|Lucas González Amorosino for Montpellier|
The penultimate round of the French Championship, the Top 14 was played on Friday and Saturday and looks to have all but confirmed the fate of Bayonne and Brive, the two teams who went into the round tied for 12th position. Whoever finishes 13th will be relegated and that team looks set to be Brive after the South-Western French team lost at home to their big city rivals, Bordeaux-Begles. With Bayonne knocking over Agen, Brive are now five points behind Bayonne and need a miracle to avoid being relegated to the Pro d2 next season. Should Brive fall it would continue the pattern of small town teams from France´s South-West dropping to the Pro d2, joining the likes of Albi, Auch, Dax, Mont de Marsan, Pau. Bigger city teams, in contrast are tending to benefit from the growth of the rugby market in France.
At the other end of the table, Stade Français´ play-off´s chances look to have ended following following a narrow loss at the Stade de France vs Racing Métro. As such the top six are all but confirmed with Toulouse and Clermont to have the barrage round off. Both sides lost on Saturday with Toulouse´s late season form continuing to be poor whle Clermont were seriously depleted by injuries. Castres were fortunate to host the Clermont side that it did and the win guarantees a place in the Barrage while Montpellier and Toulon are also safe.
Montpellier 21-16 Biarritz
Eight Argentine players with Lucas González Amorosino playing fullback and scoring a try in the first minute. Martín Bustos Moyano kicked eleven points, playing on the wing and Santiago Fernández played the full match at inside centre. Agustín Creevy and Juan Figallo started in the frontrow, both being replaced in the secondhalf while prop Maximilano Bustos came on from the bench. Marcelo Bosch played the full 80 minutes at fullback for the visitors who also had Francisco Gomez Kodela starting, playing tighthead prop. USA winger, Taku Ngwenya scored Biarritz´s try.
Toulon 25-22 Toulouse
Pumas backrower, Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe completed a solid return to play the full 80 minutes for Toulon in the 8 shirt. His Pumas teammate, Patricio Albacete played the full match for the visitors. Scrumhalf Nicolás Vergallo missed out.
Perpignan 34-22 Lyon
Pumas Backrower Juan Manuel Leguizamón played until the 72nd minute for the visitors but only played 62 minutes as he was yellowcarded in the first half.
Brive 9-23 Bordeaux
Two former Pumas props featured for Brive with Pablo Henn playing loosehead and Pablo Cardinali playing the final 10 minutes as a replacement. Scrumhalf Agustín Figuerola did not feature. Former Pumas winger, Rafael Carballo played the full match for Bordeaux. Flyhalf Nicolás Sánchez did not play.
Bayonne 31-10 Agen
None of Agen´s three Pumas featured.
Castres 30-19 Clermont
No players from the Americas featured.
Racing Métro 19-13 Stade Français
Six Pumas players featured in the Paris derby with Juan Martín Hernández playing the full match at flyhalf and Juan Imhoff doing so on the left wing. Juan Orlandi was a second half replacement. Felipe Contepomi and Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga formed the 10-12 combination for Stade Français and Rodrigo Roncero played loosehead prop.
Top 14 Standings
1 Toulouse 83
2 Clermont 82
3 Toulon 69
4 Montpellier 66
5 Castres 65
6 Racing Métro 63
7 Stade Français 58
8 Bordeaux 49
9 Perpignan 49
10 Biarritz 48
11 Agen 48
12 Bayonne 47
13 Brive 42
14 Lyon 31
* Facing Relegation
Montpellier vs Biarritz (Try González Amorosino)
Toulon vs Toulouse (Palisson try)
Perpignan vs Lyon
USAP/LOU (34-22) : le résumé vidéo por LOURugby1896
Brive vs Bordeaux
BRIVE UNION ESSAIS por ubbrugby
Castres vs Clermont
Castres-ASM : Le Résumé por asm
Racing Métro vs Stade Français
RM92 v SF - Le résumé en vidéo por racingmetro92