Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: French Top 14: Round 2 Preview

French Top 14: Round 2 Preview

Rugby players engage in a tackle

Darry Worthington previews the next set of Top 14 fixtures, which get underway on Saturday the 31st of August. 

The Top 14 delivered some big upsets last weekend with 6/1 Bayonne delivering the goods against Racing. This major upset salvaged what was a bit of an up and down weekend on the tipping front. Hopefully, we find a few more big prices this weekend, as well as get the tip-to-win ratio up.

Bayonne v Clermont 
Saturday 31 August
Stade Jean Dauger
15:30

To Win (80 Mins)
Bayonne 31/20
Draw 18/1
Clermont 5/10

New boys Bayonne will be looking to continue their giant-killing when they take on last season's runners-up in the opening game of Round 2.

The hosts enjoyed a marvellous start to life back in the Top tier of French rugby as they caused the shock of the opening weekend beating heavyweights Racing Metro 17-24 out in Paris.

Clermont also got their campaign off to a winning start although their victory was far less impressive as they struggled to dominate their home clash against La Rochelle until the visitors had a man sent off. Once La Rochelle were down to 14, Clermont started to gain the ascendency and eventually ran out 28/10 victors.

Verdict: Bayonne 31/20
I quite fancy the hosts to continue their remarkable start to the campaign. Clermont were far from impressive last weekend and I think they will struggle here. 
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Montpellier v Pau
Saturday 31 August
Altraud Arena
18:00


To Win (80 Mins)
Montpellier 1/11

Draw 25/1
Pau 11/2

Montpellier will be looking to bounce back from their opening round defeat to Castres when they host Pau.

Vern Cotter's side were exceedingly unlucky last weekend as they went down by just a solitary point away to Castres. They probably deserved the win but just didn't get the rub of the green.

Pau enjoyed a far more profitable opening round as they put in a solid display against promoted Brive, registering a 33-14 victory over the newcomers.

Verdict: Montpellier 1/11
Montpellier are extremely short here but they should get the business done at home. If you are offered a plus on the away team in the region of 15 points I would recommend backing that line.

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La Rochelle v Stade Francais
Saturday 31 August
Stade Marcel Delfrandre
18:00


To Win (80 Mins)
La Rochelle 1/10

Draw 25/1
Stade 52/10

La Rochelle will be looking to bounce back from their opening round defeat to Clermont when they take on a hapless Stade Francais outfit this Saturday.

La Rochelle put in a solid showing during the first 40 minutes of their clash with Clermont and went into the half-time break level on points with their opponents. A red card to Sila Puafisi just prior to the 60-minute mark swung the game in Clermont's favour, with the hosts eventually running out 28-10 victors.

Stade had an equally depressing start to the season as they went down 43-9 to Lyon. While the result was expected, their poor showing on defence would have left coach Heynecke Meyer fuming.

Verdict: La Rochelle 1/10
Had they had 15 men on the field for the entirety of last week's game then La Rochelle may well have bagged a win. My money is on them opening their account this Saturday.
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Agen v Brive
Saturday 31 August
Stade Armandie
18:00
To Win (80 Mins)
Agen 4/10
Draw 18/1

Brive 2/1

Likely relegation scrapper Agen and Brive go head-to-head in the day's next affair.

Both teams suffered heavy opening round defeats with Agen going down 25-44 to Toulon and Birve suffering a 33-14 defeat at the hands of Pau.

Verdict: Agen 4/10
Agen were actually rather good on home solid last year and my money on them is getting a home win under their belts this weekend.

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Bordeaux v Toulon
Saturday 31 August
Stade Chaban-Delmas
20:45


To Win (80 Mins)

Bordeaux 7/20
Draw 18/1
Toulon  21/10


Bordeaux and Toulon will square off in Saturday's final encounter.

Both teams head into this one off the back of solid opening round performances with Bordeaux beating reigning champions Toulouse 30-25, and Toulon thrashing minnows Agen 25-44.

Verdict: Toulon 21/10
It may be early doors but Toulon looks the real deal this season with their new look backline looking lethal. I fancy the visitors to make it two wins from two starts.

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Racing Metro v Castres
Sunday 1 September
Paris La Defense Arena
12:30

To Win (80 Mins)
Racing 7/20
Draw 18/1
Castres 22/10

Sunday's early kick-off will see a smarting Racing Metro side tackle a Castres outfit who produced a snatch and grab win last weekend.

Racing were outclassed by minnows Bayonne in the opening round going down 17-24 to the new boys on the block. They looked like dears caught in headlights at times with their young half-back pairing struggling to come to terms with the speed of the game.

Castres were slightly fortunate to beat Montpellier as their opponents were the better side on the day. A win is a win, however, and Castres will be grateful for the four-point haul they garnered from their 26-25 victory.

Verdict: Castres 22/10
Racing are going to struggle with a young pivot at the helm. I'll be having a speculative punt on the away team to add to Racing's woes here. 
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Lyon v Toulouse
Sunday 1 September
Stade Gerland
17:05


To Win (80 Mins)
Lyon 3/10
Draw 18/1
Toulouse 26/10


Lyon will be looking for another big victory over one of the heavy-hitters when they take on reigning champions Toulouse in the final game of the season.

The hosts got their 2019/20 campaign off to a magnificent start as they hammered Stade Francais 43-9. While they scored some impressive tries, the best part of their victory was the fact that they didn't let their opponents cross their try line.

Toulouse got their title defence off to a dismal start as they went down 30-25 to Bordeaux. An while they did put up a fight, they certainly aren't the force they were last season with a number of their internationals missing.

Verdict: Lyon 3/10
The Stade Gerland is an absolute fortress and I cannot see Toulouse spring a surprise here. The Lyon straight should be added to all multiples. 

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets

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