Thursday, March 14, 2019

Europe: French Top 14 Preview the Weekend - soon come playoffs!

Europe Professional Leagues on the Weekend
 Orange 14  3.16&17- Gallagher & Guinness are off

French Top 14: Round 19; 8 rounds remain with 40 potential table points on offer; 70+ should get a club to extra time

Saturday, 3.16:

               Toulon (37) v (38) Montpellier in Fèlix Mayol: homeboys on a run of 2; travelers looked smart at home v Bordeaux Bègles last time out; loser to make vacation plans during the playoffs? breezy, but otherwise ideal in the low 60s on the Mediterranean this RugbyDay; bangbangbang

               Agen (25) v (51) La Rochelle in the Stade Armandie: visitors on two losses, not necessarily the pathway they’d like to be on just now; hosts are a bonus-point win from relegation and seek what would be considered an upset here were it not the Orange 14 on Six Nations weekend; pretty perfect conditions: 60s, minimal wind; bangbangbang

               Castres (49) v (8) Perpignan at Stade Pierre Fabre: homeys on a playoff tear, not having lost since the end of last year; visitors may have peaked with their single win mid-February; could-should-would be five for the home team; top weather conditions for the derby at 60s and clear; bangbang

               Grenoble (20) v (46) Racing 92 at Stade des Alpes: of the last octet of rounds, visitors need to win six, or five with the bonus-point to obtain the playoff frame; Grenoble fighting for their Top 14 lives as they’re in a dropspot just now; this’ll be a cracker in the hills; 60s, no wind, no rain; bangbangbangbang

               Bordeaux Bègles (48) v (46) Stade Français at Chaban-Delmas: perfect weather at low 70s - upper 60s for the match of two would-be contenders, each needing the win; both lost large last time out and can ill afford another sadness;  bangbangbangbang

Sunday, 3.17:

               Clermont (61) v (33) Section Paloise in the Michelin: it will have rained prior to kickoff, so that may affect action somewhat; home team definitely wanting five here and now-now; they should get it if they’re able to keep the sir’s cards in his pocket; could see windy, rainy stuff during the match; bangbang
               Toulouse (67) v (52) Lyon in the Ernest Wallon: should be better between numbers one and three, but Clermont are pretty much in beastie mode and immense now and don’t look like they’re gonna stop any time soon, deep as they are; maybe travelers do the trick, but not a good bet; is it too soon to say juggernaut… I think not - no losses since the end of September in the league and only a single Champions Cup defeat to Leinster at the RDS first of December, yup, they’re juggernauting along… one more win and Toulouse will have effectively cliched a playoff berth; overcast with temps in the 50s, no real chance of rain and a wee puffy breeze, but as good as it gets for the players, really; bangbangbang

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