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Late bonus point tightens Lyon's grip on Top 14 playoff place

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Lyon (AFP)

Lyon closed in on a Top 14 playoff spot with a last-minute bonus point as they won 34-10 at home against Bordeaux-Begles on Sunday, a result that all but eliminates the visitors.

Lyon stayed third in the standings but collected maximum rewards from the victory to moved nine points ahead of seventh-placed Montpellier. One victory in the last two games will ensure a post-season berth for Lyon.

Bordeaux stay eighth but could be eliminated if Racing 92 beat Stade Francais in the late game on Sunday.

Playing into the wind in the first half, Lyon scored tries with their first two attacks, through lock Hendrik Roodt after seven minutes and Kiwi full-back Toby Arnold after 18, but had three possible touchdowns ruled out by video replays before half time.

Etienne Oosthuizen scored the third try in the 73rd minute and Mickael Ivaldi secured the precious bonus point with the fourth try with one minute to go.

On Saturday, in a re-run of last year's final, runners-up Montpellier beat champions Castres 12-9 in a gritty affair.

Leaders Toulouse scored 13 tries as they thumped Pau 83-6 in the French Top 14, with Thomas Ramos scoring 26 points in a virtuoso display.

Toulouse remain seven points clear of second-placed Clermont who claimed a bonus point 35-13 victory over relegated Perpignan after Fiji back-rower Peceli Yato's hat-trick.

Grenoble's hopes of avoiding a relegation play off against the loser of the ProD2 final took a blow after they lost 29-11 at home to 12th placed Agen.

La Rochelle survived a late Toulon fightback to win 30-21 and move up to third.

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