Wednesday 7 December 2016

Timely boost for Stade Francais

John Fallon

Published 08/01/2016 | 02:30

Jules Plisson (p) scored a decisive second penalty for Stade Francais in their match against Toulouse last weekend Photo:Sportsfile
Jules Plisson (p) scored a decisive second penalty for Stade Francais in their match against Toulouse last weekend Photo:Sportsfile

Stade Francais will go into their games against Munster boosted by a superb late win over Toulouse at the weekend.

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It was only the fifth win from 12 outings this season by the reigning Top 14 champions.

But the manner of it will give them a lot of confidence before the back-to-back encounters with Anthony Foley's men.

Stade Francais trailed 8-3 at the break and fell further behind early in the second-half before Jules Plisson got his second penalty.

The key score came from French international Hugo Bonneval after 63 minutes, with Plisson converting.

But two more penalties from Sebastien Bezy edged Toulouse back in front and looked set for victory until Paul Williams, the Kiwi who has been capped by Samoa, struck for a try two minutes from the end to secure an 18-17 victory.

That win gives Stade some breathing space at the wrong end of the table in the defence of their crown.

They are 11th on 22 points, eight clear of the relegation zone but well adrift of neighbours Racing 92, Clermont Auvergne and Toulouse, all of whom are on 38 points at the top of the table.

Leicester Tigers, the pool leaders, were defeated 26-6 by Premiership leaders Saracens.

They will be looking to bounce back when they host Northampton Saints tomorrow at Welford Road.

Meanwhile, Treviso fell to their 11th straight defeat in the Pro12 with a successive loss to Italian neighbours Zebre resulting in a change of coach this week as they try to turn around a dreadful season.

Irish Independent

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