Seven-try Lyon thrash Bayonne to lead Top 14
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Lyon destroyed Bayonne on Saturday with an emphatic 52-9 win that featured seven tries and hoists them provisionally to first spot in France's Top 14.
The flurry of tries from six different scorers in front of a 16,000 home crowd at the Stade Gerland lifts early-season pace-setters Lyon onto 40 points.
Bordeaux-Begles, who are two points back in second, went into the weekend top and travel to struggling Pau on Sunday needing a win to put them back at the summit.
Lyon got off to a flying start to the Top 14 season but three defeats in the past four outings were firmly put behind them Saturday.
They dominated the early action but indiscipline saw them play with a man down twice with Kilian Geraci and Rudi Wulf both issued yellow cards.
The 21-year-old France centre Pierre-Louis Barassi was the chief motor of Bayonne's destruction and is a good bet to add to his one Test cap in the up-coming Six Nations.
Bayonne coach Yannick Bru refused to take the defeat on the chin.
"It was a bit of a spanking, but strangely, despite the score, we weren't far off," he claimed after the game.
His opposite number agreed but was delighted with the result.
"Bayonne were hanging in there for a long time, but in the end we got the job done," Pierre Mignoni said.
A series of penalties from Romain Barthelemy kept the Basques in the game in a hectic first period despite converted Lyon tries from Patrick Sobela and ex-All Black centre Charlie Ngatai.
But Barassi dotted down four minutes into the second half before two quickfire tries from South African Hendrik Roodt led to Bayonne crumbling.
Dylan Cretin on 76 minutes and Jean-Marcellin Buttin on two minutes later completed the demolition.
Later on Saturday newly promoted Brive lost at home in the league for the first time this season as hooker Camille Chat scored twice in Racing 92's 44-20 victory at Stade Amedee-Domenech.
Ex-France fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc made his debut in the Parisians' seventh win from their past eight games across all competitions.
© 2019 AFP