were awarded a penalty try on 11 min­utes af­ter a de­lib­er­ate knock-on from Fiji wing Me­tuisela Tale­bula pre­vented a cer­tain try. De­spite Tale­bula also cop­ing a yel­low card, Bordeaux struck back on 15 min­utes when scrum-half Bap­tiste Serin sold a dummy to lum­ber­ing prop Daniel Kotze be­fore scam­per­ing over.

Yet on 20 min­utes Cas­tres put to­gether a fluid move that ended with Samoan wing David Smith pass­ing in­side for cen­tre Thomas Combe­zou to score. Ur­dapil­leta and Ire­land fly-half Ian Madi­gan ex­changed penal­ties be­fore Bordeaux closed out the half with a try from full-back Jean-Mar­cellin But­tin down the right fol­low­ing quick hands in the backs. Madi­gan’s con­ver­sion left Cas­tres lead­ing 23-17 at the end of an ex­hil­a­rat­ing first half.

The sec­ond half didn’t live up to the first un­til re­place­ment Cas­tres scrum-half An­toine Dupont scored a car­bon copy of Serin’s ear­lier try, send­ing no less than Tale­bula the wrong way with an out­ra­geous dummy. Bordeaux wouldn’t lie down, though, and Spence fin­ished off an­other blis­ter­ing at­tack to dot down in the cor­ner. He al­most scored a try that would have given Beauxis the chance to kick a match-win­ning con­ver­sion but ul­ti­mately Bordeaux were left empty-handed. On Satur­day, Three-time Euro­pean cham­pi­ons Toulon gave new coach Mike Ford a win­ning Top 14 start with a com­mand­ing 42-12 vic­tory over strug­gling Greno­ble. Toulon ran in six tries for the win­ning bonus point with Mathieu Bastareaud, Ma­muka Gor­godze, Jo­celino Suta and Axel Muller all cross­ing. —AFP

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