France are playing this weekend and so are the Top 14 clubs, much to their chagrin. They missed out earlier for the Ireland match when it was frozen off and now miss put again when the postponed match happens. With just seven rounds to go, the clubs are getting testy as some try to end in the top six and others try avoid the bottom two.
Biarritz may just have the best chance of getting out of their hole.
The top matches are those in Toulon and Clermont-Ferrand. Sadly the latter - one vs two - will be without several top players as they are above all the clubs feeding France. Clermont will be without their strike power in Wesley Fofana, Aurélien Rougerie and Julien Malzieu plus Morgan Parra, Julien Bonnaire and Vincent Debaty. Toulouse will be without Jean-Baptiste Poux, Yoann Maestri, Thierry Dusautoir, Louis Picamoles, Lionel Beauxis, Vincent Clerc and Clément Poitrenaud. In addition Maxime Médard was injured against Scotland and will be out of action for between six and nine months.
It's such a pity that such a top match should be so spoilt.
Fixtures, Round 19
Friday, 2 March 2012
20.45: Toulon vs Montpellier at Stade Mayol
Saturday, 3 March 2012
14.15: Agen vs Perpignan at Stade Armandie
14.15: Biarritz vs Bordeaux-Bègles at Stade Maurice Boyau
14.15: Brive vs Stade Français at Stade Amédée Domenech
14.15: Racing-Métro vs Bayonne at Stade Yves du Manoir (Colombes)
16.15: Clermont vs Toulouse at Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin
20.45: Castres vs Lyon at Stade Pierre Antoine
Log after Round 18
All clubs have now played 18 matches each.
1 Toulouse 69
2 Clermont 61
3 Toulon 52
4 Castres 48
5 Montpellier 48
6 Stade Français 42
7 Racing Métro 41
8 Agen 40
9 Bordeaux-Bègles 37
10 Brive 33
11 Perpignan 31
12 Bayonne 29
13 Biarritz 25
14 Lyon 24
Brive will be without their speedy threequarter Ronnie Cooke. He suffered a double fracture of his cheekbone in a high tackle by Juan Martín Leguizamón.
Toulon: 15 Benjamin Lapeyre, 14 Alexis Palisson, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 David Smith, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Sébastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Joe van Niekerk, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Olivier Missoup, 5 Christophe Samson, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Sébastien Bruno, 1 Eifion Lewis-Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Mickaël Ivaldi, 17 Laurent Emmanuelli, 18 Simon Shaw, 19 Joe El Abd, 20 Geoffroy Messina, 21 Luke Rooney, 22 Fabien Cibray, 23 Davit Kubriashvili
Montpellier: 15 Lucas Amorosino, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Thomas Combezou, 11 Yoan Audrin, 10 Santiago Fernandez, 9 Benoît Paillaugue, 8 Mamuka Gorgodze, 7 Rémy Martin, 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 5 Thibaut Privat, 4 Alikisio Fakate, 3 George Jgenti, 2 Erasmus Jansen van Vuuren, 1 Na'ama Leleimalefaga
Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy , 17 Juan Figallo, 18 Drikus Hancke, 19 Masini Matadigo, 20 Julien Tomas, 21 Paul Bosch, 22 Martin Bustos Moyano, 23 Maximiliano Bustos
Toulon vs Montpellier at Stade Mayol
Referee: Romain Poite
Assistant referees: Patrick Pechambert, Jean-Michel Schutz
Television match official: Jean-Claude Levrier
Agen vs Perpignan at Stade Armandie
Referee: Laurent Cardona
Assistant referees: Laurent Millotte, René Bordeneuve
Television match official: Daniel Dartigeas
Biarritz vs Bordeaux at Stade Maurice Boyau
Referee: Franck Maciello
Assistant referees: Akim Hadj Bachir, Régis Gabard
Television match official: Gilles Cogne
Brive vs Stade Français at Stade Amédée Domenech
Referee: Jean-Luc Rebollal
Assistant referees: Alexandre Ruiz, Christophe Graviou
Television match official: Daniel Irazoqui
Racing-Métro vs Bayonne at Stade Yves du Manoir (Colombes)
Referee: Sébastien Minery
Assistant referees: Pascal Gauzere, Benoît Escoubet
Television match official: Jean-Claude Levrier
Clermont vs Toulouse at Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin
Referee: Mathieu Raynal
Assistant referees: Christophe Berdos, Thomas Dejean
Television match official: Philippe Bonhoure
Castres vs Lyon at Stade Pierre Antoine
Referee: Patrick Pechambert
Assistant referees: David Rosich, Philippe Gorbenko
Television match official: Hervé Dubes
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