Sunday, February 12, 2012

Top 14 Orange - Round 17 Wrap

Agustín Creevy
The 17th round of the Top 14 Orange was played on Friday and Saturday. It continued with the pattern of unfamiliar results with the position of teams below Toulouse and Clermont at the top continuning to alter. Just who will drop down to the Pro d2 remains a mystery as poweful sides including Biarritz and Perpignan remain in grave danger of falling unless they can find the form that they desperately need. Bayonne has risen from bottom of the table after completing a vital home win over Stade Français. The round features its share of players from the Americas with Argentine, Canadian and USA players taking the field.

Montpellier 22-11 Perpignan
Fans at the Stade Yves-du-Manoir were treated to quality entertainment with the home side continuing its recent domination over Mediterranean rivals Perpignan. Pumas players were at the forefront of the win with a total of six Argentine players starting for Montpellier. Fullback Lucas González Amorosino scored one of the teams three tries while Córdoba´s Martín Bustos Moyano slotted two conversions and a penalty to score seven points from the wing. Santiago Fernández played flyhalf and had a good performance ruined by a yellowcard in the secondhalf. Juan Figallo, Agustín Creevy and Maximiliano Bustos formed an all-Argentina frontrow.

Biarritz 15-20 Toulouse
Biarritz were more than happy to take a bonus point from their home loss vs leaders, Toulouse at the Parc des Sports Aguilera. With the side facing the real danger of being relegated, Biarritz were happy to just get through the game and the Basque side did well to even get a point after Toulouse had total control early on with three tries. The boot of former French internationals Benoit Baby and Damien Traille resulted in all of Biarritz´s points. Manuel Carizza started in the unfamiliar position of the backrow while Francisco Gomez Kodela came into the frontrow in the 23rd minute of the first half. Taku Ngwenya played on the wing for Biarritz but Marcelo Bosch was a late withdrawl after having been named to start at outside centre. Patricio Albacete played the full match in the secondrow for Toulouse while Nicolás Vergallo was unused from the bench.

Bayonne 26-20 Stade Français
Fans at the Stade Jean Dauger were given their best win of the season as Bayonne won a 2 tries each contest to move from fourteenth to thirteenth in the standings. It is some form of relief as Biarritz, Perpignan and Brive could now all fall behind Bayonne should they lose and Bayonne win next weekend. It will not be easy, however, as Bayoone will host Clermont. Stade Français remain in the Top Six but should really have won this match. Felipe Contepomi missed it as he picked up an injury in training. This meant Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga was handed the kicking duties. he kicked two penalties and converted both of Stade Français´ tries as he played the full 80 minutes. Rodrigo Roncero was yellowcarded meaning he missed 10 of the 80 minutes of playing time. A possible Puma of the future, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro came on from the bench to play for the first time in a Top 14 match. He came on in the 46rd minute. USA Eagles secondrower, Scott LaValla came on in the 59th minute.

Toulon 44-7 Bordeaux-Bégles
Toulon´s failure to finish in the Top six of last seasons French Top 14 seems impossible now as the star-studded side completed another big win at the Stade Félix-Mayol. The bonus point keeps Toulon in third place and the team is now virtually guaranteed of a place in the Heineken Cup next season and is the only team likely to be able to catch either Clermont or Toulouse on the ladder. Leonardo Senatroe did not play for Toulon nor did Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe who still has not returned from his World Cup ending knee injury. Nicolás Sánchez remains on the sidelines for Bordeaux while Rafael Carballo was rested after socring a try last weekend vs Lyon.

Clermont Auvergne 31-13 Racing Metro
Despite many players missing to international duty, Clermont´s fortous of the Stade Marcel Michelinmaintians its outstanding undefeated run. At the same time, the result of the match sees Racing Métro´s free fall down the Top 14 Orange standings continue. The match saw the reurn of Juan Martín Hernández after recovering from injury and he played flyhalf, kicking two penalties and a conversion as he played the full 80 minutes. Juan Imhoff also played the full match for the Parisians, at fullback.while former Argentine international tighthead prop Juan Pablo Orlandi came on in the 62nd minute. Canada´s Jamie Cudmore played the full match in the secondrow for Clermont.

Lyon vs Brive postponed

Agen vs Castres postponed

Top 14 Orange Standings
1 Toulouse 65
2 Clermont 59
3 Toulon 50
4 Montpellier 44
5 Castres 44
6 Stade Français 40 
7 Racing Métro 37
8 Agen 36
9 Bordeaux 36
10 Brive 28
11 Perpignan 27
12 Bayonne 27
13 Biarritz 25
14 Lyon 24

Montpellier vs Perpignan

Biarritz vs Toulouse

Clermont vs Racing Métro

ASM-Racing : Le Résumé por asm

Toulon vs Bordeaux

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