As the autumn leaves start rattling off trees, France's Top 14 goes into its second round of matches after the series of home victories in Round 1. It is a difficult times for clubs with so many players away at the World Cup playing for France and other countries. And then there are injuries already from the first round.
Players injured include Daan Human and Rupeni Caucaunibuca (Toulouse), Pépito Elhorga, Marc Baget, Guillaume Bernard and Benjamin Boyet (Bayonne), Nicolas Bontinck (Lyons), Benoît Paillaugue (Montpellier), Benoît Baby and Bidabé (Biarritz), Schofield (Toulon), Bernard N'Nomo (Agen) and newly recruited Shane Geraghty (Brive). Baby fractured a cheekbone in a collision with massive Mathieu Basteraude.
Round 1 Results
Agen vs Brive, 20-19
Bayonne vs Toulouse, 18-13
Clermont vs Lyon, 22-13
Perpignan vs Castres, 25-6
Racing-Métro vs Montpellier, 30-22
Stade Français vs Bordeaux, 41-20
Toulon vs Biarritz, 30-5
Stade Français were the only team to earn a bonus point for scoring tries. In the Top 14 the try bonus is for scoring at least three tries more than your opponents.
Round 2 Fixtures
Saturday, 3 September 2011
14.15: Biarritz vs Agen at Parc des Sports Aguiléra
14.15: Castres vs Stade Français at Stade Pierre-Antoine
14.15: Montpellier vs Brive at Stade Yves du Manoir - Montpellier
14.15: Racing-Métro vs Perpignan at Stade Yves du Manoir - Paris
16.20: Toulon vs Clermont at Stade Mayol
20.45: Bordeaux vs Bayonne at Stade André Moga
Sunday, 4 September 2011
21.00: Lyon vs Toulouse at Stade Matmut
The top clashes would be Castres against Stade Français, Racing-Métro against Perpignan and Toulon against Clermont Auvergne. The homes sides should win in Paris and Toulon but Castres may just be in for a battle after their mediocre showing against the Catalans last weekend.
Montpellier did not have a great start but there is something about Brive that suggests a harsh season ahead.
Feel for Lyon and Bordeaux. Both were promoted this season and both will endure two tough weeks against top sides, even if they are at home this weekend. Lyon could expect a backlash from Stade after their defeat last weekend.
Predictions: Victories for Agen, Stade Français, Montpellier, Racing, Toulon Bayonne and Toulouse. How's that for brave?
We shall add to teams as they become available.
For so early in the season Perpignan have a litany of absentees. Apart from those at the World Cup, there are also the injured - Gerrie Britz (shoulder), Jean-Philippe Grandclaude (knee), Guillaume Vilaceca (thumb), Jean-Pierre Perez (ribs), Henry Tuilagi (thigh) and Julien Fritz (knee) and they are without recovering players - Grégory Le Corvec, Nicolas Laharrague, Adrien Planté, Florian Cazenave and Farid Sid.
Wallaby Ryan Cross gets his first start for Perpignan. The 31-year-old centre is with the Catalans for three months as a medical joker for Grandclaude and a World Cup joker for David Marty and Maxime Médard. He said of Saturday's match: "I am looking forward to getting out on the field on Saturday against a very good Racing Metro team. It's a good challenge for the team and for me."
André Pretorius is in the Toulon squad. Sébastien Tillous-Borde is new to Toulon but takes over the captaincy.
Sébastien Chabal, on the bench for Racing last week, is not in the squad this week.
Paul Sackey, the England wing, is likely to play for Stade Français who have ten players at the World Cup and are without Brian Liebenberg and Burban, who have not yet recovered fully from injury. The Parisians' new flyhalf, Australian Paul Warwick is over his back injury.
Agen squad: Laurent Cabarry, Jonathan Garcia, John Schwalger, Beka Sheklashvili, Jalil Narjissi, Julien Janaudy, Pat O'Connor, Dewald Senekal, Damien Lagrange, Adri Badenhorst, Opeti Fonua, Marc Giraud, Jean Monribot, Ueleni Fono,, Maxime Machenaud, Sylvain Dupuy, Valentin Courrent, Conrad Barnard, Manu Ahotaeiloa, Benjamin Petre, Junior Palesasa, Mathieu Lamoulie, Jean-François Coux, Silvère Tian, Brice Dulin.
Bayonne: François Da Ros, David Roumieu, Pierre Lafond, Aretz Iguiniz, Clément Baiocco, Renaud Boyoud, Rob Linde, Troy Flavell, Abdellatif Boutaty, Jean-Joseph Marmouyet, Julien Puricelli, Dwayne Haare, Sione Lauaki, François Carrillo, Julien Audy, Céderic Garcia, Clément Otazo, Garth Ziegler, Matthieu Visensang, Thibault Lacroix, Lionel Mazars, Marvin O'Connor, Clément Lagain, Sam Gerber, Joe Pietersen.
Perpignan squad: Benoît Bourrust, Danie Thiart, Romain Brison, Perry Freshwater, Jérôme Schuster, Charles Geli, Maxime Delonca, Robins Tchale-Watchou, Romain Taofifenua, Rimas Alvarez-Kairélis, Olivier Olibeau, Damien Chouly, Bertrand Guiry, Yohan Vivalda, Romain Bézian, David Mélé, Kevin Boulogne, Gilles Bosch, Gavin Hume, Rudi Coetzee, Ryan Cross, Joffrey Michel, Julien Candelon, Armand battle, Jérôme Porical.
Toulon squad: Steffon Armitage, Sébastien Bruno, Kristian Chesney, Jo El Abd, Laurent Emmanuelli, Jean-Philippe Genevois, Carl Hayman, Mickaël Ivaldi, Eifion Lewis-Roberts, Olivier Missoup, Seva Rokobaro, Christophe Samson, Jocelino Suta, Jone Tawake, Damien Tussac, Mathieu Bastareaud, Julien Dumora, Matt Henjak, Mafileo Kefu, Benjamin Lapeyre, Christian Loamanu, Geoffrey Messina, André Pretorius, Luke Rooney, Jérôme Sinzelle, David Smith, Sébastien Tillous-Borde (captain).
Biarritz vs Agen
Referee: Pascal Gauzere,
Assistant Referees: Eric Soulan, Régis Gabard
Television match official: Bruno Bessot
Bordeaux vs Bayonne
Referee: Cyril Lafon
Assistant Referees: Vincent Blasco, Jérôme Lamarque
Assessor: Jean-Christophe Gastou
Television match official: Daniel Gillet
Castres vs Stade Français
Referee: Patrick Pechambert
Assistant Referees: Jérôme Lamirand, Philippe Gorbenko
Television match official: Eric Gonthier
Lyon vs Toulouse
Referee: Mathieu Raynal
Assistant Referees: Salem Attalah, Thomas Dejean
Assessor: Patrick Robin
Television match official: Vincent Azoulay
Montpellier vs Brive
Assistant Referees: Nicolas Datas, Sébastien Herbert
Assessor: Bernard Perez
Television match official: Laurent Valin
Racing-Métro vs Perpignan
Referee: Céderic Marchat
Assistant Referees: Sébastien Minery, Laurent Sclafer
Assessor: Daniel Dartigeas
Television match official: Jean-Marie Piraveau
Toulon vs Clermont
Referee: Christophe Berdos
Assistant Referees: Stéphane Boyer, Dominique Parrini
Television match official: Gilles Cogne
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