Stade Francais stayed firmly in the hunt for a Top 14 playoff place on Saturday as they outclassed leaders and European champions Toulouse 31-3 at the Stade de France.
Despite the defeat, Toulouse stayed top because second-placed Montpellier were held 12-12 at home to 2009 champions Perpignan, who are struggling to even make the top six.
Julien Arias scored his fifth try of the season when he profited from a reckless pass by Vincent Clerc, who missed intended target Clement Poitrenaud, and the Stade winger kicked ahead to touch down.
Julien Dupuy converted from wide out on the left to give the hosts a 10-3 advantage, but they suffered a blow when Englishman Ollie Phillips was yellow carded in the 26th minute for a late tackle on Cedric Heymans.
However, Stade extended their lead despite being a man down when Dupuy slotted over a penalty in the 33rd minute and he added another three points shortly before the break to give them a 16-3 halftime lead.
Dupuy added another penalty shortly after halftime and then the hosts hit the European champions with a killer blow when center Mathieu Bastareaud scored an excellent try created by former France flyhalf Lionel Beauxis to give them a 24-3 lead with half an hour to play.
Toulouse never threatened to get back into the match and it was no surprise when England star James Haskell added a third try with eight minutes remaining — Dupuy converting to make it 31-3.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker found himself in need of an assist to help the state fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He called on the New England Patriots. One of the team’s private airplanes on Thursday evening landed in Boston after returning from China carrying more than 1 million masks critical to healthcare providers fighting to control the spread of the coronavirus. Members of the Massachusetts National Guard met the airplane and offloaded the containers of masks onto waiting trucks for transport to warehouses for distribution. Baker secured the N95 masks from Chinese manufacturers, but had no way of getting them to the US. He
WAIT AND SEE: The estimated cost of postponement started at US$2 billion and has kept rising, but the IOC has yet to say whether it would help pay for the extra expenses Postponing the Tokyo Olympics to next year would make the event more costly for all parties, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) acknowledged on Thursday, although it offered few details on what the final bill might be. Four directors of the Olympic body held a conference call three days after Tokyo’s new dates were finalized, with the Games pushed back to July 23 to Aug. 8 next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the new dates cleared up any uncertainty about the event’s future, there are still plenty of question marks as the committee begins to work with Tokyo organizers and the
MEDIA RUMORS? With no pay agreement secured and players’ representatives calling for more financial information ahead of talks, the sport had another week of bad press Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle could be sacked in a matter of days, media reported yesterday, as the embattled governing body struggles to deal with a financial crisis compounded by a shutdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Castle this week took a 50 percent pay cut and laid off 75 percent of Rugby Australia (RA) staff members, saying that the body would face losses of up to A$120 million (US$71.95 million) if no more rugby was played this year. With no pay agreement secured with the players and their representatives calling on RA to provide more financial information ahead of negotiations, the
OLYMPICS Delay pushes rower to retire British rowing gold medalist Tom Ransley on Friday announced his retirement after deciding that the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games to next year was a step too far. The 34-year-old was part of the men’s eight who won gold in the 2016 Rio Olympics and also a bronze in the 2012 London Games. “I have used up everything I had and I know that to get myself in the necessary condition to compete for a seat in 2021 is a step too far,” he told the BBC. The years of early starts, of three training