Stade Francais marked their return to the refurbished Jean Bouin stadium with a crushing 38-3 victory over Biarritz on Friday, as they provisionally moved to the summit of the fledgling Top 14 table.
After three years of playing their home fixtures across the city at the Charlety stadium, tries from Pierre Rabadan, Julien Arias, Jonathan Danty and Waisea Vuidravuwalu propelled Stade to a commanding win in their home opener.
Stade coach Gonzalo Quesada commented: “It’s excellent to have won this first match (at Jean Bouin stadium), it enables the players to fix in their heads that Jean-Bouin is a positive ground, where they can experience pleasure. We need to mark our territory.”
A pair of penalties from Stade scrum-half Julien Dupuy staked the hosts into an early 6-0 lead before Biarritz fly-half Julien Peyrelongue reduced the arrears with a penalty of his own.
Stade duo Antoine Burban and Pascal Pape both then saw tries ruled out upon video review before long-serving back-row forward Rabadan powered over on 22 minutes, this time his effort upheld following replays as Dupuy converted to extend the home side’s advantage.
A drop-goal from Jules Plisson before the interval moved Stade 16-3 ahead before they turned on the style in the second half as Biarritz were reduced to 13 men in a matter of minutes with Daniel Waenga and Arnaud Heguy both sin-binned.
Replacement scrum-half Jerome Fillol knocked over a penalty with Arias then touching down as the hosts capitalised on their two-man advantage before the introduction of of debutant South African fly-half Morne Steyn on 61 minutes further galvanised the home side
A converted Danty try moments after the Springbok’s arrival was soon followed by a try from Fijian winger Vuidravuwalu, with Steyn again connecting on the conversion to cap off a resounding success that sent the capital club three points clear of Toulon ahead of Saturday’s action.