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Somewhat brutal Boxing Days 
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Post Somewhat brutal Boxing Days
French Rugby normally has Xmas period off but now they have adopted a so called ‘Boxing Day’ 2 W/end period over Xmas weekend and the following one.

Previous weekend was a roaring success … amongst the games was Clermont losing to Pau at Pau in the last minute /…they had a put in whilst leading as the siren went …scrum was reset several times as Pau front row niggled the Clerm equivalent, ….a Clermont prop then had a flash point and thumped his equivalent and pen to Pau who won with that kick and end of match.

Clerm have had a huge injury list …

This weekend they went into the game at home v Castres with this injury list …incl international prime players :

Laidlaw, Lopez, Lamerat, Penaud, Nakaitaci, Fernandez, Raka(now qualified), Cassang, McAllister, Uhilia, Zirakashvili, Gerendeau, Cancoriet, Timani !!...and this week having welcomed back Fofana after a long injury in the last 4 weeks only to find he had to have a hernia op and is out for the rest of the Season.

The game was brutal … big hits and pro fouls (8 yellows, 1 in injury time). Some nasty head injuries …my son who is a qualified ref tells me that blood bin still applies and should be insisted upon … there was lots of it flowing in this one!

Clerm led all the way until a Castres try in the 72 min (at one stage 17 pts ahead)
Clerm had the ball in possession as the siren went … they played another 8 mins and continually hammered the Castres line, multiple injury stoppages, pens against Castres and 1 yellow for them .. eventually Castres saved the day so Clerm lose again (see table later). Castres continually used different pens hence avoiding red for multiples (although usual scrum multiples ()
Eventually Castres got the relief ..

During the game Clerm incurred another 3 injuries !! Strettle (ankle), Rougerie ...superb try..(knee) and Kayser (HIA) … the level is now hardly containable.

Of course, they have a strong squad but Top14 squads are limited to 31 Pro contracts and some dispensation for first and 2nd year contracts and injury jokers.
They have played well but weaker bench seems to let them down. They are well placed points wise in the Euro (18 pts unbeaten to date and thrashed Saracens) but will be very weak for the next rounds and are now distinctly threatened for qualifying for Champs Cup next year.

Castres are going great guns now and will opt out of Champs Cup.

Compulsory release for 6 Ns and parallel gams will cripple some top teams.

This weekend Toulouse held out against Toulon with the better pack and Dupont and Holmes ace at 9/10. Toulon were contained and from what I can see are very jaded and ripe for Scarlets …This was a pretty brutal game with big hits and face/head blood injuries!

The Club game is becoming too competitive and the consequences can be seen in the general list of injuries

Some other results this weekend :

Brive (bottom Clubs) beat Mop well !, La Rochelle thrashed Agen !, Racing won away from Oyannax, Stade F saved some bacon v Bdx, Lyon beat Pau.

Table ..

Image

The Top14 games are becoming very physical whilst at times showing excellent Rugby.
The competition is broader than before.
The injury levels are ridiculous.

I must confess that I enjoy the competitive level though :oops: /.. a bit like old times (my shame)

Meanwhile on the International front (previously reported) Brunel takes over amongst huge rancour amongst fans at Laporte’s actions.

News on the block is that Parra will be recalled, probably one of the stand out players in Top14 and previously ignored for reasons of a face that doesn’t fit. He and Dupont would make a powerful combo at 9. Parra is a leader of a team which France really need!

Ref 6 Nations … the injury list is still prohibitive with very key multiple players missing at 10, 12,13, 14, and some back row. Raka had just qualified and now he’s out too. 10 and 3/4s hugely compromised

On the good note, Itturia (2nd row) return, Props…. Poirot in fine form, Baille back and playing well also Ben Arous back...all loosies though, Back row……promising new caps e.g Macalou and Camara returning, no probs at hooker (Guirado/Chat) … forwards could go a lot better …injuries permitting.

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Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:47 am
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Post Re: Somewhat brutal Boxing Days
Interesting to note the the big money clubs from the last 10 years aren't doing well in either Europe or domestically

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Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:51 pm
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Post Re: Somewhat brutal Boxing Days
Ospreys go to Clermont soon. I wonder what their chances would be like?


Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:35 pm
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Post Re: Somewhat brutal Boxing Days
najbritcol wrote:
Ospreys go to Clermont soon. I wonder what their chances would be like?


The door is as wide open now as it is likely to be.

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Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:48 pm
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Post Re: Somewhat brutal Boxing Days
Hard to see a French team getting to the final of the Champions Cup after all that attrition?

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Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:37 pm
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Post Re: Somewhat brutal Boxing Days
Langland Exile wrote:
Hard to see a French team getting to the final of the Champions Cup after all that attrition?


La Rochelle and Clermont have a good chance, the others less so, at least judging by the pool results so far.


Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:49 pm
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Post Re: Somewhat brutal Boxing Days
najbritcol wrote:
Langland Exile wrote:
Hard to see a French team getting to the final of the Champions Cup after all that attrition?


La Rochelle and Clermont have a good chance, the others less so, at least judging by the pool results so far.


La Roc have shown that they have an ace prime squad but when they rotate it they are in trouble cue Wasps games.
Their prime squad could beat anybody and a home draw is huge for them

Clerm have huge injury worrie, they'll probably qualify .... if they get a home draw they might get to semis ... probably no further

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Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:41 pm
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Post Re: Somewhat brutal Boxing Days
Clermont play Racing away this evening.
They have 12 backs on the injury list.
They are fielding 9 development players, a half back pair of 19 year olds.
They are obviously prioritising the Euro Champs and next weeks game v Saints and the following v Osps. The squad is almost unrecognisable ..although the forwards have some strength.

I can't see them progressing beyond semis if they qualify with a home 1/4s ... most of the key injuries are long term.

They will very probably lose tonight which puts their likelihood of top 6 and qualifying for next years Champs Cup in distinct danger!

https://www.lequipe.fr/Rugby/Actualites ... -92/864553

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Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:45 pm
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Post Re: Somewhat brutal Boxing Days
Something you dont want to see on the rugby field ...young 18 year old winger misplaced his tackle on 93kg international centre/winger Vakatawa ..... Blinds up and I think that he had to be resuscitated on the field ...has been taken to hospital

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Racing leading 58/6 near the end

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Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:58 pm
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Post Re: Somewhat brutal Boxing Days
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Ezeala has had a brain scan and apparently no damage! :clap:

Vakatawa who was entirely blameless in the incident and was distraught after the injury and emergency treatment is pictured here with him in hospital.

The positive aspect was the immediate treatment and facilities that were employed :thumbup:

However, another emphasis on what has become a dangerous Sport.

In addition one questions various regs including the Top14 limit of # of pro contracts /team which limits depth in that respect and an intensive timetable (the intent is positive... to prevent richer teams cornering the market and trying to achieve parity in that respect) .. this was a match kick off Sunday 21:00 as part of an intensive Top14 schedule and running up to a vital Euro fixture the following Saturday. Insistence on schedule prevented any escape of postponing fixture.

The list of Clermont injuries has been well covered and if one examines the injuries there seems to be little evidence of negligence other than run of luck and the injuries are somewhat 'usual' these days ...

The reference also mentions increasing fear from players and coaches on the subject.

Vakatawa e.g must have it in the back of his mind ... he really did confront the tackler legally but big time and it's a feature of his play.

https://www.lequipe.fr/Rugby/Actualites ... gne/864928

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Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:20 pm
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