Planet Rugby

Top 14 Preview: Round 13

29th November 2013 10:51

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Toulon s Julien Bastareaud C is tackled by Stade Fran ais lock Tom Palmer

Clash in the capital: Toulon visit Stade Français

The leading four clubs in the Top 14 are all on the road this weekend with Toulon and Montpellier both travelling to the capital.

Inconsistent leaders Toulon face Stade Français while Toulouse are also away from home on Saturday with a tricky trip to Grenoble.

A week ahead of the return to Heineken Cup action, Racing Metro host fellow European contenders Montpellier while Clermont kick the weekend off in Perpignan.

In other matches, defending champion Castres are at home to Bayonne, bottom-of-the table Biarritz welcome Bordeaux and Oyonnax are at home to Brive.

Fixtures:

Friday, November 29
Preview: Perpignan v Clermont

Saturday, November 30
Stade Français v Toulon
Biarritz v Bordeaux-Bègles
Castres v Bayonne
Oyonnax v Brive
Racing-Metro v Montpellier
Grenoble v Toulouse

Previews:

Stade Français Paris v Rugby Club Toulonnais
Stade Jean Bouin, Paris

European champions Toulon have blown hot and cold since the start of the season, although Springboks lock Bakkies Botha believes there is no big problem at the Mediterranean club.

"I am not unduly bothered about this (inconsistency)," he said.

"We saw it again against Perpignan - it's all a matter of getting the little details right. We have got to correct the mistakes we are making.

"But we have the players that can do this. In our squad we have several players who have the experience to get this done."

Botha also said that he expected a close match on Saturday in Paris against a side who lost 45-23 at Bordeaux last weekend. Stade are unbeaten on home soil this season and lie just five points off the lead.

"When you play for Toulon, you know what to expect. There is a lot of pressure on us because everyone wants to beat us. That's normal and we accept it."

Toulon have recalled all their big guns including their Springboks and French internationals.

Stade Français : 15 Jerome Porical, 14 Julien Arias, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Djibril Camara, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Julien Dupuy, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Olivier Missoup, 6 Antoine Burban, 5 Pascal Pape, 4 Alexandre Flanquart, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Laurent Sempere, 1 Heinke van der Merwe,
Replacements: 16 Remi Bonfils, 17 Sakaria Taulafo, 18 Gerhard Mostert, 19 Scott Lavalla, 20 Jerome Fillol, 21 Morne Steyn, 22 Meyer Bosman, 23 Davit Kubriashvili.

Toulon: 15 Drew Mitchell, 14 Josua Tuisova, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Rudolffe Wulf, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Joe van Niekerk, 7 Virgile Bruni, 6 Pierrick Gunther, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Jocelino Suta, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Jean Charles Orioli, 1 Xavier Chiocci,
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Florian Fresia, 18 Bakkies Botha, 19 Juan Smith, 20 Alexis Palisson, 21 Chris Masoe, 22 Matt Giteau, 23 Martin Castrogiovanni.

Result last season: Stade Français 11 - 43 Toulon
Prediction: Stade are very tough to beat at home. Stade Français by six points
Kick-off: 14.55 (13.55 GMT)
Referee: Cédric Marchat


Biarritz Olympique v Union Bordeaux-Bègles
Parc des Sports d'Aguilera, Biarritz

Have Biarritz finally awoken? A well-earned victory in Brive last week meant the Basques put together back-to-back wins to end a eight-match losing streak.

Back at home and facing a direct rival in the battle to avoid relegation, this is a massive weekend for Serge Blancos's club.

UBB have yet to win in six away games this season and have not won in Biarritz in three attempts since their return to the top flight three years ago.

Biarritz: 15 Damien Traille, 14 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 13 Seremaia Burotu, 12 Benoit Baby, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Dimitri Yachvili, 9 Yann Lesgourgues, 8 Imanol Harinordoquy, 7 Tanguy Molcard, 6 Benoit Guyot, 5 Mathias Marie, 4 Erik Lund, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Jean Philippe Genevois, 1 Thomas Synaeghel.
Replacements: 16 Jonnah Dabti, 17 Alexandre Menini, 18 Addison Lockley, 19 Ueleni Fono, 20 Joshua Furno, 21 Luix Roussarie, 22 Daniel Waenga, 23 Benedict Broster.

Bordeaux-Bègles: 15 Darly Domvo, 14 Metuisela Talebula, 13 Felix Le Bourhis, 12 Julien Rey, 11 Blair Connor, 10 Pierre Bernard, 9 Heini Adams, 8 Matthew Clarkin, 7 Hugh Chalmers, 6 Louis benoit Madaule, 5 Adam Jaulhac, 4 Jandre Marais, 3 Albert Toetu, 2 Clement Maynadier, 1 Jean Batiste Poux,
Replacements: 16 Wayne Avei, 17 Laurent Delboulbes, 18 Alikisio Fakate, 19 Matt Graham, 20 Taiasina Tuifua, 21 Emmanuel Saubusse, 22 Romain Lonca, 23 Silviu Florea.

