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Top 14: Bayonne-Stade Français, the shock of the unexpected


Promised at the bottom of the ranking, Basques and Parisians, opposed this Saturday to Jean-Danger, are finally at the forefront this season. Until the final stages?

At the start of the season, not many people would have imagined them in this place.

Aviron Bayonnais, sixth in the standings, and Stade Français Paris, astonishing second, play the leading roles after 17 days of Top 14 and compete on Saturday (3 p.m.) at Jean-Dauger in an unexpected shock at the top of the Top 14.

To discover

  • Fixtures and Top 14 results

  • Ranking Top 14

Bayonne, the Basque force

Generally, promoted clubs are promised hell.

Who have to fight hard not to yo-yo between the first and second division.

This season, Aviron Bayonnais defies all predictions by being, mid-season, in the right car to reach the final stages.

Mathematically, the maintenance is not yet acquired but it's just like.

This season, the Basque club already has 41 points and 9 wins, whereas two years ago it was relegated after losing the accession/relegation play-off against Biarritz, gleaning 46 points and 10 wins.

Bayonne remains on a defeat with honors in Toulouse (21-16).

Which made Bayonne scrum-half Guillaume Rouet say in

Sud Ouest


“It’s good that we are frustrated.

It proves that we have ambitions and that we want to continue to fight with these teams at the top of the table.

Read alsoTop 14: Aviron Bayonnais promoted to the order of merit

The great strength of the Basques is to be intractable this season in their Jean-Dauger stadium, in front of their fervent public, with eight successes at home.

A good part of the big teams of the elite came to break their teeth in Bayonne.

And during the last nine days of the championship, the Blue and Whites have the advantage of receiving five times: after the Stade Français Paris, it is Castres, Pau, Montpellier and Clermont who will travel to the Basque Country.

To become the second promoted club (after Racing 92 in 2010) to play in the finals, you will surely have to go and grab a few points away from home (only three bonus points gleaned so far).

In Perpignan, La Rochelle, Racing 92 or Lyon, it will be difficult.

But the priority of the Basques is to remain intractable at home:

“We are above all committed to remaining undefeated at Dauger,

confirmed third-row Pierre Huguet to

Midi Olympique


The goal is to acquire the maintenance as quickly as possible, even if now the teams behind are at a certain number of points.

In the meantime, the current good season already makes it possible to project ourselves on the next one, with in particular the arrivals of leading players like Arthur Iturria (Clermont) or the Australian Reece Hodge (Reds).

End of virtuous cycle at Stade Français

Everything could have collapsed like a house of cards.

But the opposite effect happened.

The announcement early in the season of the departure of Gonzalo Quesada - replaced by Laurent Labit, current coach of the attack of the XV of France - completely galvanized the players of the Stade Français.

After 17 days, the Parisian club occupies an astonishing, but totally deserved, second place in the standings.

Morgan Parra and his teammates have indeed signed five successes in their last six Top 14 matches. UBB (12-6) on the final day.

Read alsoTops / Flops Stade Français-UBB: Paris resists, Holmes forgets nine points

Gonzalo Quesada knows, in any case, the tough task that awaits his team against Rowing.

“Bayonne is consistent, they have this ability to repeat performances

,” he insisted to

France Bleu


And to support:

“They are dangerous, they send the game. We go there with a lot of humility.

We know that it is the only undefeated team at home.

During the first leg at Jean-Bouin, the Soldats Roses had been jostled from the start, they were down 6-10 at the break, before making the difference at the end of the match (26-16).

After having experienced more lows than highs in recent seasons (despite the Brennus raised in 2015), the Parisian club has regained its colors.

And a place worthy of its past glory.

At the start of the season, after the success over Castres (26-7), the Argentinian manager explained:

“We feel that the team is not panicking, that it is managing.

She is confident and regains control of the game with quite remarkable serenity.

It's a big strength of this team to know that they can get through the toughest times without panicking."

The hardest part begins, however, for Paris, whose room for maneuver is narrow with four receptions for five complicated trips to come.

Finally turning the page of the dark seasons, brilliantly turning the Quesada page.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2023-02-16

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