Faraj Benlahoucine, Media365: published on Sunday, June 05, 2022 at 10:45 a.m.
The 26th and last day of the regular phase of the Top 14 will deliver its verdict on many floors this Sunday during an exceptional multiplex. Several clubs have not saved their skin while many others will be mobilized to validate their qualification in the final stages.
Undecided until the end, the Top 14 will deliver their verdict this Sunday during the multiplex of the 26th and final day of the regular phase (kick-off at 9 p.m.). Only the demotion of Biarritz in Pro D2 is already acquired. With much less importance, Pau and Stade Français, respectively 10th and 11th, are for their part maintained but excluded from the race for the final stages. The eleven other clubs will still have to fight for a stake.
The barrage (maintenance)
Perpignan, 13th, occupies the place of jump-off. In order to avoid playing an away game with the loser of the Pro D2 final the following week to save his skin in the elite, Usap must win at home against Bordeaux-Bègles. However, even a win might not be enough to get out of the red zone. If at the same time Brive wins in Paris at the Stade Français, the 12th in the championship would validate its maintenance regardless of the outcome of Blood and Gold.
The first two places
Owned by Montpellier and UBB, separated by only a small point, this duo at the top of the ranking could be separated by Castres in the role of the perfect spoilsport. In 3rd position, the CO could take one of the first two places in the Top 14 and therefore qualify directly for the semi-finals without going through the perilous box of the play-offs. On the road to Pau, the Blue and Whites have a good card to play. The leader, the MHR, moves for its part to Clermont and its runner-up, Bordeaux-Bègles, goes to Perpignan. The only certainty concerning this trio, they will all participate, at least, in the celebration of the final stages.
The four play-offs (final stages)
This is one of the biggest challenges because no less than nine clubs remain concerned by a qualification in the play-offs. And this battle will make people unhappy, including big fish. The first of them should be Clermont, 9th. With four points behind the top 6, ASM must win with the offensive bonus against the leader, Montpellier, and at the same time hope for a loss at home to Lyon – against La Rochelle – and Toulouse as well – against Biarritz – with no defensive bonuses elsewhere. Unless there are several unexpected results, the Jaunards will not participate in the final stages.
On the other hand, everything is possible for the others, including Lyon, 8th. In a duel between European champions, the LOU must dominate La Rochelle who on his side can possibly claim a direct accession in half, like finding himself ejected from the top 6 in which the Yellow and Black are installed in 4th place. For the moment, to the benefit of four units ahead of the Rhodaniens. That is three better than Toulon, 7th and first virtual eliminated. Nevertheless, from the height of its six victories in a row on the national scene, the RCT is the most feared team in the Top 14. Traveling to Racing 92, 5th with only two lengths ahead, the Toulonnais will play one of the most exciting matches of the season, looking like a real 8th final. As for the reigning French champion, Toulouse – 6th and last virtual holder of a precious sesame for the play-offs – he should logically be present at the meeting of the final stages with the reception of Biarritz. The red lantern has not won a single game in the league since February 6, eight games.
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Top 14: The stakes of an exceptional last day
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