What season are we in? There’s Super Rugby 2020 and the Gallagher Premiership 2019-2020 still in their regular seasons. The Pro14 or is that 12 left standing are in the 2019-2020 finals and the Top 14 is about to start 2020-2021 season.
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It’s OK not to be OK and it’s OK to be confused with what’s going on. If you’d like to try and catchup with what’s been going on in French rugby, then there’s a new podcast just for you. My friend Veronique Landew has teamed up with Mike Pearce to bring you the French Rugby Connections Podcast.
Here are my Top 14 Round 1 Predictions:
Like most things in life COVID has impacted the first round of the TOP14 with Stade Francais game being postponed due to the number of positive cases that the club have returned. We wish them all a speedy recovery.
Bayonne v Pau is a relegation scrap making it a must win for Bayonne. If you want any hope of survival you have to win your home games against you lower table opposition. Also with Pau only winning once since mid October they aren’t in the kind of form to pick up away wins.
My predictions for the rest of the games comes with a warning. The Top 14 is a difficult league to predict at the best of times and these aren’t the best of times. Yup there’s a large amount of guess work going into these picks.
Normally you can just go with the home side and do quite well. However with reduced crowds is there going to be the same level of home advantage?
Finally Racing are hosting Toulon. Easy pick really Toulon are 6/6 at home and 1/6 away. So you pick the home side and when it’s Racing (who could go top of the table with their games in hand) you have double the reason for picking the home side.
When you look at my picks you’ll see I’ve gone with all the home teams. Looking at the matchups and last seasons table shows us we are going to have some good games. But there are no visiting sides that look that much better than their hosts to suggest that they’ll overcome the home advantage.
The real question though is “which teams have deal best with the lockdown?” and we aren’t going to know that until we’ve seen a couple of rounds.
|Stade Francais v Bordeaux Begles||Postponed|
|Montpellier v Pau||Montpellier by 10|
|La Rochelle v Toulon||La Rochelle by 5|
|Agen v Castres||Agen by 3|
|Lyon v Racing 92||Lyon by 7|
|Brive v Bayonne||Brive by 5|
|ASM Clermont Auvergne v Toulouse||ASM Clermont Auvergne by 7|
This is the first round so there’s no record on how I’m doing yet 🙂
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