Planet Rugby

Top 14 Preview: Round 12

30th November 2012 07:09

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Clermont and Toulouse congratulate each other

Big clash: Toulouse v Clermont

Following a three-week break due to the November internationals, Top 14 returns this weekend with Toulouse vs Clermont the stand-out fixture.

Leaders Toulon will expect to pick up a maximum at home to Grenoble while the derby between Racing-Métro and Stade Français also excites.

Fixtures:

Friday, November 30
Perpignan v Agen

Saturday, December 1
Toulouse v Clermont
Biarritz Olympique v Union Bordeaux-Bègles
Mont-de-Marsan v Castres Olympique
Montpellier Hérault Rugby v Aviron Bayonnais
Toulon v Grenoble
Racing Métro 92 v Stade Français

Standings:
1 Toulon 42
2 Clermont 40
3 Toulouse 38
4 Montpellier 32
5 Castres 32
6 Grenoble 30
7 Biarritz 24
8 Stade Français 24
9 Perpignan 21
10 Racing Metro 21
11 Bayonne 20
12 Agen 16
13 Bordeaux 16
14 Mont-de-Marsan 6


Perpignan vs Agen
Stade Aimé Giral

Ninth meets twelfth in France on Friday as USAP host Agen in a game the Catalans need to win if they are to put pressure on the outfits currently occupying the play-off positions.

Prop forward Sébastien Taofifenua has signed a new contract for Perpignan in midweek while Agen will be led by Jean Monribot as they look to bounce back from their 20-13 defeat to Stade Français in Round 11. Perpignan lost at Biarritz in a poor showing last time out.

Kick-off: 20:50 (19:50 GMT)
Referee: Pascal Gaüzere
Assistant referees: Sébastien Boyer, Akim Hadj Bachir
Television match official: Jean-Pierre Pellaprat


Toulouse vs Clermont
Stadium de Toulouse

Toulouse will be missing flanker Thierry Dusautoir, lock Patricio Albacete and wing Yves Donguy for the weekend's big spectacle at Stadium de Toulouse on Saturday. They do receive a boost in the news that hooker Christopher-Eric Tolofua is back from a ban.

Meanwhile, Clermont will be without back-row forward Viktor Kolelishvili, who was this week suspended for 20 days for "brutality" during the game against Agen. Clermont currently lie in second position, just a point off Toulon while Toulouse are two points behind les Jaunards.

Kick-off: 15:00 (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès
Assistant referees: Jérôme Lamirand, Pascal Ubeda
Television match official: Vincent Azoulay


Montpellier vs Bayonne
Stade Yves du Manoir (Montpellier)

Bayonne were this week handed some good news in that Manu Ahotaeiloa and Cédric Heymans both came through training without discomfort and should feature. Thibault Lacroix and Gabiriele Lovobalavu won't play while scrum-half Mike Phillips is with Wales.

Montpol are currently going strong in the Top 14, sitting fourth while Bayonne are eleventh.

Kick-off: 18:30 (17:30 GMT)
Referee: Stéphane Pomarède
Assistant referees: Tual Trainini, Jérôme Lamarque
Television match official: Daniel Gillet


Biarritz vs Bordeaux-Bègles
Parc Des Sports D'Aguilera

French international forward Imanol Harinordoquy will return to action after six months out with a knee injury when his Biarritz side tackle Bordeaux on Saturday.

The 32-year-old loose forward - a veteran of 82 internationals - will be amongst the replacements for this Top 14 match. His presence will be a welcome return for BO, as the hosts go in search of back-to-back wins to push them further up the table.

Biarritz will be favourites to knock over Bordeaux-Begles, who sit second from the bottom and looking to avoid a hat-trick of defeats.

Kick-off: 18:30 (17:30 GMT)
Referee: Jean-Luc Rebollal
Assistant referees: Vincent Blasco-Baqué, Philippe Gorbenko
Television match official: Eric Gauzins


Toulon vs Grenoble
Stade Mayol

Leading the competition and with their boss Bernard Laporte penning a new contract that will keep on the Mediterranean coast until June 2015, all things seem tranquil for Toulon right now. Team news sees France star Frederic Michalak return but only make the bench.

Grenoble will be without Shaun Sowerby while they are sweating over Valentin Courrent.

Kick-off: 18:30 (17:30 GMT)
Referee: Patrick Pechambert
Assistant referees: Flavien Hourquet, Bruno Fiche
Television match official: Hervé Dubes


Mont-de-Marsan vs Castres
Stade Guy Boniface

The basement side take on fifth placed Castres at Stade Guy Boniface and will be buoyed by their first victory in the competition, away to Racing Metro in Round 11. That result was a big shock so they enter with confidence against a side that won at Bordeaux last time out.

Kick-off: 18:30 (17:30 GMT)
Referee: Jean-Pierre Matheu
Assistant referees: Sébastien Minery, Jean-Michel Schutz
Television match official: Jean-Claude Levrier


Racing-Métro vs Stade Français
Stade de France

Misfiring Paris pair Stade Français and Racing-Métro face off in Saturday's Top 14 derby at the Stade de France, where a crowd of up to 50,000 is expected.

Both clubs have struggled so far this season with Stade currently lying eighth and Racing tenth and both badly need full points to keep alive their hopes of grabbing a play-offs berth at the end of the season.

Racing, who lost at home 17-16 to Mont-de-Marsan in their last outing, are desperate to bounce back amid a background of dressing-room unrest and personnel changes on the coaching front.

"It's time to stop the talking, time to start being responsible - we need to win this match," said international prop Luc Ducalcon.

"We have great respect for Stade Francais and we know that they have had a few good results recently, but we just can't afford to not be at our best for what is the Paris derby.

"We need the points and I am sure we have the firepower to win."

Kick-off: 20:40 (19:40 GMT)
Referee: Mathieu Raynal
Assistant referees: Laurent Cardona, Laurent Breil
Television match official: Gérard Borreani

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
Sunday , April 27
Toulon vs Munster15:30
More Heineken Cup fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs EdinburghGlasgow vs Edinburgh Preview
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs HarlequinsNorthampton vs Harlequins Preview
Sunday , April 27
Wasps vs Bath13:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs WaratahsBlues vs Waratahs Preview
Brumbies vs ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Preview
Sharks vs HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Preview
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs Reds19:35
Western Force vs Bulls17:40
Cheetahs vs Stormers17:05
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Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton 36 - 21 London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Report
Newcastle 18 - 23 SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Cardiff Blues 17 - 13 ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 10 - 20 Ospreys
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Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
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RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
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Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
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RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
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Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
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Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
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Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens2080
2Northampton2071
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058