Sunday, October 28, 2012

Top 14 - Round 9 Wrap

Clermont-Auvergne 19-12 Biarritz
Clermont´s dominant run at home continued as the central-French side won yet again at the Stade Marcel-Michelin. It was not an impressive performance but nevertheless sees Clermont push on for what, at this stagge, looks like being a top two-finish in the Top 14 regular season. Canadian forward Jamie Cudmore will not play for Canada in the upcoming November internationals but he played for Clermont, from the bench. There were also Pumas and Eagles in action. Francisco Goméz Kodela has been called up for Argentina for its November tour and he started at tighthead prop for Biarritz. Marcelo Bosch was a secondhalf replacement for the Basque side while Taku Ngwenya started on the right wing.

Stade Français Paris 28-24 Toulouse
A late try from the Italian captain, Sergio Parisse saw an upset as Stade Français defeated the reigning champions in Paris. The Argentine-Italian started in the backrow and scored two tries. He was joined by USA backrower Scott La Valla who came on as a second half replacement. Former Pumas captain, Felipe Contepomi was also on the bench. Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga and Patricio Albacete both missed the match due to injury.

Agen 14-22 Castres
A home loss for Agen see´s the South-Western French club slip down into the relegation zone while Castres climbs the ladder. Belisario Agulla started on the right wing and Esteban Lozada started in the secondrow for Agen. Lozada earned a test frecall for Argentina´s tour of Wales, France and Ireland next month. Uruguay´s Rodrigo Capó Ortega was on the bench for Castres. 

Mont de Marsan 12-17 Bordeaux-Begles
The impossible might just be possible - a team may go through the entire Top 14 season without winning a match. Mont de Marsan´s winning promotion gto the Top 14 this season  was a semi-surprize  and its reward has so far been nothing but misery. It has come close against Stade Français and now Bordeaux-Begles but its chances of survival are already looking close to nil. The win helps Bordeaux-Begels who entered the round in the relegation zone but has now moved up to 12th position. It did so with Pumas flyhalf Nicolás Sánchez who came on in the second half after playing very well against Gloucester last weekend. He is in the Pumas squad ahead of Ignacio Mieres. Rafael Carballo did not play due to injury.

Montpellier 23-6 Grenoble
The teams went into this game in similar positions on the ladder but now Montpellier are five poitns clear. Martín Bustos Moyano had another positive impact on the result for Montpellier as the Argentine kicked thirteen points. he started on the left wing and was joined in the run-on back-three by Lucas González Amorosino. Both players played the full 80 minutes. Los Pumas centre Santi Fernández came on as a substitute in the second half. There were also three Pumas in the forwards with tighthead prop Juan Figallo playing loosehead, Agustín Creevy coming off the bench early in the second half to play hooker and Maximilano Bustos being a replacement at tighthead prop. Joaquin Tuculet did not feature for Grenoble.

Toulon 59-0 Bayonne
A worrying result for Bayonne who were humiliated in the biggest loss of the season so far. Toulon ´s supreme performance continues the strong run of home games and sets tyhe standard for all others in the competition. The teams squad is arguably the best in the competition and right now it would be smart to bet on Toulon winning the Top 14. It also has a good chance of going far in the Heineken Cup. Pumas captain Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe started in the backrow agaisnt Bayonne.

Perpignan 17-13 Racing Métro
Racing Métro looked to have the game won but Perpignan fought back well to get a much needed victory. Three Pumas started for Racing Métro with Juan Martín Hernández playing flyhalf and kicking two penalties and a conversion. Juan Imhoff started on the left wing and had his moments while Alvaro Galindo started in the backrow. 

Top 14 Standings 
1 Toulon 37
2 Clermont 32
3 Toulouse 29
4 Montpellier 27
5 Castres 24 
6 Grenoble 22
7 Biarritz 20
8 Racing Métro 20
9 Perpignan20
10 Paris 19
11 Bordeaux 15
12 Bayonne 15
13 Agen 14
14 Mont de Marsan 2

Play-off´s places
Facing Relegation

Clermont v Biarritz

Paris v Toulouse

Agen v Castres

Mont de Marsan v Bordeaux

Montpellier v Grenoble 

Toulon v Bayonne

Perpignan v Racing Métro

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