French Top 14: Toulon v Lyon Preview

Two sides who have endured a tumultuous fortnight will square off at the Stade Felix-Mayol this Saturday with Toulon locking horns with Lyon.

Toulon's horror start to the Top 14 season continued last week as the side from the French capital went down 20-19 to fellow play-off hopefuls, Castres. The loss was Toulon's third in succession and came a week after they went down at home to Racing Metro in the Paris Derby. Like Toulon, Lyon, have endured a wretched three weeks and have lost their last three fixtures. This weekend's visitors will need to arrest this poor run of results if they are to avoid falling out of the Top 6 prior to the break for the Champions and Challenge Cup.

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Toulon v Lyon | Saturday 2 December | Stade Felix-Mayol | 21:45

To Win (80 Mins)
Toulon 3/10 | Draw 19/1 | Lyon 26/10

 Toulon, your overpaid players just cannot pull it together at the moment, can they? The French giants were once again the architects of their own downfall this past weekend as they let slip a game they really should have won.

Having taken a slender lead into the final 10 minutes of the fixture, it looked like Toulon would break their two-match losing streak. A rash moment on defence, saw them cough up a penalty which gifted Castres the win.

There is some good news for Toloun this week with Matheui Basteraud and Francois Trinh-Duc set to return from international duty. It will be interesting to see how Fabien Galthie reintegrates them into the squad, especially centre Basteraud as current midfield pairing of Ma'a Nonu and Malakai Feikitoa just can't seem to click.

It's quite sad to see Lyon drop off the ball so quickly. The Wolves had been magical - up until three weeks ago when they suffered their first defeat of the season. That 15-19 loss to La Rochelle began a massive slump in form, from Matthieu Lazerges' men, who have lost their subsequent fixtures to Clermont (39-18) and Toulouse (9-17).

Their showing in their latest defeat was a real worry. Toulouse didn't really have to get out of second gear to win the match, and Lyon looked extremely devoid of ideas on attack. This weekend's visitors will need to rediscover their spark if they are to take anything away from the match against what will be a smarting Toulon outfit.

Verdict: Toulon 3/10
This could either turn out to be a highly open fixture with tries a plenty or one of the most boring spectacles the rugby world has ever witnessed, such is the unpredictability of both of these teams. Regardless of how the shape of the match pans out, I can't see Toulon losing on home soil to a side in freefall. 

Written by Darry Worthington for

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