League leaders Toulouse went undefeated after six games and put on a brilliant second-half performance, beating Pau 38-10 in Saturday’s Top 14.
Pau led 7-0 at half-time thanks to an interception by Thibault Debaes, also transformed.
But the second half saw a Toulouse team led by the English scrum half Antoine Dupont put Pau at the edge of the sword.
Veteran Maxime Médard scored for Toulouse’s first try, before Anthony Jelonch scored twice on either side of Australian Rory Arnold’s try.
Cyril Baille crossed for the team’s fifth try, Romain Ntamack spent every five years and scored a penalty to ensure not only the 10th consecutive victory in the Toulouse Top 14 which dates back to May, but also a victory with bonus points which prolongs its lead over Bordeaux-Bègles. at seven points.
“Our first half was not at the level of which we are capable”, frankly judges Toulouse coach Ugo Mola.
“The second half was not good, but at least we did the right thing. It is not a match that will be etched in Toulouse’s memories, but it is the five points that are important.
Jelonch, who captained France on their summer tour of Australia, said the second-half performance was a “good reaction”.
“This first half is a warning and we have to focus on this second half for the rest of the season,” added the defender.
– La Rochelle wins –
Struggling with La Rochelle, the best drivers at home and on the continent last season, he had already beaten Castres 29-10 for only the second victory of their Top 14 campaign.
La Rochelle lost to Toulouse in the Top 14 and European Cup final last season, but instead of taking another step this time around, they returned under the guidance of new manager Ronan O’Gara, the old Irish gambling menu.
The loss to Montpellier last weekend meant they had only won one of their five starting games and placed 13th on the 14-team standings.
But O’Gara was able to console himself for the victory over Castres, French internationals Pierre Bougarit and Gregory Alldritt crossed for tries in all halves, while opening half Pierre Popelin converted the two and even Five penalties for a personal score of 19 points.
“The defeat against Montpellier was unacceptable,” said O’Gara. “But it was good.
“We showed a better team, but that’s not exactly what I want to show. We have been aggressive and committed to our game plan, but we need to find more pace and speed.
“But our first job was to beat Castres, and we did it,” he said, adding however that he would not go down in history as “a landmark”.
“We are playing good things but I am waiting to see how some players are training this week because we are still lacking both tactically and technically.
In the other first matches, Lyon beat Biarritz 40-5, Bordeaux-Bègles beat Montpellier 27-23 and Racing 92 overtook Perpignan 17-14.
During Saturday’s match, Toulon, triple European champion, defeated Brive 13-9.
Sunday, Stade Français, last in the standings, will face Clermont.
© 2021 AFP