Stade Francais narrowly missed out on a Top 14 play-off place as they were beaten 17-15 by league leaders Toulon in Nice at the weekend. The match was as competitive as ever with multiple cards, including a red, and a sin-binning for Wallaby Digby Ioane.
Replacement flyhalf Morne Steyn, renowned for his quality goal kicking, had a conversion kick to square things up late in the game after a Heinke van der Merwe try in the 77th minute.
That went wide, so Toulon held on for the win after having played 30 minutes with just 14 men, after Georgian Konstantine Mikautadze was red carded for a knee/kick on an opponent.
It was tense throughout and Stade Francais had three yellow cards themselves, with wing Ioane picking one up for a dangerous tackle on Bryan Habana as he came through a ruck. It looked as though he brought his Rugby Championship rival to ground safely, but was carded nonetheless.
Earlier in the match Ioane had come in off his wing to smash the Springbok star, and was penalised for that too, but wasn’t shown a card despite the referee chatting with the TMO.
Habana seems to have a bit of a habit of twisting his body dramatically in the tackle, whether it’s deliberate or not. As we saw with Devin Toner and Tom Court at the weekend, that can have dire consequences for the tackler, and perhaps for himself too.
With the victory Toulon secured their semi final spot, where they will face the winner of Toulouse vs Racing Metro, which takes place on 9 May. Montpellier beat Racing Metro 44-10 so they too go the guaranteed semi, where they will face the winner of Clermont vs Castes (10 May).
Below you can see the big tackle Ioane made on Habana, and then the incident he was yellow carded for. On the next page you can view the Konstantine Mikautadze red card incident.
A look at the sending off for Konstantine Mikautadze, who lashed out then saw red