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Stade vs Racing

Springbok Morné Steyn’s long-range kicking capability took centre stage as Stade Francais overcame the early Red Carding of captain Sergio Parisse to beat Parisian rivals Racing-Metro 28 / 19 in Top 14 action on Sunday.

The win leaves Stade in 4th in the table behind leaders Toulon, Clermont and Toulouse, with Oyonnax in 5th above Racing in 6th.

With just 2 games of the regular season to play, the pressure will be on in the fight to nail down a spot in the top 6 for the end-of-season play-offs.

Parisse was shown a straight Red Card after making contact with Racing fullback Brice Dulin contesting a 19th-minute up-and-under on the home side’s tryline.

The Italy No 8 had been pulled back by Bernard le Roux as he approached Dulin, but international referee Jerome Garces had no hesitation in brandishing Red after checking television replays.

“I’m disappointed with the Red Card,” Parisse told Canal+ television. “But to win here away from home with 14 men is great.

“It’s a magnificent victory.”

A man short for three-quarters of the match, Stade mounted a robust rearguard action, boosted by the unerring boot of Steyn, who has had to play second fiddle to the now-injured Jules Plisson for most of the season but bagged 23 points in brilliant sunshine in northwest Paris.

Steyn and Racing’s Ireland playmaker Jonathan Sexton traded 2 early penalties apiece in a tight opening.

After Parisse had been dismissed, Sexton and Steyn notched up their 3rd penalties.

As Stade took the game to Racing, referee Garces showed home prop Luc Ducalcon Yellow after a number of infringements.

Steyn booted his 4th penalty on the half-hour from 52m, with the Racing scrum in disarray in Ducalcon’s absence, the South African going on to make it 5 from 5 on the stroke of halftime.

Steyn, who has amassed 688 points in 59 Tests for the Springboks (only 18 of which were losses, 8 times to Australia and 7 times by New Zealand), added a 6th immediately into the 2nd half.

And then the killer blow came just 2 minutes later when Stade scrumhalf Julien Dupuy’s deft chip into the corner was gathered acrobatically by winger Jeremy Sinzalle who did well to ground the ball in the corner despite Juan Imhoff’s attentions.

Steyn made no mistake with the touchline conversion.

Stade were reduced to 13 men in the 54th minute after Dupuy was Yellow-Carded for a cynical knock-on as Racing attacked.

Sexton spurned a shot at the posts and kicked for touch, scrumhalf Maxime Machenaud eventually scrambling over for a try from the driven maul.

Steyn made a hash of 2 penalty attempts before nailing a 7th to stretch the visitors’ lead to 9 points in what was ultimately an emphatic away victory and city bragging rights.

In Saturday’s action, Toulon showed no signs of a hangover after their unprecedented 3rd consecutive European title with a 5-try 37 / 21 demolition of struggling Castres.

Clermont shrugged off their European misery with a 37 / 17 win at Grenoble which kept them in 2nd spot while Toulouse, the 17-time champions, maintained their push for a semi-final place with a 9-try 67 / 19 rout of Brive to go 3rd.

Bordeaux kept their play-off hopes alive with a 26 / 23 win over Oyonnax.

Montpellier, level with Bordeaux on 55 points, stay in 8th spot, 3 points off the top 6, after the team coached by former South Africa World Cup winner Jake White beat struggling Bayonne 33 / 16.

Top 14 results:

Racing-Metro 19 / 28 Stade Francais

Bordeaux-Begles 26 / 23 Oyonnax
Grenoble 17 / 37 Clermont
Lyon 16 / 16 La Rochelle
Montpellier 33 / 16 Bayonne
Toulon 37 / 21 Castres
Toulouse 67 / 19 Brive

