Updated: Sunday, 02 March 2014 01:34 | By Agence France-Presse

Talebula double gives Bordeaux first win over Clermont

Two tries by Fijian wing Metuiselau Talebula saw Bordeaux-Begles to their first win over Top 14 leaders Clermont since they returned to the top tier in 2011 as they prevailed 26-16 on Saturday.


Talebula double gives Bordeaux first win over Clermont

Clermont's back Lee Byrne collides with Begles's center Julien Rey during a French Top 14 Rugby Union match at Chaban Delmas stadium, southern France, on March 1, 2014 - by Jean Pierre Muller

The 22-year-old scored both tries in the second-half -- taking him to the top of the try scorers table with 12 -- to give his side an excellent chance of making the end of season play-offs by finishing in the top six.

Saturday's win saw them rise to sixth, equal on points with Grenoble and Toulouse, though both play later on Saturday.

Clermont's defeat should see them remain top as they are three points clear of Montpellier, who beat Stade Francais on Friday.

Both Castres and Toulon could pull level with bonus point wins later on Saturday away at Racing Metro -- coached by the duo Laurent Travers and Laurent Labit who guided the visitors to the title last season -- and home to Oyonnax respectively.

Clermont -- who were missing several key players such as Wesley Fofana and Napolioni Nalaga, who were injured, and Morgan Parra who was suspended -- opened the scoring in the ninth minute as Brock James -- who had missed an earlier opportunity -- slotted over a penalty at a sold out Chaban Delmas Stadium, normally the home to the Ligue 1 football club.

The hosts levelled in the 16th minute through former Castres player Pierre Bernard, who like James had also missed his opening kick at goal.

Bernard gave Bordeaux the lead just after the half hour mark, drilling one home from in front of the posts but James levelled soon afterwards.

Clermont, as is their habit, then created a try out of nothing.

Lee Byrne and Sitiveni Sivivatu began the counter-attack from inside their 22 and eventually Elvis Vermeulen -- in his 13th and final season with the club -- went over in the right hand corner for the five points.

James landed a brilliant conversion to make it 13-6 but Bernard reduced the deficit on the stroke of half-time with his third penalty.

The hosts went ahead six minutes into the second-half as Talebula grubber kicked the ball between two Clermont defenders and outpaced them to collect it and touch down for his 11th try of the season.

Bernard converted for 16-13 but James brought the sides back to parity in the 56th minute with another penalty to take him over the 200 points mark for the season.

Talebula tore apart the Clermont defence again on the hour mark but the visitors managed to deny Bordeaux a try through some sterling defence, though Bernard ensured the hosts didn't come away with nothing as he converted a penalty for 19-16.

Bernard missed a great opportunity to put them six points clear as another penalty clipped the post and dropped into a Clermont player's arms.

However, that mattered not a jot when Talebula went over for his second of the game two minutes from time, bursting through the middle of the Clermont defence to swan dive over the tryline.

Bernard converted although only after referee Cedric Marchat had consulted the video referee over a possible interference with Aurelien Rougerie as the Clermont captain chased to recuperate James's chip ahead.

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