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The most successful club in French rugby history, Toulouse, take on the surprise package of the current season, La Rochelle, in Round 19 of the Top 14 campaign at the Stade Ernest Wallon in Toulouse on Sunday. Toulouse are struggling to finish high enough in the table to qualify for the post-season play-offs, currently sitting in eighth position with 42 points to their credit. That leaves them four points adrift of PAU who are in sixth position at the end of Round 18, and occupy the final play-off position.
Toulouse have lost both of their last two Top 14 Orange fixtures. While the 18-27 reverse at Montpellier might not have been too much of a surprise, the 10-20 home defeat to PAU at the end of January certainly was. The only other side to leave the Stade Ernest Wallon with a victory to their credit this season is Toulon back in September. Just one defeat in the last nine Top 14 fixtures, have seen La Rochelle keeping pace with Clermont Auvergne at the top of the table. At the end of Round 18, the two sides are neck and neck at the head of the ladder with 58 points each.
Posted: 16th October 2015
Giants of the French club game, Toulouse. have made a start to the 2015/16 Top 14 Orange season, that is in marked contrast to their efforts during the early weeks of the last campaign. Going into Round 5 of the tournament, Toulouse have won three of their four fixtures, and are in third position, four points adrift of top side Clermont Auvergne, while last season they flirted with the relegation zone for much of the first half of the season. On Friday Evening, Toulouse will play host to La Rochelle at the Stade Ernest Wallon. Brive and Castres have already left the home of Toulouse pointless, and it would be a shock if lowly La Rochelle fare any better.
La Rochelle did manage to collect a fine losing bonus point at Racing 92, but in their last away fixture, they were thumped 24-45 at Toulon. The five points that they have accumulated, puts them a point above the relegation zone, currently filled by Agen and Stade Français. The hopes of the minnows of surviving another Top 14 campaign already looks like it will depend, and they are not alone in this, in picking up sufficient points at home, to offset any shortcomings when they hit the road.
Posted: 10th January 2015
The early season flirtation with the bottom end of the table, now seems a distant memory for one of the true giants of French club rugby, Toulouse. However, although they have put something of a buffer between themselves and the relegation positions, their form is still proving inconsistent, and their hopes and expectations of a post-season play-off spot, still remains far from certain. They are currently in eighth position, three points behind Bordeaux who are holding the final play-off place at the present time. On Saturday, bottom club La Rochelle are the visitors to the Stade Ernest Wallon, and would be one of the shocks of the season, if they were to emerge with anything to show for their trip to Toulouse.
The five wins that the team that was only promoted at the end of last season have managed to record, have all been at home. Eight trips to other clubs, have all resulted in defeat, and they have yet to secure their first bonus point on the road either. While Toulouse look nailed on to register a sixth home win of the campaign, if other fixtures at the weekend also go to form, they may find that they are still outside the vital top six places in the table.
, Stade Ernest Wallon
, Top 14 Orange
, La Rochelle