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. A derby and it starts again?
There is no longer an unbeaten team in the Top 14. After starting with six consecutive wins, the Toulouse leader fell to Lyon (25-19).
An additional source of motivation for the reigning champion, piqued in his pride before receiving his best enemy from Castres.
The atmosphere promises to be hot at the Ernest-Wallon stadium, sold out for the hundredth anniversary of the derby between the two Occitan cities, 75 kilometers apart.
The regional capital will be able to count on its cohort of internationals one last time before the November test-matches. It will not be too much against the sub-prefecture of Tarn, victorious in six of their last nine clashes.
A new misstep from Toulouse would benefit its runner-up, Bordeaux-Bègles, back to three lengths in the standings and well placed to clinch a fifth victory in a row with the reception of the promoted Perpignan, penultimate.
. Collazo, reunion at high risk
Not sure that the Toulon coach, Patrice Collazo, takes full advantage of his reunion with the public of La Rochelle, a club he helped to make in the elite before taking the direction of the Var.
The Toulon technician says he is threatened after his team’s poor start to the season, stuck in 11th place with only two wins in seven days. To bounce back, he will not be able to count on his star rookie, full-back Cheslin Kolbe, still injured.
Its president, Bernard Lemaître, had given three games at the beginning of the month (Brive, Racing 92, La Rochelle) to his staff before making the “assessment”.
The first was won in pain (13-9) under the whistles of the public of Mayol, where the RCT then lost for the first time of the season (27-20).
The trip, always difficult, at the Marcel-Deflandre stadium, does not bode well, especially as the Rochelais, after an equally upset start to the championship, have just chained two successes with a newfound defense.
. French stadium, Clermont, same fight
Other candidates for the final stages to have experienced an ignition delay, the French Stadium and Clermont still need points to extricate themselves from the second half of the standings.
The Parisians can make the pass of three after successively beating Clermont (22-14) and Perpignan (23-22). But they will have a lot to do with Jean-Bouin against Lyon, fresh winner of Toulouse and best attack in the championship with more than three tries per game on average.
“They are good in all areas. We expect a very big game. But we have no choice! We are twelfth in the standings, still with our heads under water. So if we want to continue to breathe a little, we need victories, “warned Parisian back Kylan Hamdaoui.
The Clermontois, winners of the thread in Montpellier (22-20 last weekend), perhaps the task a little easier on their lawn against Pau, candidate for maintenance.
. Ball for beginners in Racing?
Many Racing 92 executives (Pesenti, Thomas, Chat, Baubigny, Sanconnie …) will miss the call for the reception of Montpellier. A massacre which should offer several hopes of the Hauts-de-Seine club their first steps in the Top 14.
Their mission is to extend the invincibility of Ile-de-France residents at the Arena. “It’s important for the image, for the mentality, for the culture of the club. We are at home, as they say. It’s important for the pride we have as a player, as a man », Affirmed the international center Gaël Fickou.
Tipped to be the next captain of the XV of France, he is wary of the MHR, a team “with a lot of talent” and “very solid defensively”.
© 2021 AFP