Result last season: Biarritz 25-22 Bordeaux
Prediction:BO seem to be rejuvenated. Biarritz by nine points.
Kick-off: 18:30 (17.30 GMT)
Referee: Cyril Lafon


Castres Olympique v Aviron Bayonnais
Stade Pierre Antoine, Castres

Both these sides will be looking to back up their respective 20-16 and 24-21 wins over Montpellier and Grenoble when they meet at Stade Pierre-Antoine.

Castres' wins on the road at Montpol was arguably the result of the round last weekend while Bayonne's win kept them above the relegation zone.

Bayonne are boosted by the return of powerful number eight Opeti Fonua, who returns from international duty with Tonga, while the backline is set to be unchanged. Joe Rokocoko, Stephen Brett, Marvin O'Connor, Mathieu Belie, Manu Ahotaeiloa, Scott Spedding and Martin Bustos Moyano are all in the squad.

Just five points above the drop zone, Bayonne have yet to win away from home this season and have lost on their last nine visits to the Tarn.

Castres know that a home triumph would put them in a strong position going into the Heineken Cup with a home fixture against the Ospreys next Friday.

Castres: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Romain Martial, 13 Romain Cabannes, 12 Remi Lamerat, 11 Remy Grosso, 10 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Yannick Caballero, 6 Pedrie Wannenburg, 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Anton Peikrishvili, 2 Brice Mach, 1 Saimone Taumoepeau.
Replacements: 16 Marc Antoine Rallier, 17 Mihaita Lazar, 18 Christophe Samson, 19 Ibrahim Diarra, 20 Cedric Garcia, 21 Remi Tales, 22 Geoffrey Palis, 23 Karena Wihongi.

Bayonne: 15 Scott Spedding, 14 Martin Bustos Moyano, 13 Joe Rokocoko, 12 Manu Ahotaeiloa, 11 Marvin O'Connor, 10 Santiago Fernandez, 9 Mathieu Belie, 8 Opeti Fonua, 7 Jean Marmouyet, 6 Jean Monribot, 5 Mark Chisholm, 4 Lisiate Faaoso, 3 Nemiah Tialata, 2 David Roumieu, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg,
Replacements: 16 Anthony Etrillard, 17 Gert Muller, 18 Dewald Senekal, 19 Charles Ollivon, 20 Guillaume Rouet, 21 Stephen Brett, 22 Julien Puricelli, 23 Aretz Iguiniz.

Result last season: Castres 31-10 Bayonne
Prediction: The champs are almost unbeatable at home. Castres by fifteen points
Kick-off: 18:30 (17.30 GMT)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès


US Oyonnax v CA Brive-Corrèze
Stade Charles-Mathon, Oyonnax

A clash between the two clubs that were promoted from the ProD2. Brive have faired significantly better on their return to the top flight and are seven points ahead of their hosts.

But Oyonnax have been very strong at home this season, beating heavyweights Clermont, Castres and Toulon already.

Oyonnax: 15 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, 14 Silvere Tian, 13 Pierre Aguillon, 12 Hemani Paea, 11 Dug Codjo, 10 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 9 Agustin Figuerola, 8 Fred Slade, 7 Valentin Ursache, 6 Joseph el Abd, 5 Damian Browne, 4 Damien Lagrange, 3 Marc Clerc, 2 Jody Jenneker, 1 Lukas Rapant.
Replacements: 16 Neil graham Clark, 17 Ruaan Du preez, 18 Miroslav Nemecek, 19 Christophe Andre, 20 Scott Newlands, 21 Regis Lespinas, 22 Roimata Hansell pune, 23 Antoine Tichit.

Brive: 15 Gaetan Germain, 14 Guillaume Namy, 13 Arnaud Mignardi, 12 Andrew Mailei, 11 Elia Radikedike, 10 Riaan Swanepoel, 9 Damien Neveu, 8 Petrus Human, 7 Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 6 Said Hireche, 5 Arnaud Mela, 4 Julien Ledevedec, 3 Patrick Barnard, 2 Guillaume Ribes, 1 Goderzi Shvelidze,
Replacements: 16 Francois da Ros, 17 Karlen Asieshvili, 18 Simon Pinet, 19 Kieran Murphy, 20 Thomas Sanchou, 21 Thomas Laranjeira, 22 Laurent Ferreres, 23 Johannes Coetzee.

Previous result: Oyonnax 40 - 19 Brive (ProD2)
Prediction: Oyonnax's record at home is impressive. Oyonnax by seven points
Kick-off: 18:30 (17.30 GMT)
Referee: Sébastien Clouté


Racing Métro 92 v Montpellier Hérault Rugby
Stade Yves Du Manoir - Colombes (Paris)

Racing Métro are under pressure, lying in 10th place, nine points off the lead.

