Top 14 Predictions 2012/13: Round 7
The big T’s of Toulon and Toulouse will provide a terrific tie this weekend when they clash at the Stade Ernest Wallon on Saturday in a repeat of last year’s final and in what is perhaps rugby’s version of ‘El Clasico’.
Both sides made strong statements of their intentions with big wins against tough opposition last week. Toulouse brushed aside their embarrassing defeat to Perpignan as if it was merely a miscalculated weekend in Barcelona — something many a man can relate to — when they crushed Bayonne 35-6 in Bayonne. Toulon scored a bonus point en route to a 33-12 win against a side in Castres that are one of the more consistent sides in the league.
There is already a formidable triumvirate forming in the French league with only Biarritz, Castres and Racing showing any signs of getting into the Clermont, Toulon and Toulouse show uninvited. Biarritz will need to add some ballast to their away performances if they are to have any chance opening up some cracks in that top three, whilst Castres and Racing seem to be pulling up a little short of the big three. Racing’s signing of Olly Barkley as a medical joker will give them some depth when he arrives, but they will not be expecting miracles from the seasonal Bath man.
Biarritz take on Bayonne this weekend in the Basque derby match at the Aguilera in Biarritz. The rivalry is renowned for absurd extremity – excommunication of players from their local Boulangerie or Pattiserie is not uncommon when the proprietor is a fervent BO or Bayonne supporter. The fixture also comes at a good time for both teams who are currently on a run of bad form; Bayonne in the relegation zone and Biarritz letting go of their good early season work. A win in the derby match will get them both back on track and win the hearts of their supporters.
My SuperBru predictions round 7:
Agen v Bordeaux: Agen by 4
Biarritz v Bayonne: Biarritz by 7
Clermont v Stade Francais: Clermont by 15
Grenoble v Racing: Racing by 3
Montpellier v Castres: Montpellier by 5
Perpignan v Mont-de Marsan: Perpignan by 20
Toulouse v Toulon: Toulouse by 1