Castres offers itself to Toulouse and returns to the level of the leaders


Good operation for Abraham Papali’i and company. VALENTINE CHAPUIS / AFP

The CO disposed of Stade Toulouse this Saturday, during the 7th day of Top 14 and has a total of 23 points, as many as Racing 92, leader in the standings, and Stade français.

The series of invincibility continues for Castres in the derby: the CO won (31-23) against Stade Toulousain on Saturday and regained a place on the podium, during the 7th day of Top 14. The Tarnais won a 5th consecutive success at home against the French champion, and continue their good start to the season. After a setback in Pau, and a narrow victory against Perpignan, the Toulouse residents are in trouble.

A week after their improved victory against Oyonnax (39-11), the Castres continued their momentum by dominating the first act. Dominating the impacts despite the presence of the galaxy of Toulouse internationals, the Castres forwards made their reputation speak for themselves in the fight. But it was the backs who found the fault with a first-hand attack following a throw-in. Popelin cleared Dupont and found Cocagi, who continued his effort and fixed his last defender before serving Hulleu who concluded without opposition (22nd).

Manhandled and deprived of ammunition, Ugo Mola’s men responded with the boot of an uninspired Ramos in the running game to return to the locker room with a one-point outlay (10-9). The transition to the locker room did not change anything in the appearance of the game: the Tarnais continued to add punch and were logically rewarded by an 80-meter try from Cocagi (45th), then another, the bonus try -provisional- from Staniforth (55th, 24-9), all in power.

The Toulouse balloons were not enough

The Rouge et Noir reacted with conquering carried balls, and the penalty try awarded after a cynical foul by Nakarawa (59th) was quickly followed by another maul well concluded by Cramont (64th, 24-23). Tempers then became tense, until errors piled up on the visitors’ side. Houkpatin, following a… carried ball, scored the winning try (73rd).

The Castres will have to confirm this success next weekend in Toulon, Saturday November 25 (3 p.m.) before meeting Pierre-Fabre for the LOU reception on Saturday December 2 (5 p.m.). For its part, Toulouse will have a lot to do with the reception of a vengeful Clermont on Saturday November 25 (9:05 p.m.) then a trip during the Stades clash against Stade Français, Sunday December 3 (9:05 p.m.).



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