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Top14 play offs and NZ Tour outlook 
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Post Re: Top14 play offs and NZ Tour outlook
Tony Panties wrote:
Looks like the squad for NZ tour will be, again, much depleted!?

Current prime squad absences :

all injured or having close season medical treatment for ongoing problems

Dulin FB
Raka centre/wing
Machenaud 9 and kicker
Picamoles no 8
Vakatawa centre wing

Doubtful

Lopez 10 ( playing on return at the mo but still recovering from severe broken leg)
Guirado hooker / capt (if Toulon reaches semis he will withdraw ..strenuous Season)
Uturria 2nd row recently injured and temporary withdrawn from squad
Trin Duc 10 same as for Utturia
Vahaamahina 2nd row ..recent red card awaiting sentence...even a short sententence wll be an impact
Poirot prop same as for Vahaamahina both would inhibit squad presence and likely selection

+

If Racing and/or others make the final (Racing already in Euro final) there will be players that will, at least, miss the first test ...1 wk after the final. Racing for example have had 6 - 8 players in recent Fra squad

Also the recently enforced elite squad cumpulsory 8 week rest with no training or games will significantly eat into the next Season especially for top players who could/would have toured. One wonders cynically whether Club inference will inhibit the touring squad too ;)

This is ridiculous and sinful for NZ public and is just a revenue earning exercise that doesn't do Rugby any good!? :angry4:



Both Vahaamahina and Poirot are out of the NZ tour, both normally first squad choices have been banned for recent red cards, ...Vvahaa 3 weeks, Poirot 6 wks ...

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Thu May 10, 2018 9:04 pm
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Post Re: Top14 play offs and NZ Tour outlook
Jedraisak 2nd row replacement for Vahaamahina (banned)/Iturria((injured also injured (knee ligs), Tauleigne No8 joins Picamoles out too.

Becoming silly ... don't waste your money Kiwi supporters ;) .

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Fri May 11, 2018 8:02 am
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Post Re: Top14 play offs and NZ Tour outlook
Grenoble join Perpignan in next Seasons Top14 having beaten Oyonnax in the final relegate/promotion play off

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Sat May 12, 2018 4:05 pm
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Post Re: Top14 play offs and NZ Tour outlook
Tony Panties wrote:
Grenoble join Perpignan in next Seasons Top14 having beaten Oyonnax in the final relegate/promotion play off


Well at least French Catalonia and the Alpine regions have the proper representation they deserve again. :clap:


Sat May 12, 2018 11:17 pm
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Post Re: Top14 play offs and NZ Tour outlook
I Don't t know why the NZRU persist with these French tests. Their so called international team is full of journey men and crowds have been getting smaller each visit

.There are plenty of International teams who would be more than happy to replace them.


Sun May 13, 2018 7:23 am
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Post Re: Top14 play offs and NZ Tour outlook
Capt Guirado is out of tour, rested. Bastereaud takes over as Capt.
Lauret, flanker, who has had a tough Season for Fra and Racing is also rested.

That makes the following absent + the above

, Iturria, Jedrasiak, Lopez, Machenaud, Palis, Picamoles, Tauleigne et Vakatawa and Poirot and Vahaamahina after their red cards

More will be forfeit at least for the first test currently awaiting play off, semis and finsl which will take place the day the party leaves for NZ and not to mention any injuries that may be incurred.

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Thu May 17, 2018 9:07 pm
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Post Re: Top14 play offs and NZ Tour outlook
Bastereud is captain. :shock: In NZ he’s going to go down like a World Trade Center, his last effort at representing himself in NZ was a bit bleak.

I would love to see a ton put on the frogs, won’t happen but it’d be funny af.

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Thu May 17, 2018 11:18 pm
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Post Amazingly
loosechange wrote:
Bastereud is captain. :shock: In NZ he’s going to go down like a World Trade Center, his last effort at representing himself in NZ was a bit bleak.

I would love to see a ton put on the frogs, won’t happen but it’d be funny af.


Amazingly he has proved a good Captain at Toulon and stand in International level.

I understand your comments and he is a sad soul in some respects and a recent misdemeanour too but he is also a case where Rugby has contributed hugely to someone that despite size and shape is often very vulnerable.

His play has developed hugely this Season and has been excellent in adapting his usual crash ball type to a much broader advantage.

There are players that fail at the altar and a string of ABs too, some big time ;)

Let him who is without sin cast the first stone eh?

-------------------------------------------------------------------

PS I think the squad and event is a farce that serves to discredit the game in the face of kowtowing to the filthy lucre. It has little other interest or intent

Anyway, I vowed to avoid contention until after the Royal Wedding!

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Fri May 18, 2018 7:57 am
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Post Re: Top14 play offs and NZ Tour outlook
Personally I like Basterdaurd, I think he’s a decent player who was just at a low point in life. We all make mistakes and I have nothing against him. Some kiwis will probably not feel like me but that’s life. I hope he redeems himself and leaves with some respect.

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Fri May 18, 2018 8:11 am
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Post Re: Top14 play offs and NZ Tour outlook
Drama at the play off tonight ...Toulon/Lyon ...16/16 after 80, 19/19 after 20 mins extra time and Lyon win by 2 tries to one.

BIG win for Lyon and compensates for some big investments this Season.

Yellow for Nonu with 12 mins to play

Lyon should've won it on normal time but missed 2 relatively easy kicks.

Toulon beaten at home will not please Mr Boudjellal :D

Better news for Fra NZ squad ...less players in Fra squad but Trinh-Duc onjured towards end of mstch.

