French Top 14: Clermont v La Rochelle Preview

Clermont and La Rochelle will be looking to arrest some poor form when they collide on Sunday the 4th of March.

Clermont and La Rochelle will meet this Sunday in a vital game for both clubs. The hosts currently find themselves in 10th place on the Top 14 standings, some 18 points off their opponents who currently reside in sixth position.

Clermont v La Rochelle
Sunday 4 March
Stade Marcel Michellin

To Win (80 Mins)
Clermont 6/10
Draw 19/1

La Rochelle 27/20

It's looking more and more likely that the reigning Top 14 champions are going to miss out on the play-offs. Six consecutive domestic losses have seen Clermont drop right down to 10th position on the Top 14 log. They are currently 15 points off the final play-off berth and will need to pull a rabbit out of the hat if they are to somehow advance to the knock-out phase of the league.

This weekend's hosts endured a shock defeat last time out as they were humbled 12-18 by minnows Oyonnax. The loss was Clermont's third consecutive loss on home soil with their last domestic victory at the Stade Marcel Michelin coming against Agen at the start of last December.

When the two sides met earlier in the year it was La Rochelle who emerged victorious running out 51-20 at the Stade Marcel Deflandre.

La Rochelle
What is going on at La Rochelle? Les Corsaires, or the Privateers, have been a shadow of the all-conquering side that got the 2017/18 Top 14 season off to such a flying start. Back-to-back losses to Racing Metro (19-12) and Toulon (20-27) have seen this weekend's visitors drop right down to sixth place on the standings.

While La Rochelle's form is extremely patchy, they have managed to bag one domestic win since the turn of the year which is one more than their opponents for this weekend. Said victory was a 34-24 win over Brive in mid-January.

Verdict: La Rochelle 27/20
I'm hoping that both teams up their game this week and produce a cracking fixture that's full of tries. I still think La Rochelle will bag the points, regardless of if the game is high-scoring or not.

Written by Darry Worthington for

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