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Top 14 Watch

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Post by Rugby Fan Sun 10 Sep 2017, 12:36 am

Not watching too many of these games, but some results stand out. Just noticed La Rochelle beat last year's champions Clermont 51-20

La Rochelle produced a stunning display to completely overwhelm the previous campaign’s Top 14 winners by thrashing Clermont Auvergne 51-20.

After struggling to find their rhythm in the opening two rounds, Patrice Collazo’s men were absolutely outstanding against the defending champions.

Clermont, quite simply, had no answer to the power, pace and off-loading ability of the hosts as they went into the break with a remarkable 43-6 advantage.

Ryan Lamb, discarded by several teams in England, combined to great effect with scrum-half Alexi Bales and last season’s league leaders moved into an early 5-0 lead via Gabriel Lacroix.

Camille Lopez did hit back with two penalties from the tee but that was as good as it got for Auvergne. La Rochelle subsequently dominated and scored five more times in the first period via Lacroix, Victor Vito, Hikairo Forbes, Bales and a penalty try.

The home side’s right winger then touched down for his hat-trick before Collazo’s team began to overplay and allow Clermont a couple of consolation tries as Fritz Lee and Peter Betham crossed the whitewash.

This seems like a good way to start a match:

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Post by Rugby Fan Sun 17 Sep 2017, 1:45 pm

I know Top 14 teams tend to travel badly but there were some very one-sided matches yesterday:

Toulouse 53-17 Stade Francais
Lyon 49-14 Bordeaux Bègles
Clermont 62-6 Brive

Remembering also that Clermont lost 51-20 to La Rochelle last week.

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Post by sensisball Sun 17 Sep 2017, 7:42 pm

Brive are having a nightmare start with 4 losses from the first 4 rounds. Clermont have made a rocky start to their title defence but with the final winning backline on show yesterday they looked more like their old selves. Parra and Lopez pulled the string as and Penaud (2 tries) and Raka  ( a hat-trick) put Brive to the sword. Slimani is beginning to settle into the front row and Vahaamahina playing his first game since breaking his leg in the Champions cup final against Sarries.
Toulon, Toulouse and Racing look like they are trying to play a more expansive game than last season and are all  scoring some nice tries. Ashton has settled in quickly at Toulon and young scrum half,Antoine Dupont, is controlling things superbly with Toulouse.

La Rochelle have carried on from last year with a brutal, direct pack allied to real pace in the back three with little La Croix picking up a hat trick against Clermont last week.

Lyon have invested wisely in some good talent including fullback  Jean Marcellin Buttin from Bordeaux and Liam Gill from Toulon. They look much more dangerous going forward than last year with Carl Fearns continuing to carry strongly.

Should  be a cracking season in the T14.


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Post by whocares Sun 17 Sep 2017, 8:00 pm

I expect Clermont and Montpelier to battle for the 1st two positions with some margin against the chasing pack. Next I'll put Toulouse (finally recruiting wisely with Dupont, Holmes and kolbe to name a few) , Toulon (stagnating a bit) and Racing but not very far from them are La Rochelle (who will probably suffer from 2nd year syndrome and also lose a few feather in the RCC), Lyon (good recruitment, one to watch) and Pau (5 ex ABs). So there will be probably a couple of surprises in the playoff .Sadly teams like Bordeaux and Brive don't have the cash to compete while I feel Castres is ageing.


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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 19 Sep 2017, 6:14 am

That try from


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