Sunday, September 28, 2014

Top 14: Americas Players Review - Round 7

Photo Sin Mordaza
Seven rounds into the 2014-2015 Top season there appears reasoning for the woes of France's test team under the coaching of Phillipe Saint André. The forty-seven year old has favored players from certain clubs two of which are those at the bottom of the table - Castres and Toulouse. Saint André has also condemned the influence of imported players but has ignored the fact that there are roughly four hundred French players in the Top 14, a number more than double that of Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans playing Super Rugby. Involved in round seven were players from the Americas, the only continental region never to have been allocated hosting rights to a Rugby World Cup.  


Bayonne 35-19 Toulouse
Firday evening's match saw Toulouse defeated for the fifth match in a row. The giants of France's south-west only had themselves to blame as former All Black Corey Flynn was red carded  for stomping in just the twenty-second minute. Second-rower Yoann Maestri was also yellow carded which meant Bayonne was playing against fourteen men for 71 minutes of the match. Former Puma Patricio Albacete started for Toulouse and Martín Bustos Moyano did so for Bayonne. Santiago Fernández was a replacement.

Toulon 40-17 Montpellier
A contedner for match of the round did not live up to the billing as Toulon proved far too strong for Montpellier on Saturday. Toulon was missing three players involved in Argentina's home match against the All Blacks but Montpellier had one of its Pumas on hand with former test loosehead prop Nahuel Lobo appearing late in the match from the bench. In doing so he made his first appearance of the season after having, unexpectedly, left out of the Rugby Championship squad.

Brive 34-24 Bordeaux-Begles
An opportunity for Bordeaux-Begles to move into the top four was missed as the club lost away to Brive on Saturday. The win sees Brive advance out of the relegation zone. Former Argentine international tighthead prop Francisco Goméz Kodela came on for Bordeaux-Begles as a second half replacement. He played 40 minutes.

Grenoble 27-25 Racing Métro
A hard-fought two point win sees Grenoble sitting in fourth place, one ahead of Racing Métro who lost the fixture at the Stade des Alpes on Saturday. Both clubs have been home to a number of Pumas and Racing Métro was missing Juan Imhoff and Tomás Lavanini who faced the All Blacks.

Paris 43-10 La Rochelle
Signs that Stade Français may be returning to its glory days of the past decade have emerged this season and Saturday's big win over La Rochelle was such an indicator. Involved for the Parisians was USA forward Scott LaValla and Italy's Argentine captain Sergio Parisse. Both started in the back-row while another Argentine player capped by Italy, Leandro Cedaro was on the bench for La Rochelle.

Lyon 28-18 Castres
A fixture such as Castres playing Lyon away ought to be a gift four competition points. Castres, though, did not impress which enabled Lyon to move three points clear of the relegation zone. Both teams were without players involved in international duty. Rodrigo Capó Ortega was playing for Uruguay v Russia and Ramiro Herrera was facing the All Blacks in La Plata. Lyon is set to confirm the arrival of Puma Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro while Juan Manuel Leguizamón will play upon recovering from injury.

Oyonnax 8-19 Clermont Auvergne
An away victory for Clermont Auvergne over neighboring Oyonnax sees the central French side go top of the table. The team did so with Canadian Jamie Cudmore scoring a second half try as he came into the match from the bench. Starting for Oyonnax was an all-Argentina halves combination with Agustín Figuerola and Benjamín Urdapilleta continuing to be regulars despite failing to be selected for international duty.

1
Clermont
27
2
Toulon
24
3
Paris
22
4
Grenoble
20
5
Racing Métro
18
6
Montpellier
18
7
Bordeaux
17
8
Bayonne
15
9
Lyon
13
10
Brive
13
11
Oyonnax
11
12
La Rochelle
10
13
Toulouse
10
14
Castres
10

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