Top 14 table (played, won, drawn, lost, points for, points against, bonus points, total points):
Toulon          24 15 0  9 675 486 10 70
Clermont        24 14 1  9 579 428  9 67
Toulouse        24 15 0  9 539 450  6 66
Stade Francais  24 14 1  9 556 528  7 65
Oyonnax         24 13 0 11 469 451  6 58
Racing-Metro    24 12 2 10 480 469  6 58
Bordeaux        24 11 0 13 641 535 11 55
Montpellier     24 11 2 11 499 452  7 55
La Rochelle     24 10 4 10 490 596  4 52
Brive           24 11 0 13 463 587  4 48
Grenoble        24 10 0 14 570 695  8 48
Bayonne         24  9 1 14 457 498  9 47
Castres         24 10 0 14 467 562  7 47
Lyon            24  7 1 16 430 578  7 37


Play-offs decided for Top 14 hopefuls:

The play-offs for the 2nd promotion spot into the Top 14 were decided in a dramatic end of the regular ProD2 season on Sunday.

Pau top the 2nd division and are already guaranteed promotion to the French elite.

The next 4 teams will play off next Sunday – Mont-de-Marsan host Albi while Perpignan entertain Agen.

The 2 winners will meet in a play-off final in Toulouse on 23 May, the victorious team joining Pau in the Top 14 next season.

Biarritz, the club with the biggest budget (11 million euros) in the ProD2 along with Perpignan, missed out on a play-off spot, losing on the final day of the regular season 29 / 28 to Dax, who will be relegated along with bottom club Massy into Federale 1.



Bullscot’s Rugby-Talk view – Morné Steyn perhaps still in Springboks sights:

You just can’t keep a good man down and with this performance the consummate professional Morné Steyn has shown that it is a bit premature to write off his chances of making it into the Springbok squad for the World Cup in spite of the rise of young gun Handré Pollard and the improving form of Elton Jantjies and, up until his injury, Patrick Lambie.

I know who I would pick in a pressured situation – Steyn it would be, Morné Steyn that is!


Controversial Red card for Parisse:

Below is a short clip showing the incident in which Sergio Parisse ‘earned’ his Red Card.  The footage is quite short and too zoomed in to get a complete idea of what happened, specially in the build-up but you can clearly see the pull on Parisse by Bernard le Roux which hindered his leaping into the air to compete for the aerial ball.  Will be interesting to see the outcome of this one, will he go to a disciplinary hearing and get a ban for a few matches or will they look at the footage and overturn the Red Card?

At such an important part of the season Stade Francais will be hoping that their captain doesn’t get any further sanction for this. They did very well to pull off this win in spite of playing without Parisse for about three quarters of the match and going down to 13 men for 10 minutes.

What do the punters think, should this have been a Red Card or not?



29 Responses to Top 14: Morné Steyn’s striking statement for Stade Francais

  • 1

    Au Revoir Euan Murray who has announced his retirement from international rugby. Great guy who has done so well at tight head. At 34 possibly one last chance for a contract at club level. If it wasn’t for being with his family that he retired from international rugby I would have said come on Bulls get the cheque book out.

  • 2

    and a very nice try
    from jeremy sinzelle

    great game for SF

    and a poor Racing Metro
    with sexton kruger laulala poor shades of what they used to be

    they did play lovely pass game against us
    in autumn with goossen as 10
    and on sunday nothing except Imhoff

    regarding morne steyn
    he seemed relieved
    free from the competition of jules plisson (injured)
    From what I know the other players get along well with him
    he is serious at training
    but did not really played well for us

    he is better since a couple of match
    had a good game for our win at bordeaux (still ecllpsed as plisson kicked the victory drop just after entering)

    the paris crowd (racing stadium is 3/4 away) did scream Morné Morné a couple of times
    happy for him

    for springboks
    I don’t how you want to play
    i am not sure Morné will make you win the WC
    he will do the job
    not more
    you do not seem dominant enough up front
    to win with only that
    am i wrong ?

  • 3

    the red card is a bad joke…
    but dullin could have been seriously wounded…

    we still do not know who will qualify for the play off
    with two rounds to go…

    Toulon, Toulouse, Clermont and SF should be in

    Oyonnax (what ?) Racing Bordeaux and Montpellier will fight for the other two places

  • 4

    MS for the RWC! YEAH!

