Bernard leads Bordeaux to win

2014-09-14 19:00
(File, Gallo Images)

Paris - Pierre Bernard kicked 17 points to help Bordeaux-Begles climb into fifth spot in the Top 14 after a stunning 27-21 victory over heavyweights Montpellier on Sunday.

Bernard made the most of an ill-disciplined Montpellier side that had recruited heavily in the off-season, the Bordeaux pack showing a steely grit at the set-piece and breakdown to deny the visitors a losing bonus point.

An early Benoit Paillaugue penalty handed Montpellier the lead.

But Bordeaux hit back with Fijian winger Metuisela Talebula touching down after a neat chip gathered by second winger Blair Connor, whose awareness and turn of pace showed why he was named in Philippe Saint-Andre's extended pre-World Cup list of 10 foreigners who could potentially play for France.

The home side then suffered a blow as prop Jefferson Poirot was yellow-carded for a high tackle.

Towards the end of his 10 minutes on the sidelines, Benjamin Fall, a close-season signing from Racing-Metro, pushed Montpellier back in front with a try, Paillaugue pushing the conversion wide.

The Montpellier scrum-half was on hand to kick his second penalty on the half-hour, Bernard responding.

Bernard was instrumental in Bordeaux's second try, gathering his own chip over the defence and offloading to Connor who managed to get a pass away to Jandre Marais, the giant South African lock crossing in the corner.

Long distance

Bernard missed the conversion, but with the Montpellier scrum in trouble, he kicked a penalty soon after to leave the score 18-11 to the hosts.

Paillaugue pulled back three points with a penalty early in the second period, but then saw another effort come back off the posts.

Bernard made no such mistake to restore Bordeaux's seven-point advantage.

But that did not last after Fall crossed in the corner for his second try after good build-up play by Fijian No 8 Akapusa Qera and a pinpoint pass from replacement scrum-half Jonathan Pelissie, Francois Trinh-Duc converting to draw the scores level.

A recklessly high tackle by Rene Ranger in front of the Montpellier posts saw the former All Black sin-binned, Bernard kicking his fourth penalty and then adding his fifth from long distance as the Montpellier scrum imploded.

Ranger returned to the field with two minutes to play, but Bordeaux pinched an attacking line-out and held out with a series of pick-and-gos.

Champions Toulon on Saturday slumped to a 28-24 defeat at home to Stade Francais in a match where they paid a heavy price for squandering 20 points with the boot.

It was Stade's first win at the Stade Mayol in six years and moved them into second spot in the Top 14 table, one point behind Clermont who handed Toulouse a third consecutive defeat in a 13-9 triumph.

Read more on:    montpellier  |  french top 14  |  paris  |  rugby

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