The World Cup begins Friday in Japan, but in France, the Top 14 continues. Not at the same speed for everyone: thoroughly for Lyon and Bordeaux, impressive this weekend with a fourth win in as many days, in slow motion for the outgoing finalists, Toulouse and Clermont, deprived of globalists and ideas.
- Bastareaud and the hunger of LOU -
Four wins, two bonuses, 18 points out of 20 possible: the LOU and the UBB have a perfect start to the season. Saturday for the fourth day, the two ambitious have spent more than 50 points to the unfortunate on their way. The 6th day promises a tantalizing duel between these two hungry leaders.
The LOU, first, crushed 59-3 the promoted Brive. The statistics are striking after 4 days: 19 tries scored for zero cashed. Infrared Red and Black.
At his new position of third line center, Mathieu Bastareaud took advantage of the arrival of Corréziens to register his first test under his new colors. A breakthrough power and iron resistance to find the in-goal: for neo-8, the post changes, but the ingredients remain.
- Bordeaux grand cru -
The summer continues but tests are raining, in Lyon as in Bordeaux. As in Gerland, the audience of Chaban feasted Saturday night against Stade Français, whose in-goal has seen seven times Bordeaux-Bègles flatten (52-3).
Beyond the score, it is the way displayed by the men of Christophe Urios who seduced. Speed, precision, sequences of passes after contact, shredded shrine, pass blind delicious ... A starry menu, with dessert fourth test in four games opener Matthieu Jalibert, Bordeaux nugget yet substitute early in the game.
What to say that perhaps, this year is the good for the Girondins, to finally reach the final phase that escapes them since their rise in Top 14 in 2011.
- The feat of Pau -
The last victory of the Pau section in Clermont went back to 2002. A run-off cleared Saturday at Marcel-Michelin (37-28), validating a good start to the season for the now third, six points of the leaders.
"We can say that it's a feat, even if Clermont had a lot of absentees tonight, I struggled to achieve at the final whistle what we had to achieve against one of the best teams in France and of Europe ", savored the 3rd line of Pau, Martin Puech.
The Jaunards chained them a second disillusion after the derby lost against Brive. The perfect start to last year (18 points in 4 days like the LOU and the UBB this year) seems very far for the outgoing finalists.
Ditto for the Toulouse champions, who have already lost three times. Certainly still on the move, Lyon, Bordeaux and La Rochelle Saturday (28-13). True, the cause is known: the absence of many international. But with three losses, the stadium has already matched the total of last year's setbacks, all season long. False start.
- Toulon relieved -
In the heat of Mayol Sunday, a Toulon (6th, 9 pts) unattractive was scared but held up well against Racing 92 (32-29), who thought back on the end but must be content with the defensive bonus to place 10th with six points.
Elsewhere this weekend, the promoted Bayonne rose to the 5th place (9 points) after his first home success of the season, 27-17 against Castres, champion 2018. Agen (8th, 8 pts) too against Montpellier Sunday at Armandie (29-10), has offered a prestigious success.
© 2019 AFP