The leader: Montpellier assures Perpignan
Thanks to their victory (13-23) in Aimé-Giral against USAP and with a ten-point lead over Castres, third, Montpellier can aspire, with four games to go, to qualify directly for the quarterfinals. We lament the wasted departure of the children from the Catalan countryside, Guilhem Guirado and Enzo Forletta, exfiltrated at halftime when they could have enjoyed a standing ovation from their former audience. For the rest, although reduced to a time of thirteen, a good defense and a brace from second-row South African Janse van Rensburg (30th, 74th) allowed Héraultais to get out of trouble.
The feat: Toulon pulverizes Lyon in Gerland
Who would have imagined that the last of the seventeenth day would find themselves five days later in a position to win a place in the final phase? With the returns of the Blues, winger Gabin Villière and left prop Jean-Baptiste Gros crowned with their Grand Slam, you have to believe the magic has worked. The international squad (Tolofua, Etzebeth, Rebbadj, Ollivon, Isa, Serin, Carbonel, Kolbe, Setiano, Nakarawa) finally managed to play in unison. And the Lyonnais, cut off by Kolbe’s try under the beard of Nakaitaci and Arnold, conceded a 32-0 run in the second half to finish 10-43.
The number of successes away from home: Toulon in Lyon, Pau in Biarritz, Montpellier in Perpignan and La Rochelle in Bordeaux.
The frustration: Bordeaux-Bègles too short
There are four times in a row that the Girondins have failed to beat the Stade Rochelais, on the way to becoming their favorite (and yellow) motif… Hit on the ground and in the air (thirteen balls recovered at the meeting points by Marítimo) Against a team that had voluntarily limited its offensive ambitions, no doubt with a view to the next European matches, the Bordeaux team never found the key to this Atlantic derby. Unlike the Rochelais who, after two assists (17, 30) and a goal from Ihaia West to the siren, obtained a brief but decisive victory (15-16).
The question: is playing at home no longer an advantage?
We have to go back to day 7 to find a better ratio with five successes in the move. Four successes at home last weekend show that home teams are not immune to disappointment. With four days to go in the phase, there is no longer any home advantage: this axiom is now very much on people’s minds. Without a doubt, the perspective of the endgame changes perceptions.
Twenty-two points ahead of Biarritz, Pau’s starter Antoine Hastoy (211 points) has become the new leader in the ranking of best directors, ahead of Lyonnais Léo Berdeu (198).
The statement: “Keep your feet on the ground”
Thomas Domingo, coach of the Pau forwards, triumphs in Biarritz (19-42) : “These four points are important for the end of the season and for morale. We were able to recover from last week against USAP (win without bonus, 27-22). This victory in Biarritz gives us a big step to keep, but there is You have to keep your feet on the ground. The top 6 is another story: the teams in front of us are very competitive.”
By scoring a try against Toulon, Lyon scrum-half Baptiste Couilloud (9 tries) is now the top scorer in the Top 14. This is also the number of tries scored during the Paris derby.
The next day: clash at the top in the Hérault
After the round trip of the round of 16, the championship will resume its rights with the trip from Clermont to Castres and from Pau to Paris (Saturday, 2:15 p.m.). Racing 92 and La Rochelle should still pick up plenty of points hosting Biarritz and Perpignan respectively.
Lyon will try to make up for the loss at home to Toulon on their visit to Brive (Saturday, 5:15pm CET). Varois who are firmly waiting for Toulouse in Mayol (Saturday, 9:05 p.m.). And this 23rd matchday will end with the clash of the top finishers between Montpellier and Bordeaux-Bègles at the GGL stadium (Sunday, 9:05 p.m.).