The Top 14 is back with a 13th day, called "
", punctuated between this Thursday and Saturday by several derbies and regional confrontations so that the players and their management can spend Christmas with their families.
Schedule and Top 14 results
Ranking Top 14
Toulouse coach Ugo Mola had "
very badly experienced
" last year the postponement at the last minute, due to a rebound of the Covid-19 epidemic, of the gala match that his team was to play on December 26 against Stade Francais.
So, after sweeping the English from Sale (45-19) on the intercontinental scene on Sunday, his mind was already turned towards the reception of Castres on Friday (9:00 p.m.) at the Stadium for the 2022 edition of "
", a appointment now well established in the calendar of the Top 14, on the model of English football, which does not stop during the holidays.
You have to take advantage of this event, in front of a full stadium, with all the Toulouse families present for Christmas.
It's a great moment to live
, ”appreciates Mola.
His Toulouse, solid championship leaders with five points ahead of Racing 92, do not intend to give gifts to their Castres neighbors, who beat them last season in a semi-final (24-18) stuck in their throat.
It's a very good team, we know that.
They often prevent us from going in circles apparently
, ”says Mola, revengefully.
They judged the Toulouse game and our shortcomings a lot last season.
We will therefore try to correct our faults against them on Friday evening
It will be without Thomas Ramos, sent off against Sale and facing a heavy suspension, but fellow international full-back Melvyn Jaminet, recovered from an ankle injury, should make a timely return.
The Atlantic derby between Stade Rochelais and UBB
The rugby "
" will begin this Thursday (9 p.m.) with Toulon-Lyon, poster of the last final of the European Challenge won by the Lyonnais (30-12) in the spring.
Former LOU coach Pierre Mignoni has since joined the Var, where his work in tandem with Franck Azéma is still slow to bear fruit.
The RCT, only 9th in the standings, must in particular be forgiven for its last two defeats at Mayol, against Montpellier (26-16) and Racing (31-14).
Between a long trip to South Africa and a frustrating setback against Saracens (28-20), Lyon (6th) left feathers in the Champions Cup, unlike La Rochelle, who will try to ride on their good momentum.
Impressive against Northampton (46-12) and Ulster (36-29), the European champion from La Rochelle (4th) will host Friday (6:45 p.m.) his rival from the Atlantic coast, Bordeaux-Bègles (8th), still recovering.
The reigning French champion, Montpellier (5th), will try to forget against Perpignan (13th) his "
" at home against the Welsh Ospreys (21-10) last weekend.
When you don't respect the opponent, you get punished
,” regrets international full-back Anthony Bouthier, who hopes to see the MHR show its “
” in front of Usap.
We will see on Friday if we are a great team
The race for maintenance will be played at the same time at a distance during two other regional shocks: in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques between Béarnais de Pau (12th) and Basques de Bayonne (7th), and in the Massif central between Brive (14th) and Clermont (10th).
Finally, second place will be at stake on Saturday (3:00 p.m.) in a high-flying Ile-de-France derby between Racing, which remains on five straight victories in the Top 14, and Stade Français, surprising third at three lengths from its best enemy.