The leader: Montpellier shaken by his dolphin
We had buried the UBB a little too soon. After eight defeats in their last ten matches, the Girondins were able to find moral, physical and technical resources to win on the lawn of Montpellier (22-23) at the end of this 23rd day. Thanks to a major breakthrough from their hooker Maxime Lamothe and six penalty goals from their scrum half Maxime Lucu, UBB are now on the heels of their evening opponent, a Montpellier team unable to get past the opposing defense before the 75th minute and whose first place is now hanging by a thread.
The feat: Lyon, ruthless outsider
Seventh and therefore now excluded from the final phase, the LOU won in Brive (17-31), where it is never easy to win. Clinical, disciplined, opportunistic and realistic, relying mainly on their pack for the work of conquests and recovery of the ball, the Lyonnais left no chance to their hosts in hardly favorable weather conditions. Precise at the foot – evidenced by the twenty-six points of their opener Léo Berdeu – the Rhodaniens remain in ambush.
The total points of Pau opener Antoine Hastoy, leader of the directors’ ranking. Ahead of Lyonnais Leo Berdeu (224 points).
The disappointment: La Rochelle misses the offensive bonus
For having rotated his workforce too much, the Irish coach of La Rochelle, Ronan O’Gara, can bite his fingers for not having won an offensive bonus against the penultimate of the Championship. This massive rotation gave rise to funny situations, the flanker Paul Boudehent evolving number 8, the back Dillyn Leyds finding himself opener and the winger Jules Favre dealing with the transformation of a test. Not very serious for a title contender. At the end of the success (32-16), above all lacks an offensive bonus so important in the standings to hope to climb to second place before the final phase.
The question: will Toulouse qualify?
It is the unfortunate aftereffect of the duplicates for the main provider of the XV of France: internationals tired and solicited on the front of the Tournament who had to be put to rest last Saturday. Result, a defeat in Marseille in front of Toulon (19-15) and a sixth place tied on points (58) with Lyon, not to mention the threat of Toulon at three points. Three days remain. Lyon (26th day) and Toulouse (23rd day) will both receive La Rochelle, but the Toulouse have the advantage of then moving to Brive (25th day) before receiving Biarritz on the final day, two matches within their reach. Short advantage to the outgoing champions, therefore.
The statement: “The staff gave us the ideas in place”
International winger Teddy Thomas scored twice in Racing 92’s victory over Biarritz (40-7) : ” We had a good second half, we reacted well. In the second half, we started with fairly simple things. During half-time, the staff gave us the ideas in place. We are a lot to leave Racing in June (Baubigny, Machenaud, Dove, Thomas, Beale, Tanga) That’s why we all give 200% to start with our heads held high, to make this club proud. We want to win something, whether it’s the Top 14 or the European Cup. »
Lyon international scrum-half Baptiste Couilloud tops the scoring charts with nine tries.
The next day: the underdogs on the attack
Placed outside the top 6 and therefore in search of a ticket for the final phase, Lyon receives the leader Montpellier (Saturday April 30, 3 p.m.), while Pau welcomes Racing 92 (Saturday, 5 p.m.). Clermont will receive the Stade Français (Saturday, 5 p.m.): the loser will watch the train of the final phase move away. Toulon, for its part, will travel to Gironde to face UBB (Sunday, 9:05 p.m.), Labor Day. Indeed, there is a lot on the board for the Varois. Note the tempting display at the top of the table between Toulouse and La Rochelle (Saturday, 9:05 p.m.).
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