Wednesday, December 7, 2011

French Top 14 - Round 12 wrap

Similar to the the Aviva Championship, the weekends round of the Top 14 Orange contined the pattern of producing surprizing results and had its lattest round of matches influenced by Argentine players. While the Exeter Chiefs are in the top four in England, Agen are in the top four in France. If this was not surprizing enough tradition powerhouses including Biarritz and Perpignan are well down the ladder and will have to give up their plans on making the Top 14´s barrage and Semi Finals in preference of simply staying in the Top 14 as the seasons new arrivals from the Pro d2, Bordaeux-Begles and Lyon are both proving to be worth competitors in the Top 14. Argentina´s contribution to global rugby was highly evident overthe weekend as a contingent of players from Argentina was again in action. 

Bordeaux-Begles 16-12 Brive
Bordeaux-Begles upset the card in completing an extremely important win which puts the side four points clear of the bottom two and thus gives the side some breathing room from the relegation zone. It is bad news for Brive who have dropped considerably in recent rounds. Former Argentine international winger, Rafael Carballo played the full 80 minutes for Bordeaux-Begles while former Pumas prop Pablo Henn played the first 45 minutes for Brive.

Toulouse 33-12 Toulon
The high spending Toulon were given a lesson in South-Western France as Toulouse powered home to a big win which sees the reigning French champions stay on top of the standings. Toulon, in contrast, have fallen below Agen to now be on equal points with both Paris teams - Stade Français and Racing Métro. Los Pumas backrower, Leo Senatore playued the full match for Toulon.

Clermont 33-16 Castres
Clermont lie behind Toulouse in second place and certainly played like a different side to the one that lost to Montpellier last weekend. French scrumhalf, Morgan Parra scored 21 points Canada´s Jamie Cudmore did not play for Clermont as he continues to sit on the sidelines due to suspension.

Stade Français 29-3 Racing Métro
The Parisian classic was simply a one sided show as Stade Français´s rebirth continued and the clubs massive win sees the side enter the top six. Both sides had Pumas players at flyhalf with the long awaited battle of Felipe Contepomi vs Juan Martín Hernández taking place at the Stade de France. Stade Français´pack were able to provide a much better platform for Contepomi than Hernández and the 24 year old continued his impressive form as he kicked a penalty, dropgoal and converted a try. He was patnered at inside centre by Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga to continue the Parisians Pumas 10-12 combination. Los Pumas veteran loosehead prop, Rodrigo Roncero started for Stade Français as did the clubs Argentine born Italian international, Sergio Parisse. Former Pumas tighthead prop, Juan Pablo Orlandi started for Racing Métro and was replaced in the 68th minute.

Lyon 19-12 Perpignan
The decision of Perpignan to fire its coach has proven to achieve nothing as the 2009 French champions continue to struggle this season. Perpgnan´s loss was great news for the winners, Lyon who remain int he relgation zone but are now less than a win behind Perpignan and Bayonne. Los Pumas backrower, Juan Manuel Leguizamón played the first 61 minutes for the winners before being replaced.

Agen 37-18 Bayonne
Agen are in the top four while Bayonne are in the bottom four. Sunday´s match proved that it is not always the clubs who sign the big name players who go on to succeed. While Bayonne has sigend international players from France, New Zealand and Wales, Agen has signed out of favor players and has succeeded in producing results on the field. 35 year old Pumas prop, Martín Scelzo played the final 27 minutes for Agen while Miguel Avramovic was a late withdrawl from the team.Neither winger from the Americas -  Belisario Agulla (Argentina) and Kevin Swiryn (USA) featured for Agen.

Montpellier 30-23 Biarritz
Montpellier´s remarkable run continues as last seasons runners-up completed its third win in nine days after having defeated Clermont and Lyon during this period. After a slow first half which was highlighted by a try to USA international winger, Taku Ngwenya the match came alive after the interval and turned out to be the match of the round with biarritz picking up a bonus point in losing while Montperllier collected a full haul of a win plus a bonus point for scoring four tries. Pumas winger, Lucas González Amorosino played the full 80 minutes for Montpellier and scored a fantastic try as he continues his impressive run of form at fullback. He was joined in the back-three by Martín Bustos Moyano who kicked eight points as he also played the full 80 minutes. Agustín Creevy continues to look like the obvious player to replace Mario Ledesma at hooker and he played 71 minutes vs Biarritz. He was joined in the frontrow by Maximilano Bustos who was replaced in the 62nd minute but didn´t have a memorable match as he was yellow carded. Santiago Fernández was unused from the bench for Montpellier while Biarritz´s midfield Puma, Marcelo Bosch played the full match.

                                                  Toulouse vs Toulon

Résumé Toulouse-Toulon por rctoulon

                                                    Clermont vs Castres

ASM-Castres : le résumé por asm

                                                Stade Français vs Racing Métro

J12 - SF v RM 92 - Le résumé por racingmetro92

                                                         Lyon vs Perpignan

LOU USAP Résumé du match dec11 por USAP_Communication

                                                        Biarritz vs Montpellier

Résumé de match : Biarritz - Montpellier por MontpellierRugby

Top 14 Orange Standings
1 Toulouse 43
2 Clermont 40
3 Castres 33
4 Agen 32
5 Toulon 30
6 Stade Français 30 
7 Racing Metro 30
8 Montpellier 27
9 Brive 22
10 Bordeaux-Begles 21 
11 Bayonne 20
12 Perpignan 20
13 Lyon 17
14 Biarritz 15

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