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.
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