Sunday, September 8, 2013

Top 14 Americas Exports - Round Five Wrap

Benjamín Urdapilleta again impressed for Oyonnax
Round five of the French Top 14 was played in its entirety on Sunday as the LNR looks to overcome the issue of a long season by having three rounds in the space of nine days. The short turn-around that the effect of clubs rotating players to get more out of them in such a short period of time. For some it worked out while for others it was not the case. As in all Top 14 rounds round five featured players from the Americas as the last region yet to host a Rugby World Cup continues to contribute significantly to the global game.

Montpellier 25-0 Toulouse
Montpellier has done well to win two of its three matches while Toulouse´s miserable start to the season was compounded as it was humiliated. The result sees Montpellier move into second position while Toulouse is back in the bottom half of the table. Argentine tighthead prop Maximilano Bustos was a replacement for Montpellier.

Paris 23-16 Clermont
The La Plata boy who moved to Italy with his Italian father to eventually become the nations best rugby player, Sergio Parisse started the match for Stade Français at the back of the scrum. Also involved in the back-row was USA Eagles star Scott LaValla. The American was on the bench for this match.

Racíng Métro 19-16 Perpignan
The poor start to the season that has raised questions over the performances of the British and Irish Lions players at Racing Métro can be eased now, albeit slightly. Racing Métro is now in the top six but is yet to perform the kind of rugby expected from a team with such players at its disposal. 

Oyonnax 19-9 Castres
The sensational start to the season has continued for last seasons Pro d2 champions as Oyonnax completed a massive upset by defeating the 2013 Top 14 Champions, Castres. At pivot for Oyonnax was fourth choice Pumas flyhalf Benjamín Urdapilleta. He formed a 9-10 Argentine combination with former Pumas scrumhalf Agustín Figuerola. Also involved from Rio de La Plata was Rodrigo Capó Ortega as the Uruguayan forward started in the secondrow for Castres in what was, overall, a strong side.

Biarritz 13-24 Toulon
The lack of recruiting appropriate players may well have caught up to Biarritz as the club has been letting more talent go than it signs. Whlie it holds on to veterans like Damien Traille and Dimitri Yachvili it has been quite some time since the club has produced similar youthful players. Starting for Biarritz were USA winger Taku Ngwenya and Argentine tighthead prop Francisco Goméz Kodela. Future Puma Facundo Isa made his Top 14 debut for Toulon as a 70th minute replacement.

Brive 17-10 Bayonne
Any win for Brive will be considered a good win. Such is the need to secure as many competition points as possible given it was in the second division last season. Bayonne, on the other hand, should be kicking itself for not winning this fixture. Argentine international Martín Bustos Moyano played wing for Bayonne and kicked five points. The result means the bottom four in the Top 14 are all from the south-west.

Grenoble 21-14 Bordeaux
Both Grenoble and Bordeaux are relatively recent arrivals in the Top 14 but both are establishing themsleves not only as permanent members but also sides capable of completing upset victories. At home both sides are strong and Grenoble´s win sees the club tied with a number of others for fifth position, and thus a place in the play-offs for now. Former Pumas wigner Rafael Carballo started the match for Bordeaux on the right wing.

1 Toulon 17
2  Montpellier 16
3 Paris 14
4 Clermont 14
5 Oyonnax 12
6 Racing Métro 12
7 Castres 12
8 Grenoble 12
9 Toulouse 11
10 Perpignan 11
11 Bordeaux 10
12 Bayonne 10
13 Brive 9
14 Biarritz 6

* Play-Offs Zone
* Relegation Zone

Montpellier v Toulouse

Paris v Clermont

Racing Métro v Perpignan

Oyonnax v Castres

Biarritz v Toulon

Brive v Bayonne

Grenoble v Bordeaux

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