Top 14 – Changes at the Top

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The second break of the VI nations allowed, this weekend most of the international players to return to their clubs

As with every week-end, the first game kicked off on the Friday: Montpellier demonstrated strength and passion to beat Stade Français, with a 19-10 score, to retain their third position overall.

The last game was the derby between Biarritz and Bayonne. There are only five kilometres between these two towns of the Basque region and, as you would expect, lots of rivalry between the two teams. While the respective fans are going through difficult times, witnessing their teams struggling at the bottom of the Top 14, there was for both teams a strong wish to demonstrate pride. No miracle for Biarritz: Bayonne won 11-8. This is hard to believe that Biarritz will play next year in the second league (called the Pro D2). You might all remember that less than 10 years ago, Biarritz was the leader of the French league and reached the H Cup final, to lose it against Munster, 19-23.

In between these two games, Toulon simply destroyed Oyonnax with 64-10 and 9 tries to now lead the top 14, with the same number of points as Clermont-Auvergne, but with a better points difference.

Excellent result also from Bordeaux who successfully despatched Clermont, 26-16; this ensures, step-by-step, that Bordeaux will remain in the Top 14 next year, but now Bordeaux want more (and why not?); playing the play-offs. Let’s see next week-end if Bordeaux can confirm this success.

The other excellent result of the week-end comes from Toulouse, who managed to beat Perpignan (after having lost their last five games against them), with 37-9 and 5 tries, gaining two places in the overall ranking and are now back in the top 5.

The Racing Métro has no choice for the coming weeks, but to win if they want to qualify for the play-offs. Without Johnny Sexton this week-end, Racing has fulfilled the contract by winning against Castres, 25-15 to remain hopeful for the play-offs.

Last but not least, Brives has nearly secured to remain in the Top 14 next year by winning against Grenoble, 31-6.

Top 14 Standings – Day 21

Pos Team Total Points Bonus Points Played Won Draw Lost For Against Pts Diff
1 Toulon 60 10 21 12 1 8 527 350 177
2 Clermont 60 10 21 12 1 8 559 403 156
3 Montpellier 57 11 21 11 1 9 510 428 82
4 Stade Français 56 5 21 13 0 8 409 373 36
5 Toulouse 55 11 21 11 0 10 420 347 73
6 Castres  55 9 21 11 1 9 449 387 62
7 Racing Métro 52 4 21 11 2 8 332 356 -24
8 Racing Métro 51 11 21 9 2 10 400 362 38
9 Brive 50 10 20 10 0 10 474 441 33
10 Grenoble 50 4 21 11 1 9 380 464 -84
11 Bayonne 43 7 21 9 0 12 307 430 -123
12 Perpignan 42 8 21 8 1 12 390 477 -87
13 Oyannax 35 3 19 8 0 11 310 433 -123
14 Biarritz 22 6 20 4 0 16 262 478 -216
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