French Top 14: Clermont v Pau Preview

With the run-in to the Top 14 play-offs now well and truly underway, Clermont will be desperate to launch a late assault on the top 6.

Reigning Top 14 champions Clermont face an uphill battle if they are to have any chance of retaining the title they won some nine months ago. With time fast running out, Clermont will need to pull off a minor miracle make the 15 points on six placed Lyon, and subsequently give themselves a shot at defending their title.

Clermont v Pau
Saturday 17 March

Stade Marel Michellin

To Win (80 Mins)
Clermont 1/7
Draw 25/1
Pau 9/2

It has been a tumultuous season for Clermont on the domestic front, with the 2016/17 Top 14 champions only managing to win 11 of the 20 fixtures they have played this term. Their poor win ratio has left them stranded in ninth-place on the Top 14, with only six rounds of the regular season to play.

Luckily for Clermont, they play in a league where pretty much anything is possible. So it's not out of the realms of possibility that they could end up have a successful title defence. They will need to start winning games ASAP, however, as the sands of time continue to slip through the hourglass.

This weekend's hosts head into this one off the back of two successive wins. Their first victory saw them beat La Rochelle 21-17 a fortnight ago, while their second saw the edge Brive 9-11 last weekend.

Pau find themselves in a much more comfortable position than that of their opponents as they currently reside in sixth spot on the standings, some 16 points ahead of Clermont. They also head into this game off the back of seven successive defeats with their last loss coming on New Year's Eve to Lyon.

Pau have claimed some a few massive scalps during their unbeaten run, racking up away wins over Stade, Castres and Brive while beating Racing Metro and La Rochelle at home. Their 18-15 victory over La Rochelle was their most recent win and showed they are more than capable of holding their nerve with a game on the line.

Verdict: Pau 9/2
This is another Top 14 speculator. The Pau price is just way too big for me to miss out. I mean this is a side that has yet to suffer a domestic defeat in 2018. I'll be having a small punt on the away team here. 

Written by Darry Worthington for

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