After last weekend's surprises anything is possible. Two matches immediately stand out, the one in Paris and Sunday's tough encounter on the massif central. Clermont will want to make up for last weekend's drab performance while Toulon will not have taken their hiding happily. The same is true of Stade Français who were humiliated by Bordeaux-Bègles last weekend.
Biarritz showed a great deal of promise last weekend when Dimitri Yachvili was in magnificent form. Surely they would do anything get out of their ignominious position.
François Steyn plays his first match for Racing-Métro this season.
Fixtures, Round 15
Friday, 6 January 2012
20.45: Agen vs Biarritz at Stade Armandie
Saturday, 7 January 2012
14.15: Toulouse vs Lyon at Stade Ernest Wallon
14.15: Stade Français vs Castres at Stade Charlety (Paris)
14.15: Bayonne vs Bordeaux-Bègles at Stade Jean Dauger
14.15: Brive vs Montpellier at Stade Amédée Domenech
16.15: Perpignan vs Racing-Métro at Stade Aimé Giral
Sunday, 8 January 2012
21.00: Clermont vs Toulon at Parc Des Sports Marcel Michelin
Results in matches between these two teams but at the other venue in Round 2 are as follows:
Toulouse vs Lyon, 19-9 in Lyon
Bordeaux-Bègles vs Bayonne, 18-6
Clermont vs Toulon 17-0 in Toulon
Biarritz vs Agen, 9-9 in Biarritz
Castres vs Stade Français, 35-10
Brive vs Montpellier, 28-12
Racing-Métro vs Perpignan, 47-23
Log after Round 14
Bordeaux-Bègles and Lyon have each still got a game in hand.
2 Clermont 46
3 Castres 40
4 Toulon 39
5 Agen 36
6 Stade Français 34
7 Racing-Métro 34
8 Montpellier 31
9 Bordeaux-Bègles 26
10 Perpignan 25
11 Brive 24
12 Bayonne 22
13 Lyon 20
14 Biarritz 19
Prediction: Victories fro Clermont, Toulouse, Bayonne despite the Bordeaux side's massive win over Stade Français last weekend, Agen, Castres even in Paris because the Pink Panthers have been so erratic this season, Montpellier who are on the rise with their many internationals back and Racing-Métro against a team that has been so out of sorts.
Biarritz have big Damien Traille at inside centre and as captain. Fabien Barcella and Romain Terrain are back from injury and on the bench. They have three changes to the side that beat Toulon. Sylvain Marconnet comes into loosehead in the place of Eugene van Staden and Manuel Carizza and Raphaël Lakafia swap places with Florian Faure and Pelu Taele.
Dwayne Haare comes into the Bayonne side in the place of injured Julien Puricelli.
Patricio Albacete, the Puma who had a great World Cup, will be back for Toulouse, for whom Gurthrö Steenkamp is set to play just his second match. Clément Poitrenaud and centre Yann David are also likely to return from injury.
Bayonne squad: François Da Ros, David Roumieu, Aretz Iguiniz, Vitolio Manukula, Denis Avril, Neemia Tialata, Troy Flavell, Rob Linde, Abdellatif Boutaty, Dwayne Haare, Marc Baget, Jean-Joseph Marmouyet, Sione Lauaki, Mike Phillips, Cédric Garcia, Clément Otazo, Benjamin Boyet, Sam Gerber, Thibault Lacroix, Lionel Mazars, Marvin O'Connor, Joe Rokocoko, Cédric Heymans.
Agen: 15 Silvère Tian, 14 Saimoni Vaka, 13 Manu Ahotaeiloa, 12 Jamie Robinson, 11 Brice Dulin, 10 Conrad Barnard, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Ueleni Fono, 7 Adri Badenhorst, 6 Jean Monribot, 5 Lisiate Fa'aoso, 4 Dewald Senekal, 3 Martin Scelzo, 2 Jalil Narjissi, 1 John Schwalger
Replacements: 16 Semisi Telefoni, 17 Laurent Cabarry, 18 Damien Lagrange, 19 Marc Giraud, 20 Sylvain Dupuy, 21 Junior Palesasa, 22 Miguel Avramovic, 23 Gert Muller
Biarritz: 15 Iain Balshaw, 14 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 13 Charles Gimenez, 12 Damien Traille, 11 Ilikena Bolakoro, 10 Marcelo Bosch, 9 Dimitri Yachvili, 8 Florian Faure, 7 Benoît Guyot, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Pelu Taele, 4 Jerome Thion, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Arnaud Heguy, 1 Sylvain Marconnet.
Replacements: 16 Romain Terrain, 17 Fabien Barcella, 18 Manuel Carizza, 19 Raphaël Lakafia, 20 Julien Peyrelongue, 21 Benoît Baby, 22 Dane Haylett Petty, 23 Thomas Lebrequier
Racing-Métro squad: Grégory Arganèse, Antoine Battut, Julien Brugnaut, Jacques Cronjé, Karim Ghezal, Johnny Leo'o, Bernard le Roux, Benjamin Noirot, Andrea Lo Cicero, Lionel Nallet, Juan Pablo Orlandi, Mikaele Tu'ugahala, François van der Merwe, Rémy Vaquin, Sireli Bobo, Henry Chavancy, Sébastien Descons, Fabrice Estebanez, Germain, Imhoff, Mathieu Lorée, Matavesi, Julien Saubade, François Steyn, Jonathan Wisniewski
Agen vs Biarritz
Referee: Romain Poite
Assistant referees: Stéphane Boyer, René Bordeneuve
Television match official: Gilles Cogne
Toulouse vs Lyon
Referee: Frank Maciello
Assistant referees: Jérôme Lamirand, Christophe Clavere
Television match official: Vincent Azoulay
Stade Français vs Castres
Referee: Patrick Pechambert
Assistant referees: Christophe Dutreuilh, Laurent Sclafer
Television match official: Hervé Dubes
Bayonne vs Bordeaux-Bègles
Referee: Céderic Marchat
Assistant referees: Alain Blondel, Jérôme Lamarque
Television match official: Jean-Claude Levrier
Brive vs Montpellier
Referee: Laurent Cardona
Assistant referees: Nicholas Datas, Sébastien Hebert
Television match official: Daniel Irazoqui
Perpignan vs Racing-Métro
Referee: Jean-Luc Rebollal
Assistant referees: Akim Hadj Bachir, Christophe Graviou
Television match official: Bernard Dal Maso
Clermont vs Toulon
Referee: Christophe Berdos
Assistant referees: Salem Attalah, Régis Gabard
Television match official: Eric Gauzins
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