Top 14 Preview: Round 9

Top 14 Preview: Round 9

High-flying Lyon host La Rochelle in the pick of the Top 14 games this weekend as Round 9 starts with Toulouse facing Bordeaux-Bègles.

It’s first versus third at Matmut Stadium Gerland in what promises to be an epic clash between the in-form sides while on Sunday the big game sees Montpellier and Clermont face off at Altrad Stadium to end the weekend’s action.


Toulouse vs Bordeaux-Bègles
Oyonnax vs Castres
Racing 92 vs Pau
Lyon vs La Rochelle
Agen vs Toulon


Brive vs Stade Français
Montpellier vs Clermont

Toulouse vs Bordeaux-Bègles
Stade Ernest Wallon

Fifth takes on sixth at Stade Ernest Wallon to start the round in what is an intriguing match as both sides look to boost their play-off hopes.

Toulouse were well beaten by La Rochelle last week with UBB also defeated, at the hands of Racing 92 in Paris, so both need a response.

Victory for Toulouse would see them move level on points with second-placed Montpellier, provisionally at least, while a win for UBB would put them up to third before their other rivals take to the field. Victory at Toulouse though will be a big ask for Jacques Brunel’s men.

Last year’s result: Toulouse won 22-17
Kick-off: 14:45 local (13:45 GMT)
Referee: Pascal Gaüzère
Assistant referees: Jonathan Dufort, Frédéric Chazal
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure

Oyonnax vs Castres
Stade Charles Mathon

Fresh off a 52-18 hammering at the hands of Lyon, Oyonnax host a Castres side buoyed by their 43-28 home victory over Agen last week.

Oyonnax are currently in 12th spot while that win for Castres moved them up to ninth and they will hope to continue that rise on Saturday.

They should have too much quality in their side and we expect them to get the victory at Stade Charles Mathon as their revival continues.

Last year’s result: Did not play
Kick-off: 18:30 local (17:30 GMT)
Referee: Ludovic Cayre
Assistant referees: Adrien Descottes, Thierry Guilloton
TMO: Éric Gauzins

Racing 92 vs Pau
Stade Yves Du Manoir

It’s seventh versus eighth at Stade Yves Du Manoir as Racing enter on the back of that win over Bordeaux-Bègles while Pau lost to Montpol.

That win ended a three-match losing streak in the Top 14 for Racing 92 so they will be desperate not to undo their good work last week.

Pau are a dangerous side though and pushed Racing all the way in this game last season. Expect a tight one between the play-off rivals.

Last year’s result: Racing won 34-32
Kick-off: 18:30 local (17:30 GMT)
Referee: Romain Poite
Assistant referees: Pierre Brousset, Laurent Breil
TMO: Denis Grenouillet

Lyon vs La Rochelle
Matmut Stadium Gerland

The fixture of the round sees two in-form sides clash at Matmut Stadium Gerland, with pace-setting Lyon hosting third-placed La Rochelle.

Lyon are currently four points clear of Montpellier at the summit after eight matches, with La Rochelle a further two behind in the standings.

Five straight wins have seen Lyon to this lofty position but La Rochelle are a real threat to ending that run in what will be a great showdown.

Last year’s result: Lyon won 29-25
Kick-off: 18:30 local (17:30 GMT)
Referee: Mathieu Raynal
Assistant referees: Cédric Marchat, Éric Soulan
TMO: Éric Briquet Campin

Agen vs Toulon
Stade Armandie

The late game on Saturday pits Agen, who are second bottom in the table, against a Toulon side who know they can’t afford any slip-ups.

Victory for Toulon would keep them in the chasing pack at the right end of the table, but Agen showed last week against Castres they can hurt teams. Although they ended up on the losing side the strugglers will have taken plenty of positives from that game before this home fixture.

On paper though Toulon have enough class in their side to seal a win that would give them a boost before hosting Racing after a week off.

Last year’s result: Did not play
Kick-off: 20:45 local (19:45 GMT)
Referee: Maxime Chalon
Assistant referees: Nicolas Datas, Jean-Luc Rebollal
TMO: Mourad Zitouni

Brive vs Stade Français
Stade Amédée Domenech

Sunday’s action starts at Stade Amédée Domenech where basement side Brive will be hoping to upset Stade Français, who sit in 11th spot.

Stade’s decent run in the Top 14 that saw them beat Pau and Montpellier was ended last week as they lost out 33-10 to Clermont on the road. Brive meanwhile couldn’t back up their win over Castres as they fell to Toulon, succumbing to their seventh loss from eight league matches.

Brive won this league match last year and it is must-win here before the week off, with two away fixtures to follow before the end of 2017.

Last year’s result: Brive won 28-20
Kick-off: 12:30 local (11:30 GMT)
Referee: Lauren Cardona
Assistant referees: Sébastien Minery, Arnaud Blondel
TMO: Éric Gonthier

Montpellier vs Clermont
Altrad Stadium

Last but by no means least Montpellier host Clermont to bring down the curtain on Round 9, with the latter in desperate need of a victory.

Clermont are currently on 17 points in 10th spot while Montpellier are faring much better on 28 as they look to keep the pressure on Lyon.

Les Jaunards won this match last season but things look very different in 2017/18 after four losses from their eight games, which has been a shock to the watching public. Vern Cotter’s Montpellier should win this on their home patch.

Last year’s result: Clermont won 26-22
Kick-off: 16:50 local (15:50 GMT)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès
Assistant referees: Tual Trainini, Lauren Perrin
TMO: Patrick Dellac

Read More Here