Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: French Top 14: Round 3 Preview

French Top 14: Round 3 Preview

Rugby players engage in a tackle

Darry Worthington runs the rule over Round 3 of the French Top 14, which will get underway on Saturday the 7th of September.

The Round 2 of the 2019/20 Top 14 season went surprisingly to book with the majority of the favourites claiming victories. The French top tier is a moody beast, however, and we could well see a few upsets occur in Round 3.

Castres v Bordeaux
Saturday 7 September
Stade Pierre-Fabre

To Win (80 Mins)
Castres 3/10
Draw 20/1
Bordeaux 11/4

Castres will be looking to bag their second win of the season when they take on an undefeated Bordeaux side in the Round's opener.

The hosts were unable to build on their one-point opening-round victory over Montpellier going down 23-14 to a far from fluid Racing Metro side in Week 2.

Bordeaux, on the other hand, enjoyed a great second round as they beat Toulon 34-12. That win, coupled with their 30-25 opening-round victory over Toulouse, sees them sit second on the Top 14 ladder.

Verdict: Bordeaux 11/4
This is great value considering the form Bordeaux are in. While the away side on the plus handicap is the way to go, I will also be having a solid crack on the outright win.

Toulon v Lyon
Saturday 7 September
Stade Felix Mayol

To Win (80 Mins)
Toulon 1/4
Draw 20/1
Lyon 28/10

Toulon will be looking to bounce back from their 22-point defeat to Bordeaux when they take on a Lyon outfit, who are in red-hot form.

The hosts actually got their season off to a great start as they registered a resounding 25-44 away victory over Agen. However, in typical Toulon fashion, they were a shadow of the side that were so dominant in Round 1 when they went down with a whimper to Bordeaux last week.

Lyon are having no such issues with consistency with the Wolves notching up wins over Stade Francais (43-9) and Toulouse (22-10) in the opening two weeks.

Verdict: Lyon 28/10
Once again, the away side represents great value. Both the handicap and straight win should be backed.

Montpellier v La Rochelle
Saturday 7 September
Altrad Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Montpellier 2/9
Draw 20/1
La Rochelle 33/10

Montpellier and La Rochelle are next up this coming Saturday. And with only eight points separating them on the log, this one should be a cracker.

The two sides boast identical win/loss ratios after the opening two weeks with Montpellier going down 26-25 to Castres in Round 1 before bouncing back with an impressive 43-22 victory over Pau in Round 2.

La Rochelle also enjoyed a better second round as opposed to the first as they bounced back from a 28-10 defeat to Clermont by beating Stade 28-26. 

Verdict: Montpellier 2/9
Montpellier have looked the better side in the opening fortnight and I cannot see them losing at home to a La Rochelle side that has absolutely no luck at the minute.

Pau v Agen
Saturday 7 September
Stade du Hameau

To Win (80 Mins)
Pau 1/8
Draw 30/1
Agen 47/10

Minnows Agen will be looking to spring a surprise when they take on a Pau side that has been slightly suspect this term.

The hosts opened their campaign with a solid 33-14 victory over new boys Brive but then put in a sluggish performance in Round 2 where they went down by 21-points to Montpellier.

Agen have also won one and lost one at this point with the unfancied side going down by 19 points to big guns Toulon in Round 1 before beating fellow relegation candidates Brive 16-10.

Verdict: Pau 1/8
While Agen will be competitive for segments of the game, I cannot see them keeping up with Pau for the entirety of it. My money is on the hosts winning by more than nine points.

Stade Francais v Bayonne
Saturday 7 September
Stade Jean Bouin

To Win (80 Mins)
Stade 1/10
Draw 30/1
Bayonne 52/10

Saturday's action will come to a close out in Paris where winless Stade Francis will take on a Bayonne outfit that has show that they will definitely be punching above their weight this term.

The visitors got their campaign off to a fairytale start as they beat Racing Metro 17-24 in the opening round. And while they were unable to repeat the dose in Round 2 they still managed to claim a losing bonus point as they went down by just four points to last season's runners-up, Clermont.

Stade have had a far less impressive start to the season with Heynecke Meyer's men going down 43-9 to Lyon in Round 1 and the 28-26 to La Rochelle in Round 2. They will be hoping a return to home soil sees an upswing in their fortunes.

Verdict: Stade 1/10
While I fancy the visitors to give a great account of themselves here - that means back any handicap in excess of 14 points offered - I do thing Stade will get a much-needed win on home soil.

Brive v Clermont
Sunday 8 September
Stade Amedee-Domenech

To Win (80 Mins)
Brive 19/10
Draw 20/1
Clermont 4/10

Brive will be looking to turn around what has been a tough start to life in the top tier when they take on  Clermont side that has failed to really shoot the lights out thus far.

The hosts have lost their opening two games of the season going down 33-14 to Pau in Round 1 before losing 16-10 to Agen in Round 2. This will be their first game at home this season and they will be determined to put in a big shift for their diehard fans.

Clermont have endured a solid if not spectacular start to the campaign winning both their opening games against and Bayonne. Neither victory was convincing, however, with the first seeing them only take the ascendency when La Rochelle went down to ten men and the being very hard-fought against a limited Brive side.

Verdict: Clermont 4/10
Expect Clermont to grind out another victory here.

Toulouse v Racing Metro 92
Sunday 8 September
Stade Ernest-Wallon

To Win (80 Mins)
Toulouse 2/11
Draw 25/1
Racing 28/10

A weakened Toulouse outfit will be looking to claim their first win of the season when they take on a Racing Metro side who have also endured a rather tough start to the new season.

The hosts and reigning champions head into this off two defeats going down 30-25 to Bordeaux in Round 1 and 22-12 to Toulouse in Round 2.

Racing have enjoyed a slightly better start to the season bouncing back from their shock seven-point defeat to Bayonne in the opener by beating Castres 24-13 in Round 2.

Verdict: Racing Metro 28/10
I really do fancy the visitors here. Toulouse re struggling without their big guns and I recok they'll suffer their third defeat of the campaign this Sunday.

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets

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