TOP14 Rugby Betting, round ten
La Toussaint – or all Saints day, brings us a feast of midweek rugby this week, starting at 1:10 pm GMT and running through to roughly 5 pm. Games will be on canal+, setanta Ireland, or via your internerd (if you’re in work you might get away with a stream in the bottom corner of your screen)…. As a general observation; most players SHOULD be well up for these games even with the expected squad rotations, with national audiences watching in big numbers on their day off. This is an assumption of course, but worth bearing in mind.
Top14 Rugby Betting GMT 13:10pm, Grenoble v Biarritz, Setanta Sports, canal+ . Grenoble -3 5/6 Stanjames, Biarritz +4 evs Victor Chandler.
Grenoble have beaten a four point handicap in every one of their home games this season, against Perpignan, Racing metro, , Stade Francais, and Mont de Marsan. Biarritz have been surprisingly effective on the road, just recently staying within seven away at Clermont, and losing by a point at Racing metro. They’re both neck and neck in the table in sixth and seventh place, and with rotten weather in the general area since late last week (it snowed in Grenoble on Sunday), rain today and a brief respite tomorrow morning, this one looks set to be a real arm-wrestle.
Biarritz start with Peyrelongue and Traille at nine and ten, so there’s plenty of experience there, but with a slight doubt over Peyrelongue’s fitness. With two accomplished kickers and the weather the way it is, expect Biarritz to kick almost everything and try to feed off mistakes, and vice versa from Grenoble. Grenoble bring Sowerby and others back from resting in the loss away to Montpellier, and generally when he plays they do well. Courrent – the Grenoble kicker – is second only to Wilkinson in the TOP14 kicking stats so they should take any opportunities they get
This is likely going to be a low scoring tussle between two mid-table rivals looking to get one over on each other. We’re not confident on the handicap of 4 for either side (incidentally it started at -3 for Grenoble). Looking at recent results Biarritz have done well in poor conditions in Clermont and in the Heineken cup, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they won this one out of sheer stubbornness, so we’re not even interested in the 1-12 Grenoble at a miserable 6/4 biggest in bet365, despite the fact it is the most likely result. We are going to have a small interest though and save our bigger bets for other games.
TOP14 rugby betting – Main bet (Small stakes for interest) – Back the draw at biggest 20/1 in bet365 (18/1 is good too elsewhere). Statistically we’re due a glut of draws in France as they’ve been few and far between so far this season. Two teams neck and neck in the table, miserable conditions – this is probably going to be one of those games where a draw will be the only fair result, and there’s a better-than-usual chance of it coming in. A win will give us a nice bank to work with for the weekend. If you want to be slightly more conservative, you can get ‘any result involving a draw’ at 13/2 (market only in Paddypower). this pays off if it’s a draw at half time or fulltime.
130 pm games
Top14 Rugby Betting, Agen v Clermont, Online streams, Clermont -8 everywhere.
Clermont (2nd) head to Agen (13th, and worst defence in the league) without Morgan Parra, but other than that they look as good as they have in the recent Heineken cup games. We’re always cautious about backing teams away from home in France to beat big handicaps, but there’s reason to look at it here. Aside from Parra Clermont have the same backline from the Heineken Cup games except for Buttin at full back (with Byrne on the bench), and a similar pack. Toulon are setting the pace at the top of the table and away wins have taken on a new importance for the likes of Clermont and Toulouse.
They have a perfect opportunity here at Agen as they’ve a rake of injuries, and they look to be putting out a pretty weak offering tomorrow. Whether all of these injuries are actually real or not is another thing, but it’s clear they’re expecting to lose the game and with Agen in the position they are in, they need to be pragmatic and rest whatever quality they have and pick their battles. They’ve picked the young and inexperienced flyhalf Lamoulie at full back tomorrow and that seals the deal for us.
