Saturday, December 24, 2011

Top 14 - Round 13 wrap - Pumas, Canucks, Eagles and Teros

Top 14: le Stade Français enfonce Biarritz pour Noël
Felipe Contepomi scores for Stade Français vs Biarritz
Round thirteen of the French Top 14 was played entirely on Friday evening due to Christmas. This enables the players the luxury of spending the Christmas weekend with their families. Round fourteen will take place next weekend with all seven matches scheduled for Sunday, December 31st. The thirteenth round continues the ever changing shape of the competitions standings with Stade Français continuing to rise with their lattest victims, Biarritz still stuck in the unfamiliar position of bottom of the table. Bordeaux-Begles blew a massive chance as Perpignan overturned a half time deficit to complete a big home victory. Bayonne´s draw with Castres also sees the home side overtake Bordeaux-Begles while Castres early season form has vanished altogether as the side has been unable to win a Top 14 match since round seven when Castres defeated Toulouse 24-3 who were missing a host of players to World Cup duty. The weekend featured plenty of players from the Americas with Argentina, Canada, Uruguay and the USA all having players in action.

Brive 6-9 Clermont
The round started off with a tryless match which saw Brive continue to slide down the standings while Clermont and Toulouse are well clear of the chasing sides. Brock James´ three penalties were enough for Clermont to colect the victory. Former Pumas prop, Pablo Cardinali came on for Brive after 54 minutes while Canada´s Jamie Cudmore came on in the 59th minute for Clermont.

Bayonne 16-16 Castres
Castres had been leading the match 10-0 but let the advantage slide as Bayonne hit back to be leading 16-13 late in the match. With eight minutes remaining Romain Teulet equalized with a penalty and the match ended in a draw. Uruguay´s Rodrigo Capó Ortega started in the secondrow for Castres but only lasted until the nineteenth minute before being forced from the field due to injury.

Stade Français 23-10 Biarritz
The Parisians continue to work their way up the standings and Argentina´s Felipe Contepomi continues to have a lot do do with the sides form this season. Contepomi scored one of Stade Français´s two tries and landed the conversion as he played flyhalf. His midfield partner was Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga who played the full match. Rodrigo Roncero lasted until the 71st minute at loosehead prop while the Argentine  born Italian captain, Sergio Parisse played 70 minutes as he was yellow carded. Marcelo Bosch played the first 56 minutes at outside centre for Biarritz. Manuel Carriza played the full match in the secondrow while Francisco Gomez Kodela started at tighthead prop. USA international winger, Taku Ngwenya played on the right wing.

Perpignan 38-13 Bordeaux-Begles
Perpignan scored four secondhalf tries to get an important win as the club is now in a fight to avoid relegation to the Pro d2. Neither Nicolás Sánchez nor Rafael Carballo featured for Bordeaux-Begles.

Toulon 20-15 Lyon
Toulon are now clearly third in the competition while Lyon continue to sit in thirteenth position and are therefore still threatened with relegation. The games only try was scored by Toulon´s Alexis Palisson. Leonardo Senatore started in the backrow for Toulon and lastred 54 minutes while Juan Leguizamón played the full match for Lyon.

Racing Métro 26-8 Agen
Racing Métro´s choice of saving its best players for Top 14 Orange duty and fielding second string sides for the Heineken Cup proved to be very shrewed as the Parisians find themselves back in the Top six while Agen  have dropped three places to sit in eighth position. Juan Martín Hernández played the match at fullback - a position that he may find himself in for Los Pumas given the form of Felipe Contepomi for Stade Français. Hernández was joined by Juan Imhoff in the back-three with both playing the full 80 minutes. Alvaro Galindo started in the backrow and played until the 47 minute while Juan Orlandi started at tighthead prop and was substituted at the same time as Galindo. Belisario Agulla played the full match on the wing for Agen, scoring his sides only try in the final play of the match while centre Miguel Avramovic played the final quarter.

Montpellier 23-45 Toulouse
Toulouse stormed to a big firsthalf lead with Lionel Beauxis doing his best to press for a return to the French test team as he kicked two dropgoals, two penalties and converted his teams two tries with Toulouse leading 26-6 at the interval. Beauxis slotted his third dropgoal soon after the restart as well as three secondhalf penalties. Despite winning by a big score, 30 of Toulouse´s points were from goalkicking. The same area that let the same down in last weekends Heineken Cup loss vs the Harlequins. Montpellier had five Pumas in its starting lineup. Agustín Creevy and Maximilano Bustos started in the frontrow with Creevy being replaced in the 48th minute and Bustos in the 57th. A player pushing hard for the Pumas 15 shirt, Lucas González Amorosino played at fullback, Santiago Fernández played at inside centre and Martín Bustos Moyano played on the left wing. Bustos Moyano slotted two first half penalties and two second half conversions.

Top 14 Standings
1 Toulouse 47
2 Clermont 44
3 Toulon 39 
4 Castres 35 
5 Stade Français 34
6 Racing Metro 34
7 Agen 32 
8 Montpellier 27
9 Perpignan 25
10 Brive 23
11 Bayonne 22
12 Bordeaux-Begles 21
13 Lyon 18
14 Biarritz 15

                                                 Brive vs Clermont    

                                                   Bayonne vs Castres
                                             Stade Français vs Biarritz

Les temps forts de Stade Français Paris - Biarritz - Stade TV
Retrouvez les temps forts de Stade Français Paris - Biarritz à l'occasion de la 13ème journée du Top 14 Orange

                                                 Perpignan vs Bordeaux-Begles

                                                  Toulon  vs Lyon OU

                                                  Montpellier vs Toulouse


  1. Not sure Hernández will make the starting lineup on current form, I heard he knocked on twice in potential try scoring moves, one in particular apparently was very poor, however I heard Imhoff had a decent game

    by the way Contepomi's try was named try of the week by, it also said that he was the symbol of Stade Français' refound form

    good to see Rodríguez is playing to his potential, centre is the way to go for him I believe, especially as Fernández hasn't looked that good since the end of thw World Cup

  2. Felipe Contepomi certainly ought to be Argentina´s flyhalf on form. Juan Martín Hernández does have a lot of work to do and he, himself, has said so.

    There are a number of players who could well miss out due to form. Agulla is ahead of Camacho right now on form while Fernández, like you say, would miss out to Rodríguez Gurruchaga. Another example is Tomas Vallejos who has been in great form for the Harlequins and will push Manuel Carizza.