Sunday, March 24, 2013

Top 14 - Round 22 Wrap

Bayonne 33-28 Toulon
Bayonne moves this match to the Spanish city of San Sebastien and, like it has done in the past, it succeeded in attracting a strong crowd. While the impressive win was not enough to get the team in line for a play in the play-off´s it should have certainly ended the clubs chances of being relegated.  With Martín Bustos Moyano looking set to play there next season it will be a club of increased interest from a Pumas perspective. 

Racing Métro 23-19 Perpignan
Three Pumas started the match for the home side and all of them put in well rounded performances. Juan Martín Hernández was the starting fullback and the man from Buenos Aires scored a try in the left corner. He was joined by Tucumán´s Alvaro Galindo in the backrow and Manuel Carizza in the secondrow. The win enforces Racing Métro´s position in the Top six while Perpignan drop out and face an uphill battle to secure a play-off´s birth and a place in the 2013-2014 Heineken Cup. 

Bordeaux-Begles 40-7 Mont de Marsan
The chances of Bordeaux-Belges being relegated should now have been ended after the 12th placed side hammered the bottom placed side to go nine points clear of Agen in 13th. The style of play employed for Bordeaux is amongst the best of any club in the Top 14 and with better forwards the club could be a genuine contender in coming years. One of Bordeaux´s tries was socred by Pumas flyhalf Nicolás Sánchez who came off the bench in the secondhalf.

Grenoble 9-16 Montpellier
The superb early season form of Grenoble is now well a thing of the past as last seasons´s second division champions are now well off the pace. The club was in the top six and producing regular results but is now ten points outside of the play-off´s. It´s home loss against Montpellier sees the Argentina packed club secure its place ahead of Perpignan in the top six for the time being. Pumas frontrowers Agustín Creevy and Maximilano Bustos started the match at hooker and tighthead prop while a player who could well start for Argentina in June and possibly also be the goalkicker, Martín Bustos Moyano was on the bench. He came on to play wing and landed a penalty in the 70th minute. 

Castres 20-9 Agen
Castres are looking good for a play in the Top 14 barrage play-opff´s while Agen are now looking set to officially be relegated together with Mont de Marsan. The match featured players from Uruguay and Argentina with Rodrigo Capó Ortega starting in the secondrow for Castres while former Pumas centre Miguel Avramovic played in Agen´s midfield.

Biarritz 32-28 Clermont
Earlier in the week it was made public that Biarritz Olympique is amongst the clubs in deficit this season. The club has been well below its usual standards and this has been partly due to its questionable selections. Amongst them is the use of Marcelo Bosch on the bench rather than as a starting centre. The reason has been that the club is letting him go at the end of this season due to his involvement in The Rugby Championship. Biarritz has also not been frequenting San Sebastien this season which has meant lower gate takings. Bosch was on the bench in the surprize win over Clermont while third choice Pumas tighthead prop Francisco Gómez Kodela started in the frontrow. Jamie Cudmore was on the bench for Clermont. The Canadian is likely to play in the Wolrd Cup Qualification matches against the USA this summer. He will face Taku Ngwenya who started on the right wing for Biarritz on Saturday. 

Toulouse 43-16 Stade Français Paris
The only game played on Sunday saw a big win for the home side as Toulous found some magic at long last. The former classic of Toulouse v Stade Français has become a one-sided show in recent years due to Paris lacking enough quality players. This may well change for next season as the club is in the middle of sogning a host of elite players. One who may sign os Pumas winger Gonzalo Camacho. Sunday´s match featured two players from the Americas. Pumas vice-captain Patricio Albacete played secondrow for Toulouse while the USA´s Scott LaValla started in the backrow for the Parisians. 

Top 14 Standings
1 Toulon 77
2 Clermont 75
3 Toulouse 64
4 Castres 62
5 Racing Métro 62
6 Montpellier 59
7 Perpignan 56
8 Grenoble 49
9 Biarritz 47
10 Paris 46 
11 Bayonne 45
12 Bordeaux 36 
13 Agen 27
14 Mont de Marsan 15

* Play-off´s Places
* Facing Relegation

Bayonne v Toulon

Racing Métro v Perpignan

Bordeaux-Begles v Mont de Marsan

Grenoble v Montpellier

Castres v Agen

Biarritz v Clermont

Toulouse v Paris

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