Sunday, September 1, 2013

Top 14 Americas Exports - Round Three Wrap

Martín Bustos Moyano contributed significantly to Bayonne defeating Perpignan
The Top 14 clubs who have contested a Heineken Cup or won the French championship in the years since Rugby World Cup 2007 are Toulouse, Perpignan, Clermont, Biarritz, Castres and Toulon. Of the six sides five lost their round three Top 14 matches played over the weekend. The only one not to lose was Clermont who played host to Toulouse. In other words early signs are that the current season could take quite some time to reveal who are the likely title contenders and wo will be fighting to avoid relegation.

Paris 38-3 Biarritz
A thumping home victory at the brand new Stade Jean Bouin sees the Gonzalo Quesada coached Stade Français Paris move into na good position. The former Argentine international fly half is a potential future Pumas coach. In his team was the Argentine-Italian Sergio Parisse who played in the back-row. USA international winger Taku Ngwenya started in the 14 shirt for the visitors while Pumas tight head prop Francisco Goméz Kodela started in the front-row.

Clermont 38-19 Toulouse
A horror start to the season for Toulouse sees the powerhouse club looking like being a team overcrowed with players past their used by dates. Clermont´s start to the season has also been out of sorts but the tclub responded to its shock loss against Oyonnax by claiming a good home win to extent its unbeaten home run, a record that could last another season. Canadian Jamie Cudmore should be fit soon after having broken his hand playing against the USA in Charleston, South Carolina two weeks ago.

Bordeaux 21-20 Castres
Castres´run in the late stages of last season caught everyone by surprize as the small twon club won the Top 14. But three rounds into the new season the club is not playing to the same level as it has lost two of its three matches thus far. Castres had a number of French internationals in addition to some imported players such as Richie Gray from Scotland.. Uruguayan forward Rodrigo Capó Ortega had been named to start for Castres but instead watched on from the sidelines ith a minor injury. 

Montpellier 33-24 Brive
Having been winless after two rounds Montpellier registered its first win of the season with a nine point home win over Brive. The club is home to two Pumas this season after five have either moved to play elsewhere or have been released. Of the two at the club this season neither played against Brive. 

Racing Métro 22-9 Oyonnax 
Racing Métro may be a club packed with big name players but the side is yet to impress this season. The sides home win over last seasons second division champions was far from impressive but, nonetheless, sees the club earn four competition points. Missing were players involved in the Rugby Championship. One player not selected could have played but Pumas flyhalf Benjamín Urdapilleta was rested for the fixture.

Grenoble 28-26 Toulon
Relocated to the Stade des Alpes, Grenoble´s largest stadium the home side took on the current Heineken Cup champions in what ought to have been a victory for the visitors. Debuting for Toulon was Bryan Habana who joined a star-studded team of big name players. Grenoble, though held firm to back-up its victory at the same venue last season against Toulouse. At the heart of the win was determination and long-range goal kicking.

Bayonne 31-20 Perpignan
Having been badly defeated by Toulouse last weekend Bayonne responded well by winning by three tries to one. Kicking points for the home side was Pumas winger Martín Bustos Moyano. The former Montpellier back kicked sixteen points for his new club Bayonne. Having lost at home against Paris last weekend Perpignan now finds itself third from bottom.

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

* Play-Off Zone
* Relegation Zone

Paris v Biarritz

Clermont v Toulouse

Bordeaux v Castres

Montpellier v Brive

Racing Métro v Oyonnax

Grenoble v Toulon

Bayonne v Perpignan

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