Top 14 round-up: Racing Metro win to boost play-off hopes
Last Updated: April 14, 2013 12:41am
Felipe Contepomi: scored two tries in Stade Francais win at Agen
Racing-Métro secured a crucial result in the race for the Top 14 play-offs on Saturday with a bonus-point win over Mont-de-Marsan.
Bayonne resisted a second half comeback by Grenoble in a seven-try thriller while Stade Français claimed a rare win on the road over an Agen side that were already relegated following Bordeaux-Bègles's draw in Castres on Friday.
Earlier on Saturday, some wayward place-kicking meant Toulouse had to settle for a losing bonus point in Montpellier.
Meanwhile, eastern-French side Oyonnax were promoted to the top flight for the first time in their 104-year history after taking the ProD2 title.
They secured their place in the Top 14 despite losing 30-29 to Brive.
Montpellier 10-8 Toulouse
Toulouse fly-half Lionel Beauxis missed a 79th minute conversion to allow Montpellier to escape with a 10-8 victory at Stade Yves Du Manoir.
The result could prove crucial for both team's ambitions for a home play-off. A losing bonus point for Toulouse moves the defending champions six points clear of fourth-placed Castres with two rounds remaining while Montpellier are now just one point further back (provisionally) in fifth.
Montpellier led 3-0 at the end of the hard-fought first half that saw the hosts dominate possession but unable to break through the Toulouse defence.
Beauxis drew the visitors level early in the second period but Montpellier's Fijian wing Timoci Nagusa was first to cross the whitewash shortly afterwards with a brilliant solo effort from the halfway line.
Toulouse replacement centre Gael Fickou scored in the 78th minute at the end of a classic flowing Toulouse attack but Beauxis, who endured a miserable day with the boot, failed with the conversion, his fourth miss in five attempts, leaving Montpol with the spoils.
Aviron Bayonnais 31-24 FC Grenoble
Despite a spirited start by the visitors, Bayonne led 18-0 at half time.
It looked like it could turn nasty for the visitors but Grenoble came storming back in the second half, scoring three tries to secure a losing bonus point that keeps them just ahead of Bayonne in the standings.
SU Agen 20-28 Stade Français
You could forgive Agen for not being overly motivated after hearing of their relegation less than 24 hours before kick-off.
The game turned into an exhibition of Felipe Contepomi's skill. The Pumas legend was everywhere, scoring two tries, making breaks and putting in big hits.
He'll be missed when he retires in a fortnight, though probably not in Agen!
Stade Montois 9-34 Racing-Métro
Mission accomplished for Racing thanks to a hat-trick from Fijian wing Virimi Vakatawa.
The bonus point takes moves Parisians level with fourth-placed Castres, whom they host on the last day of the regular season, meaning a home play-off is now very much on the cards.