Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: French Top 14: Round 17 Preview

French Top 14: Round 17 Preview

French Top 14: Round 17 Preview

Darry Worthington runs the rule of Round 7 of the French Top 14 season, which gets underway on Saturday the 29th of February.

There's a rather interesting Top 14 fixture list for rugby punters and fans to sink their teeth into this coming weekend, with a number of rather evenly poised ties set to go down.

The pick of the round's action will see Racing take on La Rochelle, while the clash between minnows Bayonne and reigning champions Toulouse could also provide some fireworks.

Racing 92 v La Rochelle
Saturday 29 February
Paris La Defense Arena

To Win (80 Mins)
Racing 3/10
Draw 20/1
La Rochelle 49/20

We kick things off with the headline clash of the weekend that sees Racing play host to La Rochelle. Not much separates these two sides on the standings with Racing lying in fifth on 41 points and La Rochelle in third on 42 points.

Both teams head into this one in reasonable form having each won three of their last five fixtures. They did, however, suffer contrasting results in Round 16 with La Rochelle beating Toulon 17-12 and Racing going down 29-20 to Lyon.

Verdict: Racing 3/10
This should be a tight affair and it may well be worth backing any plus handicap over seven. I think racing will claim the spoils though.

Agen v Clermont
Saturday 29 February
Stade Armandie

To Win (80 Mins)
Agen 37/20
Draw 20/1
Clermont 9/20

Agen will be looking to pull off a major shock when they take on seventh-placed Clermont. The hosts are having a season from hell and currently reside in 12th place with only five wins to their name. They do, however, come into this one off the back of a highly impressive 16-30 away victory over Brive.

Clermont carry some solid form into this one and had won their four previous fixtures prior to going down 22-31 to log-leaders Bordeaux last weekend.

Verdict: Clermont 9/20
I fully expect the visitors to bounce back from last week's defeat to Bordeaux.

Pau v Montpellier
Saturday 29 February
Stade du Hameau

To Win (80 Mins)
Pau 19/20
Draw 18/1
Montpellier 17/20

We should have one of the most evenly-matched fixtures of the weekend next up, well at least judging by how the bookies have priced Saturday's clash between Pau and Montpellier up.

Both sides have been hit or miss since the turn of the year winning three of their five fixtures. They also head into this one off of defeats with Pau going down 26-16 to Castres last weekend and Montepellier losing 25-7 to Toulouse.

Verdict: Pau 19/20
I'm on the hosts here. It will be a tight run thing and I can see home ground advantage giving them the edge.

Bayonne v Toulouse
Saturday 29 February
Stade Jean Dauger

To Win (80 Mins)
Bayonne 16/10
Draw 20/1
Toulouse 5/10

Bayonne and Toulouse will go head-to-head in a true David versus Goliath clash at the Stade Jean Dauger. The hosts sit 11th on the standings while their visitors currently reside in sixth.

The two teams have also been in contrasting form since the turn of the year with Toulouse winning four of their five 2020 fixtures and Bayonne only registering two victories. One of Bayonne's wins did come last weekend, however, as they beat Stade Francais 28-17.

Verdict: Bayonne 16/10
I fancy the hosts to spring a surprise here. They have acquitted themselves well at home and I think Toulouse are due a loss.

Brive v Lyon
Saturday 29 February
Stade Amedee- Domenech

To Win (80 Mins)
Brive 19/20
Draw 18/1
Lyon 17/20

Tenth-placed Brive will take on second-placed Lyon in Saturday's final fixture. Both teams have struggled for form since the start of the year and have only registered two wins from their five outings.

In terms of last weekend's results, Brive suffered a surprise 16-30 home loss to Agen, while Lyon beat Racing 92 29-20.

Verdict: Lyon 17/20
17/20 is a great price for the away team. I'll be having a big play on it here.

Bordeaux Begles v Castres
Sunday 1 March
Stade Chaban-Delmas

To Win (80 Mins)
Bordeaux 1/20
Draw 28/1
Castres 7/1

Log-leaders Bordeaux will take on ninth-placed Castres in Sunday's opener. The hosts have been in magnificent form this season and have registered 12 wins from their 16 Top 14 games. They also head into this fixture off the back of an impressive 22-31 away victory over Clermont.

Castres have made a fast old start to 2020 only suffering one defeat from the five fixtures they have played. Like the hosts, the visitors come into this one off the back of a victory as they beat Pau 26-16 in the previous round.

Verdict: Bordeaux 1/20
I cannot see the hosts having any problems here. My money is on them winning this one by more than 14 points.

Toulon v Stade Francais
Sunday 1 March
Stade Mayol

To Win (80 Mins)
Toulon 1/10
Draw 25/1
Stade 5/1

Toulon and Stade Francais will bring the curtain down on Round 12. The two sides are experiencing vastly contrasting seasons with Toulon currently lying fourth on the table and Stade Francais still sitting in last place.

Both teams have endured a patchy spot of form over the past couple weeks and have only registered a win in their last three fixtures. They also come into this one off the back of defeats with Touklon going down 17-12 to La Rochelle and Stade going down 28-17 to Bayonne.

Verdict: Toulon 1/10
Stade have been dire at home and I cannot see that changing against Toulon. My money is on the hosts claiming a win in excess of 17 points.

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