Saturday, October 4, 2014

Top 14: Americas Players Review - Round 8

Benjamín Urdapilleta continues to
press for Argentine test duty
After eight rounds of the Top 14 the impact of players from the Americas is clear. The only IRB identified region yet to host a Rugby World Cup is a region which has players performing at the top level on a weekly basis. For the sport of rugby to expand in line with the re-branding to become 'World Rugby' future Rugby World Cups cannot be played with matches in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland every eight years. The next World Cup to be allocated is 2023 with Argentina having expressed a firm interest in bidding. The country has made a notable contribution to the global game and did so in France in round 8 of the Top 14.



Oyonnax 18-21 Toulon
Any side hosting last season's champions, Toulon, needs to bring their 'A' game and, Oyonnax very much attempted to do so as the small-town club from the Rhone-Alpes came very close to sealing a home victory on Friday. At half time Toulon was ahead by 11-9 but Oyonnax was the better side for an extended period in the second half which saw the home side ahead 18-14 with fifteen minutes remaining. A late try saw Toulon home. Playing in the halves for Oyonnax were Agustín Figuerola and Benjamín Urdapilleta. Neither has been selected for international duty by Daniel Hourcade. Urdapilleta kicked all of Oyonnax's points. Argentine-Italian Martín Castrogiovanni played tighthead prop for Toulon. Toulon's three Argentine players missed the game for reasons of international duty and parenthood.

Bordeaux-Begles 51-21 Clermont Auvergne
Home sides tend to have an advantage over visiting teams but the manner in which Bordeaux-Begles defeated Clermont Auvergne was far from following a script. Former Puma Francisco Goméz Kodela came off the bench in the 56th minute for the home side while Canadian rugby legend, Jamie Cudmore played the full 80 minutes for the visitors. 

Bayonne 10-15 Montpellier
A victory on the road for Montpellier has the club very well placed. After eight rounds Montpellier is in fourth position and not looking likely to fall. A feature of the match was the two tries scored by former Wallaby captain Ben Mowen who cannot play international rugby due to being based abroad. Involved for Montpellier was Argentine prop Emiliano Coria who was on the bench. Martín Bustos Moyano started for Bayonne on the right wing. Santiago Fernández did not feature while new arrival, Benjamín Macome was playing for Argentina.  

Castres 51-10 Grenoble
The early season for of the two sides had gone against predictions as Castres Olympique entered this match bottom of the table while Grenoble sat well within the play-offs zone. Castres, though, completed an impressive home performance and claimed a bonus point while Grenoble return home empty handed. Involved for the full 80 minutes for Castres was Rodrigo Capó Ortega who faced Russia last weekend and is to face them again in Montevideo next Saturday in the match to determine who joins Australia, England, Fiji and Wales in Pool A of Rugby World Cup 2015. Ramiro Herrera missed out for Castres due to international duty. 

Racing Métro 46-22 Brive
In a try featuring eleven tries Racing Métro played its best rugby of the season thus far. In a performance that sees the club rise to third Brive return home not only heavily defeated but also further down the ladder and now sitting in the relegation zone. Racing Métro winger Juan Imhoff missed the match due to international duty with Argentina to take on Australia in Mendoza this evening.

La Rochelle 29-8 Lyon
An impressive home victory by La Rochelle sees the bottom seed of the competition sitting in ninth position after eight rounds. As such the club is ahead of notable teams including Castres and Toulouse. Argentine-Italian Leandro Cedaro started in the La Rochelle second-row. He was capped by Italy last year in South Africa. Lyon's two Pumas missed the match due to injury and international duty. Francisco Nahuel Tataz Chaparro will earn his first start in a Rugby Championship match this evening.

Toulouse 22-10 Paris
A five match losing streak came to an end for Toulouse. In the final match of the round the team to have the most European titles in history played well to complete a clean victory at home. Involved was former Puma Patricio Albacete who played in the second-row for Toulouse while USA international Scott LaValla was on the Stade Français bench. Albacete may never play for Argentina again as, despite being a first-choice player, he severely criticized the UAR and selection in 2013.

1
Toulon
28
2
Clermont-Auvergne
27
3
Racing Métro
23
4
Montpellier
22
5
Bordeaux-Begles
22
6
Paris
22
7
Grenoble
20
8
Bayonne
16
9
La Rochelle
15
10
Castres
15
11
Toulouse
14
12
Lyon
13
13
Brive
13
14
Oyonnax
12

  

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