TOP14 rugby betting – Main bet, medium stakes – Take Clermont -8 at 10/11 in paddypower and elsewhere before it likely moves out after the official Agen team announcement. The only thing that could hinder this is the small bit of light rain that is forecast but if Clermont turn up they’ll get a bonus point.
Bayonne v Bordeaux – No bet for us here ( apart from 2 quid on the draw double with Grenoble/Biarritz for 500/1!). Bayonne should win this with many changes for the better from last week’s side, but you couldn’t count on them, and not just because of the Toulon result – they were bad at Dragons too with roughly tomorrows starting team. If you had to have a bet it would be Bordeaux +10 – they almost beat Toulouse at home a few weeks ago and will fancy this after Bayonne’s performance last week. If you’re looking for something slightly less risky you can also get Clermont -7.5 at 5/6 , only in ladbrokes for a drop of 8% in winnings (10/11 vs 5/6).
15:15 Last Game
Top14 Rugby Betting, Toulouse v Racing Metro, Canal+ , Setanta, Toulouse -11 bet365, Racing Metro +13 Stanjames
Why did Toulouse lose last week at Stade Francais by 4 points? Well, they were missing a raft of experienced players, and they had a less than stellar ten in Bezy. This week, McCallister is back at ten and Picamoles comes back into the backrow with Galan (who was excellent last week).
Toulouse haven’t played many games at home recently but since the start of the season game v Castres which they won by a point, they’ve beaten a 12 point handicap at home in every game since, including at home v Leicester in the Heineken cup. Of those TOP14 games, it’s fair to say that not alot of teams went to Toulouse with serious effort except Mont De Marsan – who almost pulled off a shock until their lack of a bench told. So despite the statistics, it must be remembered than many of the sides that pitched up in Toulouse were weakened, and in most of them Toulouse had a stronger side out than they do on Thursday, and they’re still missing their captain Dusatoir.
Racing Metro show up tomorrow with a rhobust looking first fifteen that is almost their strongest lineup. Barkley hasn’t played inside centre in a while but he’s well able having played there for England and Bath quite a bit. Germain is back at full back and he’ll likely take their kicks. The pack is first choice and all in all it’s hard to see where Toulouse have a very clear advantage except a slight one in the backs, and the fact they’re at home.
In terms of winning and losing margins for Racing Metro, here’s where it really gets interesting. Since the start of the season, Racing Metro have won or lost nine of their total eleven games (including Heineken cup) within 1-12 points. Of the two they lost outside of that margin, one was a fourteen point loss was away at Grenoble (after a late kick through scrambling try for Grenoble that cost us a lump!), and the other was in the Heineken cup where they lost to Saracens away with a weaker team than this, and with no Hernandez or Germain (and they almost get back within the 1-12 towards the end of that game, and stopped a Saracens getting a bonus point). The weather is set to be showery tomorrow afternoon, and it has rained a fair bit across France all week.
Racing started to lose games this season when they lost their main kickers in Germain and Wisniewski. With Barkley and Germain they don’t have that problem anymore and this big pack are set up to squeeze points out of the opposition. For the public holiday game tomorrow they’ve named a full squad and I can’t see them not turning up to play with this being the biggest and last game of the day in France. With Racing’s recent record, the large public audience, the strength of the Racing lineup and Toulouse being still short of a full deck; there’s only one bet for us here.
TOP14 rugby betting – Main bet – we’ve taken Racing Metro +13 only at Stanjames (12 elsewhere).. I know it’s tough for people to back against Toulouse at home on the handicap, but almost every sign points to Racing staying with them tomorrow.
Small stakes thought – for anyone who thinks Racing Metro have a chance of a win tomorrow (we do, a small one, but not insignificant), then Paddy power have a ridiculous price on Toulouse half time/Racing full time at 17/1; It is nowhere near as unlikely as that looking at that Racing side named for tomorrow.
Don’t forget to head over to our Rugby Betting Forum to join the discussion and contribute. All are welcome, you can choose your own team/country crest.