Sunday, August 18, 2013

Top 14 Pumas Abroad - Round One Wrap

Premier match officiel à l’Aviron et premier essai pour Fonua, auteur d’un bon match.
Photo: B Lapègue Bayonne start strongly in front of 15,000 at home
Professional rugby is up and running for the season in France. Round one of the national competition, the Top 14 was played on Friday and Saturday and delivered a number of interesting results with heavyweight sides being defeated and there being Pumas involved in matches. Despite Argentina playing in the Rugby Championship there were still a number of Argentine players in action in France. 

Montpellier 22-22 Toulon
What looked like a certain victory was ruined by a François Trinh-Duc intercept with Maxime Mermoz running clear to score a fourteen point try and, in effect, complete a draw. Both players are out of favor with the French test team. Out of favor Pumas prop Maximilano Bustos started for Montpellier while Argentine-Italian prop Martín Castrogiovanni was on Toulon´s bench. Both clubs were missing Argentine players to the Rubgy Championship.

Biarritz 18-22 Clermont
Both clubs were without players due to international duty but it was in North America rather than Africa this weekend. Jamie Cudmore was playing for Canada against the USA who had Taku Ngwenya. There was, however, a Pumas involved with tighthead prop Francisco Goméz Kodela on the bench. 

Bordeaux 31-25 Toulouse
The rise of Bordeaux as a popular club continues as the club is able to play the majority of its home matches at the Stade Chaban Delmas which hosted four matches in Rugby World Cup 2007. The club is also securing itself as a permanent part of the Top 14. A good crowd was on hand to see an upset win over Toulouse. Althoguh both sides were missing Pumas there was a place for former Pumas winger Rafael Carballo on Bordeaux´s bench.

Grenoble 19-16 Paris
The last few seasons have not been good ones for the Parisians and the new season did not start as deisred. A three point loss on the road against Grenoble suggests Stade Français are in for another long season. Paris was missing players to international duty with Argentina, South Africa and the USA all represented. The Argentine-Italian Sergio Parisse was on the bench for the Parisians. 

Racing Métro 19-14 Brive
Brive is back in the Top 14 and looking to return permanently. The club started well with a bonus point defeat against powerhouses Racing Métro. Racing Métro welcomed newcomers from Ireland and Wales but was without players on international duty. 

Bayonne 39-11 Oyonnax
It was not the ideal start to the Top 14 for the Pro d2 champions, Oyonnax. The eastern French side suffered the heaviest defeat of the weekend and did so against a club that has long been unable to qualify for the Heineken Cup. There was a notable Argentine presence in both sides with Martín Bustos Moyano starting on the right wing and kicking goals for Bayonne. Benjamín Urdapilleta played flyhalf anmd kicked the goals for the visitors. Bustos Moyano landed 19 points, and had his hand in a try assist, compared to Urdapilleta who scored six. Also involved was former Pumas scrumhalf Agustín Figuerola who was on the bench for Oyonnax.

Perpignan 26-23 Castres
The 2013 champions began with an away defeat. Castres surprize triumph in the 2013 Top 14 Final saw a traditional club defeat a big spending side from outside of the hot-bed of French rugby. Involved in the final was Rodrigo Capó Ortega and the Uruguayan forward started for Castres against Perpignan on Saturday.

Top 14 Standings
1 Bayonne 5
2 Bordeaux 4
3 Racing Métro 4
4 Clermont 4
5 Grenoble 4
6 Perpignan 4
7 Montpellier 2
8 Toulon 2
9 Paris 1
10 Castres 1
11 Biarritz 1
12 Brive 1
13 Toulouse 1
14 Oyonnax 0

* Play-Off´s Zone
* Relegation Zone

Montpellier v Toulon

Biarritz v Clermont

Bordeaux v Toulouse

Grenoble v Paris

Racing Métro v Brive

Bayonne v Oyonnax

Perpignan v Castres 

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