Thursday, November 1, 2012

Top 14 - Round 10 Wrap

Montpellier 32-16 Mont de Marsan
A good home win for Montpellier solidifies the team in the Top Four. it also underlines the difficulty facing Mont de Marsan as the team remains winless after ten rounds and needing some form of a miracle to turn its season around and avoid relegation. Montpellier´s victory featured six Argentine players in the starting XV with the all Pumas frontrow of Juan Figallo at loosehead prop, Agustín Creevy at hooker and Maximilano Bustos at tighthead prop looming as a possible test combination. They were joined by Santiago Fernández at inside centre, Lucas González Amorosino at fullback and Martín Bustos Moyano on the wing. Bustos Moyano was the goalkicker for Montpellier and scored twelve points. 

Agen 11-18 Clermont Auvergne
Agen is currently facing relegation and is also in the middle of a large injury crisis that includes a large number of sidelined players. One of them is former Los Pumas centre Miguel Avramovic. Agen nonetheless had two Argentine players with Esteban Lozada starting in the secondrow and Belisario Agulla being on the bench. Canadian secondrower Jamie Cudmore was also on the bench and came on for Clermont in the 55th minute. 

Grenoble 34-21 Biarritz
The surprize package of the season continues to impress and its lattest victim was Biarritz whom struggled against last seasons Second Division Champions, Grenoble. The eastern French side was winning 25-6 in the 48th minute with Biarritz looking ordinary. Argentine centre Marcelo Bosch started the fight back with a try in the 50th minute. The Basque´s other try was scored by USA Eagles winger Taku Ngwenya. Both players started with Bosch playing outside centre and Ngwenya playing on the right wing. Argentine tighthead prop Francisco Goméz Kodela also started for Biarritz while Joaquin Tuculet was on the bench for Grenoble.

Castres 38-36 Perpignan
The best game of the round and one of the best of the season went the way of the home side as Castres won by two points. Perpignan´s glory of 2009 seems like a lifetime ago now as the Catalan side is very much now a genuine mid-lower table side. Nevertheless the win saw Perpignan score a bonus point to sit one point ahead of Paris, Biarritz and Racing Métro. The club needs new players in a number of positions, with the centres and wing positions being cases in point. Uruguayan international Rodrigo Capó Ortega started in the secondrow for Castres.

Bayonne 22-11 Bordeaux-Begles
The humiliation of Bayonne´s round nine loss against Toulon can be forgotten now as the side has rebounded to mvoe clear of the relegation zone while the opposition needs to improve. Nicolás Sánchez started at flyhalf, kicking one penalty and a dropgoal. 

Toulon 24-19 Stade Français Paris
Toulon sit comfortable in first place with room to breath. The club won again, this time against the Parisians but the result was not exactly a text book performance. Toulon failed to score a try as all of the teams points came from the boot of Jonny Wilkinson. Los Pumas captain, Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe started in thew backrow for Toulon while former captain Felipe Contepomi played inside centre for Paris. The Argentine born Italian captain, Sergio Parisse also played for Stade Français as did USA Eagles international Scott LaValla.

Toulouse 32-13 Racing Métro
A solid bonus point win for Toulouse sees the reigning French Champions put the pressure back on Clermont Auvergne. Three Pumas started this match and they all played the full 80 minutes. Patricio Albacete played in the secondrow for Toulouse while Juan Martín Hernández was flyhalf for Racing Métro and Juan Imhoff played on the wing.

Top 14 Standings
1 Toulon 41
2 Clermont 36
3 Toulouse 34
4 Montpellier 32
5 Castres 28
6 Grenoble 26 
7 Perpignan 21
8 Paris 20
9 Biarritz 20
10 Racing Métro 20
11 Bayonne 19 
12 Bordeaux 15
13 Agen 15 
14 Mont de Marsan 2

Play-Off´s Places
Facing Relegation

Montpellier v Mont de Marsan

Grenoble v Biarritz

Castres v Perpignan

Bayonne v Bordeaux

Toulon v Paris

Toulouse v Racing Métro

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