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We’re now into the third week and starting to get a decent feel for how this season is shaping up. I’m of the opinion that the Top 14 title is a three-horse race between Clermont, Toulon and Toulouse, with Toulon the prohibitive favourite. Also, though I’m not a betting man, I would think that La Rochelle are up against it this season with a tough fixture schedule to start the season doing no favours and a lot of ground to make up afterwards if they want to avoid relegation.

Will it be a third straight loss for newly-promoted La Rochelle?

Will it be a third straight loss for newly-promoted La Rochelle?

So, let’s see how you might want to plan your weekend viewing, based on our latest Power Rankings.

Must-see:

  • Clermont (Ranked #3) vs. Montpellier (#4). This is the best matchup you’re going to see this weekend, and it’s going to show us a lot about how serious we can take Clermont’s claims on the title.
  • La Rochelle (#14) vs. Toulouse (#2). Poor, poor, poor La Rochelle. First home game of the season and they have to play a super-charged Toulouse side. Good luck.
  • Racing Metro (#6) vs. Toulon (#1). If the Clermont vs. Montpellier matchup doesn’t satisfy your clash of the titans, I think this should do just fine. Toulon are a machine looking to destroy everything and everyone in their path. Can the good Dr Jamie Roberts MBBCH BSc (Hons) find his way through the Toulon backline defence and do some damage?

Worth a look:

  • Grenoble (#10) vs. Bordeaux Begles (#7). I still don’t think Bordeaux are all that good. They can start to prove me wrong with an away win against what should be a weaker team.
  • Oyonnax (#13) vs. Stade Français (#5). Another easy matchup for Stade. Good opportunity to move up in both the standings and my rankings.

Only for the hard-core:

  • Castres (#11) vs. Bayonne (#9). My pre-season model loved Castres and now I feel foolish. This game is…a thing.
  • Lyon (#12) vs. Brive (#8). Also a thing.

 

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