Saturday, January 29, 2011

French Top 14 - Round 17


Round 17 of the 2010-2011 French Top 14 kicked off on Wednesday night in central France as current champions Clermont hosted Racing Metro of Paris and continued their domination following a recent Heineken Cup victory at the same venue to win 31-15. French international scrumhalf Morgan Parra kicked 16 points to give his side a comfortable victory. Pumas hooker, Mario Ledesma returned from injury as he entered the field in the second half and Argentine born Italian international centre, Gonzalo Canale scored a try for the homeside. Pumas flyhalf, Juan Martín Hernández continues to rehabilitate from a long injury lay-off and gave the Los Pumas coaching staff good news as he played the full 80 minutes for Racing Metro and kicked two dropgoals. Argentine backrower, Alvaro Galindo also played for Racing Metro as he came on in the second half.


Résumé Clermont-Racing

The traditional Paris powerhouses, Stade Français continued their difficulties which have taken place ever since Hernández left the club before the start of last season. Without El Mago, Stade Français have not been the same and have seriously lacked organization. They faced Castres in Castres on Thursday in what a few years ago would have been a regulation victory but was a difficult game for the Parisians and they were indeed overpowered as Castres won 34-12. Hernández´s replacement, Lionel Beauxis had another poor match as he looks anything other than a player sho should be at this years Rugby World Cup. Uruguayan international forward, Rodrigo Capó Ortega was on the bench for Castres while Stade Français had four Argentine internationals in the starting XV with Gonzalo Tiesi playing inside centre, Martín Rodriguez Guruchaga playing fullback, Juan Leguizamón playing in the back row and Rodrigo Roncero in the front row. the loss for Stade Français means they are in 9th spot when the should be in the top 4. They need to purchase a better flyhalf to replace Beauxis.

Two of the home Quarter Finalists from this seasons Heineken Cup went head-to-head in Biarritz on Thursday as Biarritz Olympique played host to Perpignan in what was one of the most unpredictable matches of the season. Perpignan were winning 21-0 after 20 minutes of play failed to score a point in the second half while Biarritz scored 23 which meant the homeside completed a miracle to win the match. Former Argentine international secondrower, Rimas Alvarez started in the secondrow for Perpignan while Pumas centre Marcelo Bosch played at 13 for Biarritz as he continues to play well as the World Cup approaches. He was the victim of two high tackles in this match which saw two Perpignan players yellow carded. Former Pumas hooker, Eusebio Guiñazú came on as a second half replacement for the home side and USA international winger Taku Ngwenya started at 14.


BO - USAP : Le résumé du match

Top 14 strugglers, Brive played host to midtable side, Bayonne as they looked to get out of the relegation zone but were knocked over 26-18 as the visitors scored by tries and in general played better rugby. The win sees Bayonne advance towards a place in next seasons Heineken Cup and casts doubt over whether or not Brive will be able to stay in the Top 14. Former Pumas prop, Pablo Cardinali played for Briveas a second half replacement.

A very interesting match took place in Toulon as Toulon played host to a team the club knows veryw ell after facign off against them regularly in the Pro d2, La Rochelle. Despite all of Toulon´s talent and the clubs extensive squad, La Rochelle were leading 9-0 at half time follwoing flyhalf Felipe Contepomi and scrumhalf Pierre Mignoni both leaving the field hurt. Toulon managed to turn things around after the break, however, as they scored two second half tries which was enough for victory. Pumas backrower, Juan Martín Fernánde Lobbe played in the backrow for Toulon and uncapped Argentine frontrowers, Franco Pani and Andrés Bordoy both played for La Rochelle.


Lasts seasons other second divisiopn side now in the Top 14, Agen hosted the certain to be Pro d2 side next season, Bourgoin and notched up a big 26-9 win which included a try to Argentine international centre, Miguel Avramovic. Uncapped Argentine centre, Matías Viazzo played again in the unfamiliar position of flyhalf for Bourgoin.

Toulouse notched up a highly impressive 29-9 victory over former Top 14 leaders, Montpellier which saw Toulouse break clearly away to have a firm lead on the table and Montepllier drop down to fifth position. Argentina international scrumhalf Nicolás Vergallo and secondrower Patricio Albacete both had impressive performances for Toulouse with Vergallo setting up the first try. Uncapped Argentine winger, Martín Bustos Moyano had a good night with the boot for Montepellier as he slotted 9 points but it was not enough. He had two Pumas playing alongside him for Montpellier with Santiago Fernández starting at inside centre and Juan Figallo at prop



The Top 14 now takes a two week break with the Six Nations starting next weekend. This means the Argentine players will be on holiday.

Top 14 Standings

1 Toulouse 56
2 Clermont 49
3 Racing Metro 49
4 Biarritz 48
5 Montpellier 47
6 Castres 46
7 Toulon 45
8 Bayonne 44
9 Stade Français 40
10 Perpignan 36
11 Agen 28
12 La Rochelle 27
13 Brive  26
14 Bourgoin 5

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