Rory Kockott missed a late conversion as Bordeaux-Begles survived a scare against Castres to stretch their lead at the summit of Top14 thanks in part to the boot of Ben Botica.
Fly-half Kockott had a chance to tie the scores when Anthony Jelonch crossed five minutes from time at Stade Chaban-Delmas but was unable to split the posts.
It meant Bordeaux – now eight points clear of second-place Lyon – held on for a 26-24 triumph despite being outscored four tries to two on home turf, with Castres settling for a losing bonus point.
Botica was crucial to the win, nailing two penalties that opened up breathing space.
Earlier, Blair Connor and Mahamadou Diaby had crossed for Bordeaux to cancel out Julien Caminati and Rodrigo Capo Ortega scores, with Filipo Nakosi also going over for Castres.
L’UBB en leader fait plier Castres
— RUGBYRAMA (@RugbyramaFR) March 1, 2020
There was late drama at Stade Mayol too, with a last-gasp penalty from Toulon fly-half Louis Carbonel swinging an end-to-end match in his side’s favour as they beat Stade Francais 19-18.
The result was cruel on Top 14 strugglers Stade, who recorded tries through Lester Etien and Kylan Hamdaoui to make it 18-16 in the closing minutes.
However, Toulon hit back to grab a victory that moves them into the top four in the standings, while their beaten opponents remain bottom.
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