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Lyon lead Top 14 after clinging on for victory at Racing

By Tom Webber
Juan Imhoff in action for Racing 92

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Lyon finished with 14 men but clung on for a 20-17 victory over Racing 92 at Stade Yves Du Manoir that sent them to the Top 14 summit on Saturday.

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Deon Fourie was sent to the sin bin with seven minutes remaining in Paris, but Lyon dug in for a first away win against Racing since November 2005 to move above Toulouse and Montpellier, though Vern Cotter’s side face winless Brive on Sunday.

Wenceslas Lauret crossed for the opening try in the ninth minute but scores from Alexis Palisson and Toby Arnold, as well as a pair of penalties from the experienced Frederic Michalak, gave the visitors a 10-point lead.

Juan Imhoff burst through the line to close the gap with 20 minutes remaining, but Teddy Iribaren missed a penalty to tie the game as Lyon staved off attacks down their left – despite the loss of Fourie to the sinbin – for an impressive triumph.

Toulouse had already displaced Montpellier, who led going into this weekend’s fixtures, courtesy of a comfortable 30-10 win over Agen.

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Gael Fickou and Cheslin Kolbe crossed for the hosts in a performance that was far more convincing than their 22-19 victory over Brive last weekend.

La Rochelle’s three-match winning streak was ended by Toulon, who ran out 26-20 winners at Stade Mayol with Anthony Belleau the chief protagonist once again.

Fly-half Belleau produced a late drop-goal to eliminate La Rochelle at the semi-final stage last season and he kicked for 14 points, with second-half tries from Victor Vito and Brock James coming too late for the visitors to salvage a result.

Second-half tries from Waisea Nayacalevu and Sekou Macalou inspired Stade Francais to come from behind and beat Pau 25-23 away.

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Bordeaux-Begles scored 26 unanswered points after Maxime Veau was shown a red card for a tip tackle on Marco Tauleigne early in the second half as they defeated Oyonnax 39-9.

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