  • 5

    @ rebop75:
    Hi rebop75 thanks for your insights from your side of the channel. I am a fan of Morne Steyn from a long time ago so possibly a bit biased but I think he still has a lot to offer and he can be one of those players that takes his game up a level when he puts on his country’s jersey. He will also be far more familiar and comfortable in the Springbok set up that he would have been coming to Paris at first having to adapt to living in another country and one with a different language too, wonder how well he speaks or at least understands French now.

  • 6

    @ rebop75:
    Regarding the red card, I had a picture that I tried to upload but couldn’t that shows Parisse is clearly being tugged when he is without the ball and he is in the air. I wonder has Bernard Le Roux been cited for this. Maybe the ref ignored Le Roux as Parisse didn’t fall like his opponent did, but from the picture you can see Parisse is jumping in the air with his eyes looking up, surely at the ball and then he is fouled by Le Roux. Please keep us informed about this one.

  • 7

    @ Loosehead:
    Hi Loosehead glad that you agree about Morne Steyn being a must for the Boks.

  • 8

    The red card is harsh in my opinion, the debate should be about if it deserved a yellow or not, he was a bit reckless, but how politically correct will rugby be if you can never compete for a ball in the air anymore when your own team kicked?… rugby is sure leaning in that direction, and the same thing cost the Springboks dearly in their last tour of europe.

  • 9

    8 @ MacroBull:
    Hi MacroBull am not a fan of the over use of the Gary Owen and possibly am going a bit against my earlier criticisms in favouring the attacking team in this case. You may recall how much I have complained about the case where Finn Russell was harshly dealt with when as a defender he ended up getting a yellow card and 2 match ban after the attacker Dan Biggar launched himself at quite an angle into the air and ended up landing on Russell, put an article up last week where Stuart Dickenson referred to this one and how he thought the person launching themselves into the air must also have some responsibility for their safety. The reason maybe in this case I am kind of defending Parisse of the attacking team is that if you play it frame by frame then you see early in the clip he has his eyes on the ball and jumps almost vertically only to be tugged while he is in the air and the defender, who Parisse was pinged for, seems to come into view flying in at some angle so possibly was a bit reckless himself. In my opinion the first person to do wrong was Bernard Le Roux for that tug so maybe Parisse should have gone down like a sack of spuds and then the ref may have blown in his favour, the fact that he doesn’t do this and still tries to compete along with the defender flying through the air puts him in the position that he gets nailed.
    Do you think Le Roux should be cited for that as he seemed to get away with that foul play or would he only have been cited if the ref missed it as he did and Parisse ended up picking up an injury from it?

  • 10

    @ MacroBull:
    Sorry if that long winded reply doesn’t make a lot of sense, really need to go get some shut eye cheers vir eers I-see-stars

  • 11

    Poor HM :wink:
    Yet another such an article glorifying the heroics of MS and HM is obliged to take FOUR (4) FHs to the RWC!
    Lambie, Pollard, Jantjies and MS :sad:
    I watched that game btw, MS being MS did very little elsewhere other than place kicking

  • 12

    There season is like 22 weeks in, and now he kicks them to victory in 1 game that is reported on, and he is a must for the Boks?

    I’m sure there are other cases of SA players having one blinder in the Top 14 as well, must they also be included?

  • 13

    @ Bullscot:
    cant really cite someone for a jersey tug, I think Parisse wouldn’t even have noticed it in such an adrenalin filled situation till he saw the replay.

  • 14

    @ Hondo:
    Steyn was never the most exciting flyhalf, but what he does well he does damn well. You just cant argue against all the things he achieved as a South African rugby player, impossible, Pat Lambie will need about 7 or 8 more years to score all the points Steyn did in Super Rugby, not to mention all his Springbok records… where we put him and whoever we leave out, we can’t take 4 flyhalves to the world rugby rugby world cup unfortunately. (WRRWC)

  • 15

    Stick to your spreadsheets Hondkak you fool.

