Stade Français completed a dominant 32-16 victory at home to Castres last weekend to remain within touching distance of the Top 14 playoffs, heading into the business end of the season. Scrum-half Arthur Coville scored the first try, after a scintillating line break from prop Paul Alo-Emile.
Despite a suspiciously-forward-looking pass from fly-half Nicholas Sanchez, Alo’s dexterity and acceleration got the home side on the front foot straight away, with the Samoan displaying great awareness to feed Coville who in turn made light work of Paris.
The 21-year-old former Pro D2 player showed some great footwork as he rounded Castres winger Taylor Paris to score his side’s second try, after lock-forward Paul Gabrillagues touched down early on.
While the fitness and athleticism of the modern-day prop has resulted in more of these sorts of runs, it’s still quite rare that we see a rampaging forward make a clean line break and be able to pick a runner off their shoulder to set up a try.
Although Stade remain eighth in the standings, the battle for the all-crucial top six finish at the end of the regular season is as hot as ever. Just five points separate Lyon in third and Stade, with the recovering Montpellier a further five behind in ninth.