Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: French Top 14: Round 5 Preview

French Top 14: Round 5 Preview

Darry Worthington previews the 2020/21 French Top 14 Round 5 action that will get underway on Saturday the 17th of October. 

Image copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

After a bizarre fortnight that has seen a number of games called off due to COVID and the LNR (French Rugby League) lose a court case against the French Rugby Union to have the November Test window scrapped or at least shortened, things are seemingly turning back to something resembling normality in France's top rugby tier with an almost full set fixtures scheduled at the time of writing. 

Hopefully, there are no late postponements and we get a full fixtures list this weekend. 

Brive v Toulouse
Saturday 17 October
Stade Amedee-Domenech

To Win (80 Mins)
Brive 2/1
Draw 20/1
Toulouse 4/10

Brive and Toulouse will get proceedings underway this Saturday afternoon. The hosts currently lie in fifth place on the table having won two of the three games they have played with their victories coming against Bayonne (42-23) and Pau (19-13), while they went down 25-20 to Bordeaux. 

Toulouse currently top the Top 14 ladder with the reigning champions having won three of their four fixtures with their only defeat being a narrow loss to fellow big guns Clermont. They head into this one off the back of a solid 24-30 away victory over Racing, which saw Springbok winger Cheslin Kolbe grab yet another try. 

Verdict: Toulouse 4/10 
While Brive have been a tough nut to crack this term I cannot see them getting the better of this ultra-talented Toulouse outfit.

Pau v Bordeaux Begles
Saturday 17 October
Stade du Hameau

To Win (80 Mins)
Pau 14/10
Draw 20/1
Bordeaux 6/10

Next up we have a clash between Pau and Bordeaux. The hosts currently occupy a lofty position of second on the log having won two and drawn one of their opening four fixtures. The two victories came against Montpellier and Agen, the defeat coming against Brive and the draw occurring last weekend where they staged a late comeback to hold Lyon to a 29-29 draw. 

Bordeaux have endured a faltering start to their campaign and have only played two fixtures as their other two were postponed due to COVID. They have a 50 percent win record as it stands with their victory coming against Brive and their defeat coming against Lyon. 

Verdict: Pau 14/10
I really fancy the hosts at this price. 

Montpellier v Agen
Saturday 17 October
CGL Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Montpellier 1/33
Draw 35/1
Agen 9/1

Montpellier will be looking to make it only their second win of the campaign when they take on an Agen side that are yet to win a game this term. 

Both teams head into Saturday's fixture off the back of dissapointing defeats with Montpellier going down 25-21 to Toulon and Agen being beat 3-20 by Stade Francais. 

In terms of the head to head clashes between the sides, Montpellier have won three of the last five but Agen won the last fixture running out 29-10 victors last September. 

Verdict: Agen 9/1
Montpellier are far too short here as they are extremely hit and miss. I also tghink Agen have too big a price on their heads which is why I'll be having a very small stake on the away win. 

Jockeys Ride Horses

La Rochelle v Castres
Saturday 17 October
Stade Marcel Delfrandre

To Win (80 Mins)
La Rochelle  

*Odds to be added on release

La Rochelle will be eager to move deeper in the top six when they take on a Castres side that are 11th on the ladder but have only played two games due to their other two fixtures being postponed. 

La Rochelle have enjoyed a decent start to the season winning two of the three fixtures they haave played with their other fixture being postponed. They were decent value last week as they managed to register a 19-36 win over Bayonne. 

Castres have one win and a loss from their two fixtures with the victory coming against Agen and the defeat coming at the hands of Satde. They will come into this one rather undercooked as they have been off for a fortnight with a number of their players having caught COVID-19. 

Verdict: La Rochelle
I expect La Rochelle to run up a cricket score against a very rust Castres side. 

Lyon v Bayonne
Sunday 18 October
Stade Mamut Gerland

To Win (80 Mins)
Lyon 1/50
Draw 35/1
Bayonne 9/1

Lyon will be looking to bounce back from a dissapointing 29-29 draw with Bordeaux when they take on a Bayonne side that are once again punching above their weight. 

The hosts will be kicking themsleves after two late yellow cards cost them a nailed on victory last weekend. They really needed that win as well as they had only won three of their games prior. 

Bayonne also struggled last weekend as they went down 19-36 to La Rochelle at home. That defeat snapped a two game losing streak that saw them beat traditional powerhouses Satde Francais and Clermont. 

Verdict: Lyon 1/50
Lyon should have no problems getting a win here. 

Clermont v Stade Francais
Sunday 18 October
Parc des Sports Marcel Michellin

To Win (80 Mins)
Clermont 2/9
Draw 22/1
Stade 33/10

The Round Five action will come to a close at the Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin where Clermont will tackle Stade. 

The hosts have enjoyed a decent start to the campaign winning two of the three fixtures they have played with their only defeat being a two-point defeat to Bayonne. They head into Sunday's fixture off the back of a 31-12 victory over Agen. 

Stade have also won two of their three games with the Parisians beating Castres and Agen while also going down to Bayonne. 

Verdict: Clermont 2/9
I think the hosts will put on a big score this Sunday. 

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