Toulouse play Castres in a local derby other play off tomorrow

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Fri May 18, 2018 10:43 pm
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Post Re: Top14 play offs and NZ Tour outlook
Tony Panties wrote:
Drama at the play off tonight ...Toulon/Lyon ...16/16 after 80, 19/19 after 20 mins extra time and Lyon win by 2 tries to one.

BIG win for Lyon and compensates for some big investments this Season.

Yellow for Nonu with 12 mins to play

Lyon should've won it on normal time but missed 2 relatively easy kicks.

Toulon beaten at home will not please Mr Boudjellal :D

Better news for Fra NZ squad ...less players in Fra squad but Trinh-Duc onjured towards end of mstch.

Toulouse play Castres in a local derby other play off tomorrow


Good result for Lyon indeed. Means they'll enter the Top 14 play-offs (and the Champions Cup) for the first time. Out of curiosity, how strong were the teams Lyon put out against the Blues this season and the Ospreys last season? After all, they lost all four of those matches.


Fri May 18, 2018 11:04 pm
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Post Re: Top14 play offs and NZ Tour outlook
najbritcol wrote:
Tony Panties wrote:
Drama at the play off tonight ...Toulon/Lyon ...16/16 after 80, 19/19 after 20 mins extra time and Lyon win by 2 tries to one.

BIG win for Lyon and compensates for some big investments this Season.

Yellow for Nonu with 12 mins to play

Lyon should've won it on normal time but missed 2 relatively easy kicks.

Toulon beaten at home will not please Mr Boudjellal :D

Better news for Fra NZ squad ...less players in Fra squad but Trinh-Duc onjured towards end of mstch.

Toulouse play Castres in a local derby other play off tomorrow


Good result for Lyon indeed. Means they'll enter the Top 14 play-offs (and the Champions Cup) for the first time. Out of curiosity, how strong were the teams Lyon put out against the Blues this season and the Ospreys last season? After all, they lost all four of those matches.


This was a play off, top 6 play off as follows :

1 and 2 of final league automatcally get a home semii, other 4 play off to meet them.

Regarding strength of teams in Challenge, Toulouse also lost in opening rounds and twice to Cardiff.

They certainly didn't field their best teams.

Challenge Cup is small beer int erms of top6 in Top14 which carries popular gates and also Championship Cup presence.

The motivation for that in these cases was :

Lyon have not been in the Top14 that long but their presence and support is growing and there has been significant investment. That investment was geared to top 6 in Top14 this Season.

Toulouse have had some Seasons of poor results and the last Season was a shocker. They were not geared to the dog eat dog Pro world and were living and relying on past glories and a not fit for purpose set up. Failing to qualify for the Champs Cup last Season was the ultimate signal for change.

There were boardroom and Coaching changes and a reorganisation of funding and set up, some of which is still in process.

This Season the top 6 spot was the prime target. The player base is also being radically changed and there is again significant player churn necessary to bring their bottom line in better order, previously they had been over generous in long term contracts.

The process is still evolving.

They have also reverted to a change of style and although open play is still a priority there is a better fit to security snd not the 'jolly hockey sticks' of the past.

They have also reverted to better player development and less ott spend.

It's taking time but is working as the radical turnaround in Top14 tends to prove.

Younger players, cue front row and 10 are begining to have an effect too and Challenge cup games have been used for that purpose....cue presence of 18 year old Ntmack who played in most Challenge Cup games. It has to be said too that Tlse are shedding their proud record of % home talent in this process.

The general shoddy treatment of the Challenge Cup by french teams is somewhat legendary.

Having said that ... Pau, another burgeoning team in the Top14, did try to perform in the Challenge and go for a top6 place too....and they narrowly failed in both. Trying to perform at both Euro Cups and Top14 is a bit of a graveyard...cue Clermont's attempts over the years. Racing are trying for both this year and we will see....

French rugby is overstretched and geared to the Top14 and the previous rape of the International equivalent on the altar of Club rugby has been very evident. That is changing but slowly and is the subject of debate on here.

As discussed, a radical change of Europe and W/wide time table and competitions would be of benefit but as long as World Rugby lethargy to lead changes and the Club oriented franglais insist on their clout one cannot see sensible change on the near horizon.

Pro rugby and its impact is still in its infancy?

Club priority of Club rugby by the franglais is also the battleground of whether rugby does take the footy route and this is one of the big fears of World Rugby organisation and their dithering on opening up the w/wide table for potential increased growth in Club Rugby opportunity.

Pro Rugby ultimately is all about the filthy lucre and its influence as we have seen in other manifestations e.g player movements ....

Hope this helps because one should look at the bigger picture?

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Sat May 19, 2018 4:31 am
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Post Re: Top14 play offs and NZ Tour outlook
Even though the Lyon and Toulouse teams the Blues faced this season were far from full-strength, all the same both teams have rather larger budgets than any Welsh pro team does and many of the players fielded would have still been formidable. Certainly the Blues' victory against Pau who, as you say, did take the Cup seriously was a real highlight of the season. Needless to say that the Scarlets' victories in the Champions Cup against Toulon and La Rochelle were also very noteworthy.


Sat May 19, 2018 4:23 pm
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Post Re: Top14 play offs and NZ Tour outlook
Castres beat Toulouse 23/11 even after deserved red card for their hooker early in the 2nd half....he went for the face in a fracas on the ground after a breakdown. Tlse were on the resurgence at that stage after a very ragged first half from them.

Castres usually seem to have a sign on their neighbours in this local derby.

Well done Castres who now play Racing in the the semi and Lyon v Mop in the other.

Castres deserved the win and manipulated Tlse from the start whilst Tlse were disappointing and somewhat error strewn under Castres pressure

Looks like a Racing/Mop final and they were both able to rest this weekend.

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Sat May 19, 2018 5:16 pm
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