Top 14 review: Bayonne alive
Five sides in the fight to avoid the drop
Last Updated: 22/04/12 8:42am
Bayonne kept alive their Top 14 survival hopes - although they were give a real scare against relegated Lyon.
Biarritz came good in the final quarter to snatch victory over Racing Metro to give themselves some breathing room but Brive threw away half-time lead as they lost to title-chasing Toulouse.
A strong first half was enough to see Stade Français past Perpignan, leaving the Catalans just three points clear of the drop zone but Bordeaux-Bègles did their survival hopes a power of good with a home victory over Agen.
Toulon threw away a 19-point lead to be held to a draw at home to Castres in a crucial clash in the play-offs race.
Toulouse 30-21 Brive
Stade Ernest Wallon, Toulouse
Toulouse returned to the top of the standings after briefly losing the lead following Clermont's win over Montpellier on Friday night.
However they had to work very hard to overcome a Brive team fighting for survival.
Toulouse had built a healthy lead early on thanks to tries from Clement Poitrenaud and Vincent Clerc.
The hosts, though, were trailing 18-15 at the break after Brive replied through tries from full-back Scott Spedding and wing Jacques Boussuge.
But the Toulouse pack took control in the second half and Luke McAlister landed four more penalties to see his side home.
"After the first 20 minutes I thought we were going to score 40 points, but unfortunately we were hit by two tries just before the break," said Toulouse coach Guy Noves.
"I told the lads not to get too down on themselves and they would be alright. Thanks to the boot of McAlister we got the job done in the end.
"If we can keep up this level of enthusiasm and willingness to play an attacking game I can be confident for the rest of the season."
Stade Francais 35-31 Perpignan
Stade Charlety, Paris
Stade Français keep their play-off hopes alive and maintain their unbeaten record at Stade Charlety but they almost threw it away as Perpignan launched a thrilling comeback.
Julien Dupuy was the hero for the hosts, landing seven penalties - including two from his own half - and two conversions.
Roncero scored on the half-hour mark as Stade Français raced to a 19-6 lead. But Perpigan wing Adrien Plante scored just before the break to leave the scores at 22-13 at half time.
George Smith scored soon after the restart while Dupuy continued to knock over kicks to put Stade 32-16 ahead.
Again USAP fought back via tries from Julien Candelon and Gavin Hume but fell short in the end, opting to kick a late penalty rather than push for a draw.
Perpignan remain in a five-way fight to avoid the drop.
Lyon 19-20 Bayonne
Stade Matmut, Lyon
Bayonne's second consecutive win sends Lyon to the ProD2 and keeps the heat on Brive, Perpignan, Biarritz and Bordeaux.
It was a drama-filled afternoon as a 70th-minute penalty from Benjamin Boyet handed the visitors victory.
Wing Yoann Huget scored after just two minutes for the Basques but the rest of the half would belong to Lyon, who used the strong wind to their advantage.
LOU led 19-7 at half-time thanks to a try from full-back Thibault Suchier and Lee Thomas's accurate boot.
But against the wind in the second half, the wheels came off for the hosts, who failed to trouble the scorers. Marvin O'Connor's try soon after the restart and Jacques-Louis Potgieter's boot set up a grandstand finish before Boyet won it for Bayonne.
Bordeaux-Begles 29-15 Agen
Stade André Moga, Bègles
UBB needed a win to keep their heads above water - and they led from the start for just their second win in eight games.
Three first-half tries gave the hosts a 19-0 lead at the interval and although Agen came back strongly in the second period, Bordeaux held on.
The result means Agen are sucked back into the relegation squabble, six points clear of the drop zone with two games to play. Next week's clash with Bayonne will be decisive.
Biarritz 22-13 Racing Metro
Parc des Sports d'Aguilera, Biarritz
Biarritz took a step closer to safety as they bounced back from defeat in the Basque derby last week - although the home fans were made to sweat as Racing held the lead on the hour mark.
The result sees BO climb to ninth, although they are only five points clear of the relegation zone.
Dimitri Yachvili kicked Biarritz into a 9-3 lead at half-time but a try from Racing scrum-half Sebastien Descons put the visitors ahead 13-12 on 53 minutes.
A Damien Traille drop-goal restored the hosts' advantage before a late Taku Ngwenya try sealed victory.
Toulon 25-25 Castres
Stade Felix Mayol, Toulon
Toulon will be kicking themselves for coughing up two vital points to a play-off rivals Castres.
Toulon retain third place but missed an opportunity to book a home play-off as Jonny Wilkinson failed to convert a penalty at the death.
RCT scored three tries in the opening 15 minutes and led 25-6 after half-hour only to see Castres launch an incredible comeback to snatch a draw thanks to Romain Martial's try just before the break and Romain Teulet's metronomic boot.
It could have been worse for Toulon as Castres fly-half Pierre Bernard missed two drops in the final minutes.
The result leaves Castres fifth, four points behind Toulon but only one behind Montpellier.
Sat 23rd May
Bayonne45 - 12La Rochelle
Brive27 - 0Stade Francais
Lyon29 - 24Grenoble
Montpellier17 - 29Clermont Auvergne
Racing Metro Paris53 - 10Castres
Toulon46 - 17Oyonnax
Toulouse23 - 22Bordeaux-Begles
Fri 29th May - Quarter Finals
Stade Francais0 - 0Racing Metro Paris
Sat 30th May - Quarter Finals
Toulouse0 - 0Oyonnax