Sunday, December 28, 2014

Top 14: Americas Players Review - Round 14


After fourteen rounds of the Top 14 season the competition is proving to be far from predictable. The bottom two teams heading into the round both won their matches but they both remain in the relegation zone due to other results not going their way. There were other surprises such as third from bottom defeating the second placed side. With leaders Toulon losing the competition now has a new leader and that team is coached by a former Puma. All seven matches this round were played earlier today and the round was one with heavy involvement of players from the Americas. The region of the Americas is the only area of the planet yet to have been allocated hosting rights to a Rugby World Cup. In 2015 England will host for a third time and Wales for a fourth. 

Toulouse 15-9 Racing Métro
A tryless match in Toulouse opened the round and saw the lower placed home side collect four competition points while Racing Métro returned home with one. There were three Pumas involved in the match with the veteran of three Rugby World Cups, Patricio Albacete starting for Toulouse. Involved from the bench for Racing Métro were Juan Imhoff and Tomás Lavanini. The latter of the two has taken over from Albacete at international level. Despite winning Toulouse remains outside the play-offs zone.

Bordeaux-Begles 46-10 Brive
A seven tries to one home wins sees Bordeaux-Begles collect the maximum points and move up two places from seventh to fifth. In failing to secure a point Brive has dropped from tenth to eleventh and is now just two points outside of the relegation zone. Brive's home fixture next round against Bayonne is set to be a crunch match for both sides.

Castres 27-9 Montpellier
Bottom of the table Castres claimed a vital home win against Montpellier which saw Montpellier drop two places to eighth but sees Castres unchanged due to others winning. The two tries to zero victory featured Uruguayan great Rodrigo Capó Ortega starting in the second-row. Puma Ramiro Herrera was not involved nor were Montpellier's Argentine props.

La Rochelle 19-15 Grenoble
Thirteenth placed La Rochelle hosted fifth placed Grenoble and won by scoring the only try of the match. La Rochelle remain in the relegation zone and Grenoble in the barrage zone but, for both it is, only just. Involved for La Rochelle was Leandro Cedaro who turned down a place in Los Jaguares to instead play for Italy. He was capped by Italy in June 2013. 

Oyonnax 12-9 Bayonne
A tryless match in eastern France saw former Puma Benjamín Urdapilleta shine. The Buenos Aires fly half kicked all of Oyonnax's points as the club won a tight contest to move up from eleventh to ninth. Bayonne drop a place and now back-up by facing Brive away next Saturday. Playing opposite Urdapilleta was Santiago Fernández. Both players are pushing for a recall to Los Pumas after having been left out for the duration of 2014. Two others not selected by Daniel Hourcade, Martín Bustos Moyano and Agustín Figuerola were replacements. 

Lyon 16-13 Clermont Auvergne
A late try scored by Lyon saw the home team sneak in a crucial victory to stay outside of the relegation zone. The three point victory sees Lyon OU collecting four competition points and Clermont Auvergne just one. Starting for the home side were Pumas Juan Manuel Leguizamón and Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro. Lyon play at home again next weekend against Stade Français.  

Paris 30-6 Toulon
A home win for Stade Français in the final match of the round meant that all home teams won their matches this round. Puma Nicolás Sánchez got Toulon on the board with a 35th minute dropgoal. Also starting was Matías Cortese who played hooker. The first try of the match was scored by Argentine Sergio Parisse who is Italy's captain despite being from La Plata. On the bench for Toulon was another Argentine player capped by Italy in the form of Martín Castrogiovanni. USA forward Scott LaValla was a replacement for the Parisians.The Gonzalo Quesada coached Paris are now leading the Top 14.

#
Club
Pts
1
Paris
44
2
Toulon
42
3
Clermont
41
4
Racing Métro
37
5
Bordeaux
35
6
Grenoble
33
7
Toulouse
33
8
Montpellier
31
9
Oyonnax
29
10
Bayonne
28
11
Brive
27
12
Lyon
26
13
La Rochelle
25
14
Castres
24

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