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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

5 Great Tries from the opening weekend of the Top 14

The French Top 14 season began in earnest last weekend, with reigning champions Clermont Auvergne falling to an opening round defeat away to Bordeaux, while last year’s beaten finalists turned on the style to comfortably put away Pau at the Stade Félix Mayol.

The traditional August start for the Top 14 ensured almost every game was played in near-perfect conditions, which helped serve up some fantastic tries across the weekend. Clermont scored a cracker with Rémi Grosso finishing off a great team effort in his team’s 32-25 loss to Bordeaux.

English full-back Nick Abendanon nearly touched down himself after racing clear, but his no-look offload to Perceli Yato was key in keeping the move alive and allowing Grosso to cross for the try.

One of the best-taken tries from the first round was by Toulouse scrum-half Sébastien Bézy who latched onto Thomas Ramos’ pass following a neat kick-through from South African import Cheslin Kolbe.

Elsewhere, while Toulon have in recent years, perhaps been more renowned for their Barbarian-esque squad, it was a trio of past, present and (potentially) future French talent that dished up an absolute beauty against Pau.

Man of the Match Anthony Belleau – who last season scored a last minute dropgoal in Toulon’s semi-final against La Rochelle – again impressed and combined brilliantly with seasoned veteran Vincent Clerc to send new arrival Hugo Bonneval in at the corner. Toulon won the match 41-14.

ROUND 1 RESULTS:

Oyonnax (23-23) Toulouse

Racing 92 (25-21) Castres

Montpellier (48-19) Agen

Stade Français (16-25) Lyon

Brive (10-19) La Rochelle

Bordeaux (32-25) Clermont Auvergne

Toulon (41-14) Pau

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Posted in Great Tries

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