Sunday, September 14, 2014

Top 14: Americas Players Review - Round 5

A number of upset results were recorded during the fifth round of the Top 14 played over the weekend. Powerhouses Castres, Toulouse and Toulon were also involved in losses as the unpredictable nature of the French domestic league continues to produce surprises. Involved were players from the Americas, the only region identified by rugby's global governing body that is yet to be allocated hosting rights to a Rugby World Cup. The rebranding which is set to have the IRB known as World Rugby carries with it a need to expand and, as such, the campaign to bring Rugby World Cup 2023 to Argentina is constantly gaining new ground. Rugby World Cup 2015 will mark the fourth Rugby World Cup in Europe, the fourth in Wales and the third in England. 


La Rochelle 41-16 Castres
The opening match of the round, and the only fixture played on Friday, saw the bottom seeded La Rochelle completing a notable home victory over the 2013 French champions Castres. The win sees La Rochelle moving up one spot while Castres is now bottom of the table. Starting for Castres was Rodrigo Capó Ortega who is to feature for Uruguay in two weeks time against Russia in the all-important Rugby World Cup Final Place Play-Off in Siberia.

Toulouse 9-13 Clermont
The dreadful start to the season continued for Toulouse on Saturday as the powerhouse side lost at home. Clermont's narrow victory was enough to see Toulouse drop out of the top six and see it move ahead of Toulon. Argentine veteran Patricio Albacete started in Toulouse's second-row.

Bayonne 23-6 Brive
An important home win for Bayonne sees the Basque club move up from bottom of the competition. Involved was Santiago Fernández who started the fixture at inside centre. Fernández could be called up soon by Daniel Hourcade given that Juan Martín Hernández suffered a knee injury against Australia on Saturday.

Oyonnax 40-27 Grenoble
Another Argentine back who could be in the radar of Hourcade is Benjamín Urdapilleta (pictured above). Playing fly half for Oyonnax Urdapilleta impressed by kicking twenty points in his team's home victory over Grenoble. Also involved was former test scrumhalf Agustín Figuerola who has not been capped since 2010 but, nonetheless, could yet be capped this year. Urdapilleta's eight goals were kicked with 100% accuracy.

Racing Métro 28-11 Lyon
A hard-fought win by Racing Métro on Saturday sees the northern club returning back to the familiar territory of the play-offs zone. With two late tries the club ran out comfortable winners after Lyon had given the team numerous problems. Both teams were without players involved in Argentina's Rugby Championship match against Australia.

Toulon 24-28 Paris
For the first time since January Toulon lost at home and did so with the erratic Frédéric Michalak playing fly half. USA forward Scott LaValla started for Stade Français while Argentine-Italian Sergio Parisse was on the bench.

Bordeaux 27-21 Montpellier
Played on Sunday the final match of the round was an upset of sorts as the on-form Montpellier lost against Bordeaux. As a result the two sides are now both in the top six and like the remaining sides currently placed seventh or higher all are big city sides and not the traditional south-west small-town sides of the past.

1
Clermont Auvergne
18
2
Paris
17
3
Toulon
14
4
Montpellier
14
5
Bordeaux-Begles
13
6
Racing Métro
13
7
Grenoble
12
8
Oyonnax
11
9
Toulouse
10
10
Bayonne
10
11
Lyon
9
12
Brive
9
13
La Rochelle
9
14
Castres
6

No comments:

Post a Comment