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French Top 14

French Top 14 Play-Offs: Toulon v Lyon Preview

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Lyon will be looking to continue their fairytale Top 14 run when they take on Toulon in the play-offs on Friday the 18th of May.

The first of this weekend’s Top 14 play-offs is an absolute ‘David v Goliath’ affair with mega-rich Toulon taking on plucky Lyon. The hosts have an abundance of superstars at their disposal and come into this one as hot favourites with the ‘bookies, but one can simply not write-off the chances of a Lyon side who have boxed well-above their weight division this term.

Toulon v Lyon
Friday 18 May
Stade Felix Mayol


To Win (80 Mins)
Toulon 2/13
Lyon 17/4

It’s been a bit of a patchy debut season for Toulon head coach Fabien Galthie, who has struggled to get his side to produce solid rugby on a consistent basis. Nevertheless, Galthie has managed to guide his charges to the play-offs and keep them in the hunt for the title.

Toulon ended the regular season in fourth position having won 14 of their round-robin fixtures. The majority of these wins came at home, which is good news for Toulon fans as they have the hosting rights here.

The French juggernauts have been rather impressive with ball-in-hand domestically this season and have scored a whopping 93 tries at an average of just over 3.5 tries per game. They haven’t been bad defensively either conceding 53 tries at an average of just over two tries per game.

If the Top 14 trophy was decided on guts then Lyon would be walking away with the honours. The plucky side really showed great grit during the regular season and managed to claim fifth place on the standings despite dropping off the boil near the end of last year.

Lyon have managed to pick up some big scalps on the road this season beating Racing, Toulouse, and Brive. They were unable to beat Toulon at the Stade Felix-Mayol however, going down 39-11. They did win the reverse tie 15-9 though, which should give them some confidence.

Verdict: Toulon 2/13
As much as I’d love Lyon to win this one and to carry on their fairytale run I just can’t see it happening. Toulon know how to get the job done at the business end of the season and I can see them beating their opponents by at least eight points. 

Written by Darry Worthington for

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