Indeed the Racing coaching staff were seeing red after last week's thrashing in Clermont (47-14). Les Franciliens have won just once in their last four games and the coaches have questioned the commitment of certain players.

French international hooker and Racing skipper Dimitri Szarzewski has called on his team-mates to "lance the boil" as soon as possible to get back onto a positive path.

Montpellier are also looking to bounce back from defeat last week - their first loss at home this season after being toppled by Castres.

Both sides welcome back a lot of international players, with Montpellier's Argentine contingent set to make a significant impact.

Racing Métro : 15 Benjamin Lapeyre, 14 Benjamin Fall, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Fabrice Estebanez, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Benjamin Dambielle, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Jone Qovu, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Karim Ghezal, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Davit Khinchagishvili.
Replacements: 16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Eddy Ben Arous, 18 Francois van der Merwe, 19 Antoine Battut, 20 Laurent Magnaval, 21 Marc Andreu, 22 Alexandre Dumoulin, 23 Walter Desmaison.

Montpellier: 15 Pierre Berard, 14 Rene Ranger, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Anthony Tuitavake, 10 Francois Trinh Duc, 9 Jonathan Pelissie, 8 John Beattie, 7 Mamuka Gorgodze, 6 Alexandre Bias, 5 Robins Tchale Watchou, 4 Jim Hamilton, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Charles Geli, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili,
Replacements: 16 Mickael Ivaldi, 17 Maximiliano Bustos, 18 Thibaut Privat, 19 Kelian Galletier, 20 Benoit Paillaugue, 21 Yoan Audrin, 22 Benoit Sicart, 23 Naama Leleimalefaga.

Result last season: Racing Metro 12-16 Montpellier
Prediction: Home win. Racing Métro by five points
Kick-off: 18:30 (17.30 GMT)
Referee: Laurent Cardona


Grenoble FC v Stade Toulousain
Stade des Alpes, Grenoble

Third-placed Toulouse travel to Grenoble - where they lost last year - with coach Guy Novès having given the week off to his international players Thierry Dusautoir, Yoann Mastri, Yoann Huget and Jean-Marc Doussain, who all played for France at the weekend.

Explaining his decision, Novès said: "The (international) players were really exhausted. We have to give them the time to recover properly.

"They need to be fresh and ready not only going into the international matches, but also afterwards. Especially as they have just been playing against the two best sides in the world."

Grenoble: 15 Fabien Gengenbacher, 14 Benjamin Thiery, 13 Rida Jaouher, 12 Geoffroy Messina, 11 Julien Caminati, 10 Blair Stewart, 9 James Hart, 8 Florian Faure, 7 Peter james Kimlin, 6 Jonathan Best, 5 Benjamin Hand, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Richard Choirat, 2 Anthony Hegarty, 1 Kenan Mutapcic.
Replacements: 16 Albertus Buckle, 17 Vincent Campo Castillo, 18 Andrew Farley, 19 Fabien Alexandre, 20 Henry Vanderglas, 21 Matthieu Nicolas, 22 Nicolas Bezy, 23 Dayna Edwards.

Toulouse: 15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Maxime Medard, 13 Yann David, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Jean Pascal Barraque, 9 Sebastien Bezy, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Yacouba Camara, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Romain Millo chlusky, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Christopher Tolofua, 1 Schalk Ferreira,
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Gurthro Steenkamp, 18 Edwin Maka, 19 Gillian Galan, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Timoci Matanavou, 22 Florian Fritz, 23 Yohan Montes.

Result last season: Grenoble 15-6 Toulouse
Prediction: Toulouse have been poor on the road. Grenoble by six points
Kick-off: 20.35 (19.35)
Referee: Romain Poite

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Leicester vs London Irish15:00
Northampton vs Bath15:15
Sunday , September 28
Exeter vs Harlequins14:00
Wasps vs Newcastle14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 27
South Africa vs Australia16:05
Argentina vs New Zealand23:10
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
Saturday , September 27
Zebre vs Ulster15:00
Munster vs Ospreys18:30
Sunday , September 28
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 27
Toulon vs Montpellier18:00
Stade Francais vs La Rochelle18:00
Bayonne vs Toulouse18:00
Brive vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Oyonnax vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
Lyon vs Castres18:00
Grenoble vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
Pumas vs Western Province19:00
Saturday , September 27
Sharks vs Eastern Province Kings14:00
Griquas vs Lions15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle 10 - 35 NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Ospreys 62 - 13 EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 16 ToulouseRacing Metro Paris vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 24 - 15 Bayonne
Montpellier 23 - 3 Stade FrancaisMontpellier vs Stade Francais Report
La Rochelle 26 - 29 Bordeaux-Begles
Clermont Auvergne 43 - 12 LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Report
Castres 27 - 18 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Western Province 36 - 12 GriquasWestern Province vs Griquas Report
Blue Bulls 15 - 26 SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 37 CheetahsEastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Northampton311
4Exeter310
5Leicester Tigers39