It's not really a fiasco but it's not flourishing.
On the eve of the gathering of the Blues in Capbreton, in the Landes, and two weeks before the first lifting of the Six Nations Tournament against Italy in Rome, the last day of the group stage of the European Cup left a bitter taste to clubs in France.
Only three French formations will play in the round of 16 in a dry match on April 1 and 2: La Rochelle, Stade Toulouse and Montpellier.
The Rochelais, defending champions, were the only ones to shine this weekend.
Large winners in Northampton (13-31), Ronan O'Gara's players finished first in Pool B and won the right to receive the English from Gloucester, and above all to avoid the table of Leinster, the Irish scarecrow of the competition, which they would only find in the final in Dublin, a tasty revenge from last season.
Stade Toulouse, for its part, had great difficulty in taming the Irish from Munster (20-16) on its lawn at Ernest-Wallon this Sunday afternoon.
Despite the presence of its internationals, Antoine Dupont, Romain Ntamack, Melvyn Jaminet, Julien Marchand, Cyril Baille and Anthony Jelonch, Ugo Mola's team seriously struggled.
Personal note: do not look for sticks to the players of @StadeToulousain in the evening... 🧨💥
Big distribution of caramel, offered by the reds and blacks to the Irish in the 1st half 🔴⚫️v🍀
We let you appreciate the reactions of @ Dimitri Yachvili in #ChampionsCup 🏉📺 pic.twitter.com/ws1wmBGOgT
— Champions Cup France (@ChampionsCup_FR) January 22, 2023
Second in Pool B in the standings, she will host the Pretoria Bulls in the round of 16 and could meet Leinster on her home turf in the semi-finals.
Montpellier, who did not fear much before this day, qualified him little by snatching the draw (21-21) on his ground against the London Irish.
Led by 21 points in the 50th minute, Paul Willemse and his teammates will keep their good comeback in the last half hour as their only satisfaction.
Seventh in this pool B, they will face Exeter or Saracens in England.
The rest is widespread bankruptcy.
Clermont was powerless against the Stormers in Cape Town, South Africa (30-16).
Ninth in the Group B standings and eliminated from the Champions Cup, the Auvergne club, now coached by Christophe Urios, is transferred to the Challenge Cup.
He will play his round of 16 in Bristol.
Racing 92 did no better.
Swept away at the end of the match by Leinster (36-10), the Parisians, tenth in Pool A, also joined the small European Cup.
Laurent Travers' players will travel to South Africa where they will face the Johannesburg Lions.
Lyon, ninth in this same group, will challenge Stade Français to Jean-Bouin.
Bordeaux-Bègles and Castres, they will not even know this meager consolation.
Beaten in their four meetings, the bad students of this promotion can now devote themselves entirely to the Top 14.