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Top 14: Lyon, Clermont, the right resolutions? - France 24

2019-12-28T06:52:33.417Z

Top 14: Lyon, Clermont, the right resolutions?



Paris (AFP)

Largely beaten the previous day, Lyon and Clermont must start off on the right foot against Bayonne and Castres on Saturday and Sunday on the 12th day, the last of 2019, closed by an enticing Toulouse - Toulon.

. Above: Lyon in a zone of turbulence

"We are going to leave," said Pierre Mignoni on Saturday after the heavy defeat at Castres (29-12). For the first time since the start of the season, the Lou left the leader's chair he had grown used to since the summer, when he started with 7 wins in a row.

But in the fall, the demanding European Cup came to break a dynamic - 3 losses in 4 matches - now well buried by the losses in Montpellier (33-8) and in the Tarn. What is more, the infirmary of Gerland, already well attended (Doussain, Ric, Lambey, Laporte), was clearly stocked up at Christmas with three potential holders: the third line center Carl Fearns, the semi-fray Baptiste Couilloud and the Thibaut Regard center.

Even without them, the Lyonnais have the means to beat Bayonne, another formation which had a great start - 5 victories in 7 days - before returning to the ranks - 4 matches without success since. Renewing success is imperative so as not to be left behind by Bordeaux-Bègles, the new leader on the move on Sunday in Pau (12th), but above all to keep its distance from Toulouse (4th) and Toulon (3rd), who compete in a sold-out stadium (33,000).

The reunion between the two clubs in red and black shirts promises to be rare: both have been unbeaten since mid-October and can count on all their strength, between dominating packs and two young openers - Romain Ntamack and Louis Carbonel - candidates for XV of France.

And as the list for the Six Nations Tournament falls on January 8 ... it's time to play.

. In the middle: Brive - Racing, who would have believed it?

If Toulouse and Toulon ramped up in the fall, the other heavyweights alternate the good and the less good. This is the case of Clermont (7th), which has still not gleaned the slightest bonus and has just been corrected by the RCT (41-19), far from its attractive performances in the European Cup. A second misstep at home, after Pau in September, is prohibited as the qualification race is tight: 8 clubs (from Montpellier, 5th, to Pau, 12th) stand in 3 points.

In this basket of crabs is Racing 92, disappointing 10th and going to Brive ... 6th and last roadblocker. The promoted is formidable at home where he won everything (5 wins) despite a marked adversity (Clermont, Toulon, Toulouse, UBB, Stade Français). Racing de Travers, European champion with Brive in 1997, faces a great challenge: to bring down the Corrèze citadel.

. Below: Agen and Paris, confidence regained?

Detached from the peloton, the relegables Agen (13th) and Stade Français (14th) still have time to catch up, provided they bring points from their trips from time to time, which they have done sparingly so far (3 and 2). Traditionally solid at home, La Rochelle (9th) and Montpellier (5th) are not the most favorable terrains for a feat, but these two candidates for the title have also shown weaknesses in recent weeks.

The Paris club goes to Hérault reassured by its success in Pau (21-18) and ready to face the world champion opener Handré Pollard for the premiere of the South African at Yves-du-Manoir. At Marcel-Deflandre, the SUA can also leave confident after a short defeat against Toulouse (8-13) synonymous with hope.

Saturday

(2:00 p.m.) Lyon - Bayonne

(4:00 p.m.) Brive - Racing 92

(6 p.m.) Montpellier - Stade Français

Sunday

(3:45 p.m.) La Rochelle - Agen

Pau - Bordeaux-Bègles

(6:00 p.m.) Clermont - Castres

(9:00 p.m.) Toulouse - Toulon

Saturday December 28

(2:00 p.m.) Lyon - Bayonne

(4:00 p.m.) Brive - Racing 92

(6 p.m.) Montpellier - Stade Français

Sunday December 29

(3:45 p.m.) La Rochelle - Agen

Pau - Bordeaux-Bègles

(6:00 p.m.) Clermont - Castres

(9:00 p.m.) Toulouse - Toulon

© 2019 AFP

Source: france24

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