South Africa international Morne Steyn eased Stade’s relegation fears as he kicked the Paris club to a 23-17 home win over Castres.
A five-match losing run to start 2018, including two games under Greg Cooper, had put Stade’s top-flight status in peril – just a point clear of 13th-placed Brive – and there was little relief in a first half that saw Castres’ Maama Vaipulu cancel out an opener from Hugh Pyle.
But Steyn crucially dispatched a penalty – his second of the game – and a drop goal following the restart to secure a lead that was extended by Waisea Nayacalevu’s try, Rory Kockott’s response counting for little.
— Stade Français Paris (@SFParisRugby) March 11, 2018
Stade’s next test comes against rivals Racing 92, who remain in second place after Toulouse missed their opportunity to climb the table in a 27-20 home defeat to Lyon.
Toulouse led 14-3 at half-time, with Lyon’s only points coming from a Frederic Michalak penalty seconds before the whistle following home tries for Yoann Huget and Cyril Baille.
But Toby Arnold brought the visitors back into contention with 20 minutes remaining, before a Delon Armitage brace – the second score coming three minutes from time – turned the game on its head, both teams also dispatching penalties through Thomas Ramos and Mike Harris.
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.