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Oyonnax stun Clermont with second-half fightback, La Rochelle thump Pau

Oyonnax fly-half Ben Botica

Top 14’s bottom club, Oyonnax, pulled off a stunning fightback to rescue a 32-32 draw against defending champions Clermont Auvergne.


Oyonnax, who have won only once all season, looked to be heading for a thumping defeat when they trailed 29-10 at the interval at Stade Charles-Mathon on Saturday.

However, five second-half penalties from Ben Botica got the hosts right back into the game and the fly-half held his nerve to earn Oyonnax a share of the spoils, adding the extras following Axel Muller’s 76th-minute try.

Botica could even have snatched victory for Oyonnax in the sixth minute of additional time, only to come up short with a drop-goal attempt.

Bordeaux-Begles and Brive also played out a draw at Stade Chaban-Delmas. Their game finished 27-27, with 40 points scored in the first half alone.

Elsewhere, La Rochelle thumped Pau 44-14 and Filipo Nakosi crossed twice in the second half as Agen ran in 26 unanswered points to beat Stade Francais 29-13.


Castres edged out Toulon 20-19 to leapfrog their opponents in the table, despite being out-scored three tries to two.


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Shaylen 6 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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