  • 16

    @ MacroPolo:
    “we can’t take 4 flyhalves to the world rugby cup unfortunately”
    Well said
    So now take your pick, my guess is Lambie (a Bok contract), Pollard and MS will be on HM’s list
    Jantjies may come on the band wagon as one of the 11 ‘privileged’?!

  • 17

    Lambie can be considered an “utility player” why can’t he be included as a center of full back in the final group?

    Pollard can also double as a center.

    So Steyn and Jantjies can be the “flyhalves” according to the numbers, with both Lambie and Pollard who can still play 10

  • 18

    @ Hondo:
    Morne Steyns place isn’t assured imo, but considering Pat and Pollard went to Europe last year has them in good stead, it is a tough one to be honest and is bound to have an impact of the loose forwards as well in the selection… there are going to be some seriously disappointed okes. With a few “tokens” as you say assured if Pat, Pollard and Steyn goes :lol:

  • 19

    @ nortie:
    Very true

  • 20

    le roux was not cited
    and parisse will not play next match against montpellier
    and is waiting for the sanction

  • 21

    rebop75 wrote:

    le roux was not cited
    and parisse will not play next match against montpellier
    and is waiting for the sanction

    Thanks rebop75, that’s a pity thought Le Roux may have been worth a citing. Montpellier will be happier they are playing SF without Parisse.

  • 22

    but we have found your new
    bok N°10

    Backyard practicing!!#NoShortcuts

    A video posted by Morné (@mornesteyn) on

  • 23

    13 @ MacroBull:
    Hi MacroBull for me it was about the contact he made with Parisse in the air, considering how protective they have become of players while in the air. If he did that to a player jumping for a ball in a lineout then surely it would at the least have been a penalty against Le Roux.

  • 24

    11 @ Hondo:
    Hi Hondo surely it is a good place for Mr Meyer to be in to have 4 quality choices in a position, would be brilliant if he has that in all positions, think that is a headache he would gladly have rather than not have enough decent players to chose from.

  • 25

    Hondo wrote:

    I watched that game btw, MS being MS did very little elsewhere other than place kicking

    As you watched the game, what kind of service was he getting from his scrumhalf, were his forwards dominant or more on the back foot remember Parisse wasn’t there for much of the game and at one point they were down to 13 players, so these things must all have played a role in how they ended up playing and to have won so well shows their game tactics must have worked. For me Morne Steyn has wonderful temperament, Mr reliable the kind of player you want in a tight pressure filled game such as those we will get at the World Cup, plus with it being held in Autumn here it may not be a spectacle of running rugby rather many mauls and Gary Owens and reset scrums and much debate about refs decisions among the fans so I think he would do well if picked.

  • 26

    MS had a good passing game this time
    and kept Paris in the match with some difficult penalties
    with 14 against 15
    It was more a question of guts before everything
    BTW Paris destroyed the racing scrum twice with 7 men against 8

    Paris is not the Bulls
    we do not have powerful forwards
    only a very performant scrum

    when we are agressive in the rucks
    or when forwards offload
    then we play
    it is the moment where plisson is very good with a very long and accurate pass and some inspiration
    moren does not always make the good choice
    that is the main problem
    but as he plays not very often that might explain why

    we will
    he is still a good lad
    and his family is happy in Paris

    another problem is that he does not speak really French
    Bosman does (Van der Meerwe or Mostert likewise)
    when he plays
    our staff put Bosman on the field
    to help

  • 27

    the try

    the red card

    ref question to video is
    1) was the pink pushed and then collide with the blue
    2) is the pink late
    3) does the blue fall on the head


  • 28

    @ rebop75:
    Very good try, if was disallowed, it would definitely be a penalty try for an illegal tackle.

  • 29

    @ Bullscot:
    Now that you mention it, Parisse was surely held back, he could really have made an even better contest for the ball had he not been held back, so penalty against le Roux is the right call imo.


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