Saturday, September 20, 2014

Top 14: Americas Players Review - Round 6


Photo UAR
After six rounds of the French Top 14 season unpredictability is supreme. While Clermont, Toulon and Montpellier are, as expected, among the leading sides the likes of Castres and Toulouse are just one point outside of the relegation zone. The two teams curently facing relegation are teams likely to still be fighting to remain in the Top 14 well into the final rounds of this season. The round featured players from Argentina, Canada and the USA - three countries who have qualified for Rugby World Cup 2015. Uruguay also had a player and he will be involved in next weekend's vital qualification match against Russia. 

Brive 13-53 Toulon
A severe lack of discipline from Brive started the round on Friday evening. Playing at home Brive was badly defeated by a dominant Toulon side who completed a comfortable bonus point victory. The winners were too strong despite missing a number of players to injury and international duty. Toulon contracted players Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe and Juan Martín Hernández are set to face the All Blacks next Saturday.

Racing Métro 27-16 Toulouse
Toulouse's lackluster early season form continued with an away loss against Racing Métro on Saturday. Toulouse failed to secure any bonus points which means the club sinks further down in the standings. Argentine veteran of three Rugby World Cups, Patricio Albacete, started in Toulouse's second-row. Juan Imhoff will face the All Blacks and Wallabies before returning to Racing Métro. 

Castres 27-18 Oyonnax
Oyonnax opted against fielding its best team and as such the Argentine halves combination of Agustín Figuerola and Benjamín Urdapilleta were both rested. Oyonnax, nonetheless, showed ability and for a large period was in with a chance. Castres, though, kicked two late penalties to seal a nine point victory. Uruguayan giant Rodrigo Capó Ortega started in the second-row. Puma Ramiro Herrera will be back for Castres in a months time. 

Clermont 43-12 Lyon
The derby match was a tight contest early on before Clermont took over to run out comfortable winners with a four tries to nil showing. Canadian veteran Jamie Cudmore started for Clermont Auvergne in the second-row. 

Grenoble 24-15 Bayonne
Two former Pumas started the fixture for Bayonne. Santiago Fernández played at inside centre and the goalkicking Martín Bustos Moyano was on the right wing. Bustos Moyano, though, was not the goalkicker for today's match. The result sees Bayonne just one point outside of the relegation zone while Grenoble is one point outside of the barrage zone. 

La Rochelle 26-29 Bordeaux-Begles
An outstanding contest between two former second division sides saw the visiting team complete a last minute win with former French fly half Lionel Beauxis kicking a penalty. Argentine Leandro Cedaro started in the second-row for La Rochelle. Despite being born and raised in South America he was capped by Italy against Scotland in 2013. 

Montpellier 23-3 Paris 
The Gonzalo Quesada coached Stade Français were badly beaten in the final match of the round by Montpellier. Two of the three players in the Parisian starting back-row are from the Americas. Scott LaValla of the USA played on the side of the scrum and Italian captain, who is Argentine, Sergio Parisse played number 8. Montpellier's three Argentine props were absent.

1
Clermont Auvergne
23
2
Toulon
19
3
Montpellier
18
4
Bordeaux-Begles
17
5
Racing Métro
17
6
Paris
17
7
Grenoble
16
8
Oyonnax
11
9
Toulouse
10
10
La Rochelle
10
11
Castres
10
12
Bayonne
10
13
Lyon
9
14
Brive
9

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