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French Top 14

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Welshmushroom
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Post by Rugby Fan Mon 20 May 2024, 2:49 pm

I was hoping to add to an existing thread on the Top 14 but it doesn't look like it has come up in conversation.

Montpellier lost to a second-string Toulouse side at the weekend, which has left them second from bottom. Judging from reports, it seems that Oyonnax get automatically relegated, while Montpellier face a play-off match, to see if they can stay in the Top 14. Montpellier potentially going down seems a big deal, given they won the Top 14 two seasons ago.

If Zach Mercer decides to give up on England, then Montepellier would probably have been his first call. That might change if they were playing in the Pro D2 (unless the money was too good to turn down).

While Racing 92 are still in the top 6, reports say they have had a terrible second half of the season, which might put the spotlight on Stuart Lancaster as coach. Elsewhere, Toulon have overtaken La Rochelle to sit in 4th place. Toulon have three English players (Brookes, Ribbans & Singleton) with Sinckler and Ludlam due to arrive next season.

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Post by Welshmushroom Mon 20 May 2024, 3:05 pm

The problem with the playoff system in the Pro D2 is they still have a number of tough matches before they have to play Montpellier.

Montpellier I would imagine will now rest their stars given they know its coming now. That means they will be fully fit and matched against a team that has just been a fortnight slog to earn the right to play them. Rarely do 2 teams get relegated from the Top14 and its mostly down to this reason. It does happen from time to time but rarely.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 20 May 2024, 8:09 pm

Provence are top of D2. Will it be them going up in place of Oyonnax, or do they still need to win the play-off?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 20 May 2024, 8:18 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Provence are top of D2. Will it be them going up in place of Oyonnax, or do they still need to win the play-off?

I believe if you finish top then promotion is automatic. The playoffs is for those in behind.

Wiki says:

"Only the Pro D2 champions will be assured of promotion to the Top 14. The losing finalist will enter a playoff with the second-from-bottom Top 14 side, with the winner taking up the final Top 14 place."

Montpellier resting their players is in theory a good idea but momentum and confidence could well play a part. Winning or losing can be a habit. More likely Montpellier will go hard at home to try and refind cohesion but send out the reserves to any remaining away games.

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Post by sensisball Wed 22 May 2024, 7:48 am

I read somewhere that it is still technically possible for Oyonnax to finish ahead of Montpellier. Montpellier would need to lose both remaining games, heavily, and Oyonnax would need two bonus point wins.
This is highly unlikely but would still think Montpellier would need to try to get points from the last two games, to build cohesion for the playoff game.
What is also fascinating is that between Racing in 6th and Pau in 11th, there are only 5 points.
Top 6 quality for the knock outs so it's all to play for over the last 2 rounds. As Racing are faltering Clermont are finishing like a train and are sitting just 1 point below Stuart Lancaster's men.

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Post by Rugby Fan Thu 30 May 2024, 12:25 pm

https://www.rugbyrama.fr/2024/05/29/top-14-toulouse-fin-de-saison-compromise-pour-emmanuel-meafou-pita-ahki-et-julien-marchand-absents-au-moins-trois-semaines-11981776.php

Meafou is injured, and might be gone for the rest of the season. Given Arnold is facing a ban, that leaves Toulouse a bit light on locks for the play-offs.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 31 May 2024, 10:29 am

Well it looks like Provence aren't going up after all. It's likely to be Grenoble is they win the final.

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 31 May 2024, 11:01 am

Nope - I always thought it would be done on the league placements but does not look that way. So the Table basically determines a 4 team playoff. The winner of that playoff semi and final gets auto promotion and the runner up must then have to play the 13th ranked Top14 side for a chance of promotion.

Learn something new every day.

Got to be tough on Provence as they were top of the league as the most consistent performers which is what you think would be needed going into the top 14.

Looks like North will be playing a season in Pro D2 then along with Francis.....good luck with that...

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 31 May 2024, 11:06 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Well it looks like Provence aren't going up after all. It's likely to be Grenoble is they win the final.

Missed conversion costing Provence by the sounds of it. Sam Davies accuracy off the tee being crucial for Grenoble as Provence scored more tries.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sun 09 Jun 2024, 5:08 am

This weekend's results settled the order of play for the quarter finals. Racing lost but got a bonus point, which was enough to see them in the play-offs ahead of Castres.

Toulon (4th) v La Rochelle (5th)

Bordeaux Begles (3rd) vs Racing (6th)

Toulouse (1st) and Stade (2nd) then take on the winners in semi-finals.



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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sun 09 Jun 2024, 6:45 am

Rugby Fan wrote:This weekend's results settled the order of play for the quarter finals. Racing lost but got a bonus point, which was enough to see them in the play-offs ahead of Castres.

Toulon (4th) v La Rochelle (5th)

Bordeaux Begles (3rd) vs Racing (6th)

Toulouse (1st) and Stade (2nd) then take on the winners in semi-finals.


This is a much, much better format for league knockouts. I wish the URC would do the same.

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Post by Rugby Fan Mon 17 Jun 2024, 12:58 am

Montpellier beat Genoble, so they will not be relegated.

It was close, though. The final score was 20-18, and Montpellier left it until the 77th minute to get the winning score.

La Rochelle beat Toulon 29-34, and Bordeaux beat Racing 31-17.

The first score looks close but La Rochelle were 15-34 ahead, and it was only a late penalty try, and a last try when the clock was already past full time, that made for a smaller gap. Still, two yellow cards meant La Rochelle were down to 13 players late in the game, so Toulon might have made an earlier comeback.

Toulouse now take on La Rochelle on Friday, with Stade playing Bordeaux in the other semi-final on Saturday.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 17 Jun 2024, 8:05 am

That's Bordeaux without Jalibert who's done for the season as well. Humbling result for Racing. Lancaster needs Farrell to help them add a clinical edge if he wants to keep his job.

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Post by Welshmushroom Mon 17 Jun 2024, 8:30 am

It was his first season though and he inherited a lot of that team. Will take him another season or two to shape this squad.

He has got a few good players coming in this summer as well.

All depends if he gets time to redevelop this side.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 17 Jun 2024, 9:17 am

Welshmushroom wrote:It was his first season though and he inherited a lot of that team.  Will take him another season or two to shape this squad.

He has got a few good players coming in this summer as well.

All depends if he gets time to redevelop this side.  

I'd imagine he certainly gets until next summer. It was announced Sept 22 that he'd be in charge for the 23/24 season so he'd have had a say in recruitment as no doubt the agreement would have been done before the announcement. Crawling into the players via a losing bonus point on the last game of the season and then being well beaten by a Bordeaux side missing players to injury, not a good look for the first season in charge.

Of course a pre season interrupted by the world cup will have made things harder for him. Will need to show better next season though or the pressure will increase significantly next summer.

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