Sunday, September 15, 2013

Top 14 Americas Exports - Round Six Wrap

Martín Bustos Moyano started for Bayonne
The sixth round of the French Championship continued with the ever unpredictable results that has seen the 2013-2014 Top 14 begin as possibly the most competitive in history. Like in earlier rounds there were upsets and there were also players from the Americas taking to the field as the last region to host a Rugby World Cup continues to contribute significantly to global rugby.

Perpignan 28-16 Montpellier
The round kicked-off wth one match on Friday as Perpignan hosted a derby match against Montpellier. The home side´s win sees it move up to equal standings with the visitros. Argentine tighthead prop Maximilano Bustos was on the bench for Montpellier.

Castres 22-15 Toulon
A rematch from the 2013 Top 14 Final saw Castres again come out on top and Rory Kocket again outshone Jonny Wilkinson. Kocket is torn between playing for France and South Africa with his adopted country appearing to be set to use him when he meets the residency rule. The South African scrumhalf scored 17 points for Castres, a team which had Uruguayan Rodrigo Capó Ortega in the starting lineup. Toulon had two players from the Americas with Argentine-Italia Martín Castrogiovanni starting at tighthead prop and Pumita Facundo Isa on the bench as a replacement backrower.

Bordeaux 35-10 Oyonnax
A good home win for Bordeaux-Begles sees the club move clear of the relegation zone for the time being. Oyonnax made some interesting selections including that of Conrad Barnard as the starting flyhalf ahead of Benjamín Urdapilleta. The Puma was on the bench as was Agustín Figuerola while Bordeaux-Begles also had a former Pumas amongst its replacements as Rafael Carballo made an appearance for the winners.

Clermont 27-13 Grenoble
A big home win extends the undefeated run of Clermont Auvergne at home. The central French side welcomed back Canadian second-rower Jamie Cudmore who returned from injury to play hist first match in France this season.

Paris 25-18 Brive 
The Stade Français resurgence continued as the Parisians won again. So far the current season is the Parisians best since 2008. Starting for Stade Français in the back-row was the Argentine-Italian Sergio Parisse while USA Eagles back-rower Scott LaValla was a replacement. Paris is coached by former Pumas fly half Gonzalo Quesada who may well become Pumas coach after Rugby World Cup 2015.

Toulouse 31-7 Biarritz
Biarritz remains bottom of the table and in increasing need of some reinforcements as the Basque club lacks its players of old. The teams best players are now all veterans with even USA winger Taku Ngwenya now being 28. Ngwenya started the match while Argentine tighthead prop Francisco Goméz Kodela was on the bench.

Bayonne 16-19 Racing Métro 
The good start to the season has since vanished as Bayonne is now just one point outside of the relegation zone. Racing Métro, on the other hand, continues its recovery and despite still not playing well the club is in an acceptable position in the standings. Martín Bustos Moyano kicked eleven points for Bayonne.

Standings
1 Clermont 19
2 Toulon 18
3 Paris 18
4 Castres 16
5  Montpellier 16
6 Toulouse 16
7 Racing Métro 16
8 Perpignan 16
9 Bordeaux 15
10 Oyonnax 12
11 Bordeaux 12
12 Bayonne 11
13 Brive 10
14 Biarritz 6

* Play-Offs Zone
* Relegation Zone

Perpignan v Montpellier

Castres v Toulon

Bordeaux v Oyonnax

Clermont v Grenoble

Paris v Brive

Toulouse v Biarritz

Bayonne v Racing Métro

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