The barrage round of the Top 14 in France produced drama on Friday night as Castres booked their place in a semi-final against Toulouse. The win appeared easy by the scoreline but it was influenced by a red card that should perhaps never have been. The game had ebb and flowed in a tight opening period but Castres did look the more organised side, going in to the break at 19-8. The second period and Montpellier could not close the gap with the red card on 62 minutes making it impossible. So it was that Castres booked their place with a 31-15 win.
Saturday and the Toulon v Racing Métro was a much tighter affair and in fact it looked like the game would go to the visitors as Wilkinson had an off day with the boot missing several kickable penalties, meaning they went into the brak trailing 3-13. The second period and Racing could not add to their points but still held the advantage 9-13 until a breakout on 66 minutes gave Toulon the lead for the first time 14-13. This produced a nail biting last quatre until on the final whistle Giteau who had taken over from Wilkinson slotted his third penalty to give us the fianl score of: Toulon 17-13 Racing Métro.
So we called both results and now see the semis going to Toulouse and Clermont.
Fri 25 May 20:00 Castres 31-15 Montpellier Stade Ernest Wallon
Sat 26 May 20:00 Toulon 17-13 Racing Métro Stade Mayol
Sat 2 Jun 19:45 TOULOUSE V CASTRES Stadium De Toulouse (19:45 ESPN UK)
Sun 3 Jun 15:30 ASM CLERMONT V TOULON Stadium De Toulouse (15:30 ESPN UK)
Highlights ESPN UK Monday 21:30