While the Six Nations clash between France and Scotland will be the talk of France, there are also three domestic fixtures on the go this weekend.
Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports.
The first two are rather underwhelming with Toulon squaring off against minnows Bayonne and Clermont taking on canon-fooder in the form of Agen, the final fixture of the weekend should be an absolute cracker as high-flying La Rochelle and Toulouse square off.
Toulon v Bayonne Friday 26 February
To Win MatchToulon 1/14
Toulon will be looking to make it two wins on the trot when they take on 13th-placed Bayonne. The hosts managed to snap a two-game losing streak last weekend as they beat Pau 29-33 in what was an absolute cracker of a game.
Bayonne didn’t fare as well in the last round as they went down 73-3 to a rampant Clermont outfit. This was their fourth loss in five games and undid all the hard work they produced when they beat Brive 26-23 in their previous fixture.
Verdict: Toulon 1/14To say that Bayonne have struggled against the bigger sides away from home is an understatement. While I don’t think Toulon will beat them by 70 points like Clermont did, I can see the hosts racking up a cricket score here.
Agen v ClermontSaturday 27 February
To Win MatchAgen 15/1
Cellar-dwellers Agen will be looking to pull off what would be a rugby miracle when they take on a Clermont side who are in great touch and currently occupy fourth spot on the Top 14 ladder.
The hosts are still winless after 17 rounds with their most recent defeat being last weekend’s 19-39 loss to an out of sorts Montpellier outfit. When they met Clermont last year they were beaten 31-12.
Clermont a far more enjoyable time of it last weekend as they registered a highly impressive 73-3 win over Bayonne. This was their third win in their last four games. They have run up some big scores in this run, scoring 26 points against Lyon, 36 points against Bordeaux and 59 points against Castres.
Verdict: ClermontI reckon another cricket score is on the cards here and any minus handicap under 44 points should be backed.
La Rochelle v ToulouseSaturday 27 February
To Win MatchLa Rochelle 62/100
We close out the round with the fixture of the weekend as current table-toppers La Rochelle play host to third-placed Toulouse.
The two sides suffered contrasting fortunes this past weekend with the hosts beating Stade 16-11 and moving back into top spot on the Top 14 ladder, while Toulouse went down 31-23 to Lyon and have fallen to third spot on the standings.
These two sides have been in cracking form of late with last week’s defeat to Lyon being Toulouse’s first defeat in nine rounds, while La Rochelle have won five of their last six games.
Toulouse have won four of the last five meetings between the sides with their most recent victory coming last September where they ran out 39-23 victors.
Verdict: Toulouse 14/10I tipped them to produce the goods last weekend and they failed. I’ll be returning to the well this weekend and think I may get the result I’m after.
Written by Darry Worthington.