Champions Toulouse lose for second straight weekend with Lyon defeat

Paris (AFP) –


French Top 14 champions Toulouse lost for a second straight weekend as they were beaten 22-12 by last year's losing semi-finalists Lyon on Sunday.

The record 20-time league winners, without 13 players away on Rugby World Cup duty, continued the sluggish form they showed in their opening round defeat to Bordeaux-Begles with a disappointing display against 14-men for the final 20 minutes.

Lyon fly-half Jonathan Wisniewski scored 14 points in a perfect display from the boot for the hosts who are without the likes of France lock Felix Lambey and Fiji winger Josua Tuisova due the Japan tournament, which begins on September 20.

Wisniewski slotted the first of his four penalty goals on four minutes after Xavier Mignot's try had been ruled out by the television match official.

Toulouse host Racing 92 next weekend in their first home match of the campaign after winning the French title in Paris in June and former France international Mathieu Bastareaud returns to Toulon with Lyon.

The home side stretched their lead to 10-0 three minutes later as France winger Noa Nakataici crossed in the corner and Wisniewski added the extras.

Zack Holmes claimed Toulouse's first points of proceedings with a penalty on the 18-minute mark.

Australian Holmes and 34-year-old Wisniewski then traded further penalty kicks in humid conditions and Lyon led 13-6 at the break.

The pair of fly-halves then repeated their first half efforts as the hosts held a 16-9 advantage with 20 minutes to go.

Lyon were down to 14 men shortly after as substitute Loann Goujon was shown a red card for stamping on Scotland lock Richie Gray.

Gray was yellow carded by Sebastien Minery as he held back Goujon beforehand.

Holmes closed the gap to four points which would have claimed a bonus point for the away side.

But Wisniewski and former New Zealand centre Charlie Ngatai added penalties to deny Toulouse the point and claim top spot in the table for Lyon.

Earlier in the day, Racing 92 bounced back from an opening day defeat to newly-promoted Bayonne beating 2018 champions Castres 23-14 in Paris.

On Saturday, Bordeaux-Begles won for a second straight weekend as young France fly-half Mathieu Jalibert starred in their 34-21 victory over Toulon.