Monday, September 24, 2012

Top 14 - Round 6 Wrap

Nahuel Lobo
After six rounds of the French Top 14 there is still no dividing line separating the competitions strong and weaker teams. Rather it is in effect a Top 13 with Mont de Marsan still winless and facing an extremely difficult task of avoiding relegation. It is still early days but the club is all but guaranteed to return to the Pro d2. There is no clear team to be likely to join Mont de Marsan and this season looks like being one where every game counts as there will be a major scrap, like last season, to avoid relegation. 

It is similarly competitive at the top of the standings with the championship continuing to show surprizing results. The competitiveness of the Top 14 is such that Perpignan was able to defeat champions Toulouse last weekend but this weekend the club was badly defeated by strugglers Stade Français. Toulon is currently the leading side and has been able to win its matches but despite easily winning against Castres this round the club has been pushed hard by others. Round six was another with players from the Americas on show. There could have been many more, however, but many clubs were missing Pumas players due to the ongoing Rugby Championship. 

Bayonne 6-35 Toulouse
Bayonne are now in the relegation zone after being badly defeated at home. Patricio Albacete and Nicolás Vergallo did not play as they are in Buenos Aires preparing to face the All Blacks in La Plata this coming Saturday. 

Toulon 33-12 Castres
Uruguayan international Rodrigo Capó Ortega started for Castres. Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe did not feature due to The Rugby Championship. 

Mont de Marsan 16-28 Agen
It is looking like certain doom and gloom for Mont de Marsan. Agen´s away victory featured Pumas secondrower Esteban Lozada starting and a returning Miguel Avramovic came off the bench in the 74th minute. Belisario Agulla did not play however. 

Bordeaux-Begles 15-23 Montpellier
A good away win for Montpellier sees the club sit in joined 6th position. Uncapped Argentine prop Nahuel Lobo made his Top 14 debut from the bench for Montpellier in the 40th minute. The club welcomes back Maximilano Bustos from test duty for next weekends match. He did not play at all for Argentina and neither die Rafael Carballo who has returned for Bordeaux-Begles. Nicolás Sánchez remains in the squad as do five Montpellier players - Lucas González Amorosino, Martín Bustos Moyano, Agustín Creevy, Santi Fernández and Juan Figallo.

Clermont 44-20 Grenoble
Another home win for Clermont continues the legacy at the Stade Marcel-Michelin. Canadian Jamie Cudmore started in the secondrow for Clermont while Argentina international Joaquin Tuculet played the final 14 minutes for Grenoble as a replacement.

Stade Français 34-24 Perpignan
USA international Scott LaValla started at flanker for Stade Français. Felipe Contepomi did not play as he continues to recover from injury. Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga missed out due to The Rugby Championship. The team was captained by the Argentine-Italian Sergio Parisse.

Racing Métro 13-12 Biarritz
A solid win for Racing Métro who were without four Pumas sees the club move back towards where it has been over the past few seasons. The club was missing four Argentine players. Biarritz was missing one but had one on the bench. Prop Francisco Goméz Kodela came on as a secondhalf replacement as did USA winger Taku Ngwenya

Top 14 Standings
1 Toulon 27 
2 Clermont 23
3 Toulouse 20
4 Racing Métro 18
5 Biarritz 18
6 Castres 15
7 Montpellier 15
8 Grenoble 14
9 Perpignan 11
10 Stade Français 10
11 Agen 10
12 Bordeaux 9
13 Bayonne 7
14 Mont de Marsan 0

Play-off´s Places
Facing Relegation

Toulon v Castres

Mont de Marsan v Agen

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