After a three-week break to make way for international matches, the Top 14 resume their rights for Day 11, Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 November. The first months of competition offered several lessons. On the edge of this new block and two weeks before the start of the European Cup, franceinfo: sport reviews the main trends.
Toulouse and Bordeaux to widen the gap
We wouldn’t go so far as to say that Toulouse Stadium and UBB will undoubtedly be in the top 14 semi-finalists at the end of the season. But ten and eight points behind in third, Haut-Garonnais and Girondins are warm, in the first two places in the standings. The leader of Toulouse lost runner-up to Bordeaux twice, but the League owed its slight delay to the draw at Castres.
This weekend it will be a matter of confirmation – against Brive vs. Toulouse, the 92nd for Bordeaux – without most of the internationals, including Gallibert, Dupont and Netamack. Before meeting again, on Saturday, December 4, for a real shocker at the summit at the already filled Chaban-Delmas stadium (33,000 tickets have been sold). Chance for Christoph Urius’ players to take revenge after the semi-finals of the best of 14 and the European Cup loss to the stadium last year.
This big event will attract 33,000 supporters to two youngsters on December 4th!
– UBB Rugby (UBBrugby) November 8, 2021
Montpellier and Lyon, for the better, but …
LOU, like MHR, comes from a “blank” year. Understand that the season ended prematurely, with no endings. In search of redemption, Lyon and Montpellier, third and fourth with 26 points, lead the pursuit of ogres. However, a light patchy taste hovers above the performance of both.
Far from Herault, Montpellier was a huge success. Philip Saint-Andre’s players tied with Toulon before winning at Racing and Stade Francis. It’s very simple, nobody does better in the Top 14. On the other side of the coin or minor mishaps, MHR conceded two losses on the GGL court, against Toulouse and Claremont. The 11th home team, Montpellier no longer has the right to make mistakes in the race for the top 6.
With five wins versus the most losses, LOU’s record is pretty disappointing. Because apart from the correction in Montpellier, the other four setbacks on the wire were waived. Five points difference against Bordeaux and Stade de France, four points in Racing and Pau: if Lyon win each time a defense bonus, they are unlikely to satisfy Pierre Mignone. With more consistency and Liam Sopoaga – All Black – in better shape, this LOU has a lot more potential.
Toulon and Stade Français, there is an emergency
Will the famous electric shock happen? A pathetic 12th in the top 14 with three meager victories, Toloney rugby club changed coaches. Patrice Collazo gave way to Frank Azima at the beginning of November. Defeated by Clermont two days after taking office, the ex-ASM coach had three weeks to take a workforce meter that had been amputated by injured players (Colby, Olivon) or selected for selection (Gross, Villiers, Issa, Itzebeth…) . To be assured, Toulon should beat Lyon on Saturday. And if possible, in the manner: the recent two victories against Brave and Biarritz (13-9 each time) did not convince the Maillol crowd.
– RCT – RC Toulon (RCTofficiel) November 22 2021
After a poor start, we thought the Stade Français rebounded with its three straight victories in October. Sadly, the last two tracks at Pau and against Montpellier showed the limits of a team still searching for itself. It is highly expected that New Zealand’s Laumape Center will do a better job. There is no danger yet, because the Parisians have only six points from the top 6. But the French stadium, which has already been defeated twice in Jean Bowen, will have to raise its level seriously.
Perpignan and Biarritz, graduates in nails
In recent seasons, Bayonne, Oyonax, or Perpignan have suffered martyrdom after climbing to 14th place. This time, Biarritz and the USAP, who were on the way up again, decided not to give up, even if they took the last two places with 14 points. With three wins each, the Basques and Catalans play the match.
Everything is not perfect, like the two defeats conceded at home. With a small point scrapped from their bases, Biarritz and Perpignan don’t shine when it comes to exports. It will also be necessary to ensure the possible awakening of Toulon and Stade Français, which, without much surprise, will not do year-round maintenance. More used to fighting for their survival, Bao (ninth with 22 units) and Brave (10th with 21 points) are already far away. But BO and USAP give hope to their supporters. Considering Sang et Or’s final season in the elite (two lean wins in 2018-2019), it’s already a small victory.
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