An opportunity not to be missed. The Stade Français, which travels to Montpellier, penultimate of the Top 14, this Saturday evening (9 p.m.) during a late match, must win if it wants to stay in contact with the first six qualifiers for the final phase.
Imperative victory for the Parisians
Crushed in Toulouse (48-24) and Toulon (35-13), Stade Français straightened its head last week against Castres (29-9). “It was a very important game for us,” said coach Gonzalo Quesada. These two defeats (Toulouse and Toulon), they made us… Well, even if they could happen because we know that we are not yet at the level of Toulon and Toulouse. But inevitably, sometimes, there is a little questioning, sometimes too much questioning. “
After a promising first part of the season, the Parisians indeed seemed to be running out of steam. This success against a rival in the qualifying race came at the right time. It remains to be confirmed in the Hérault, against a team in full doubt.
Montpellier in crisis
Head down. Philippe Saint-André, who donned his coach costume in early January to succeed Xavier Garbajosa, has not yet found the solution. At home, Montpellier signed a seventh straight setback against Racing (24-22). “This is the seventh game that we lose in the last moments, railed the manager. We have to be more precise. We work a lot on the discipline. »Enough to dominate Stade Français?
Penultimate of the Top 14 with only three victories, the Hérault club owes its salvation only to the catastrophic season of Agen, the red lantern having aligned fifteen defeats in fifteen games. Montpellier, currently barrage for the descent in Pro D 2, is not yet too far behind Pau and Bayonne and can still hope to ensure its maintenance. “The day they wake up, the opposing team will have a bad time, warned Gonzalo Quesada, the Paris manager. We hope it won’t be this weekend. “
Notable absentees on both sides
Suspended for a week for cumulating three yellow cards, Argentina’s third line Pablo Matera is added to the list of absentees from the capital club. Pumas opener Nicolas Sanchez, suspended three weeks after the red card received in Toulon on January 25, will not make the trip. Like the center Gaël Fickou, who plays with the XV of France the first match of the Six Nations Tournament against Italy this Saturday (3:15 p.m.). On the side of Montpellier, the 3rd line and captain Fulgence Ouedraogo, victim of a concussion against Lyon (16-21) two weeks ago, will be unavailable again. The Hérault club will also be deprived of four international tricolors: Paul Willemse, Arthur Vincent, Mohamed Haouas and Anthony Bouthier.
Montpellier-Stade Français, 8th day (late match), Saturday, 9 p.m.
Montpellier: Immelman – Ngandebe, Reilhac, Serfontein, Martin – (o) Paillaugue (cap.), (m) Reinach – J. Du Plessis, Timu, Camara – Capelli, Van Rensburg – Lamositele, Delhommel, Forletta.
Alternates: Guirado, Fichten, Devergie, Bécognée, Lozowski, Picamoles, Rattez, Arroyo.
French stadium : Hamdaoui – Veainu, Arrate, Delbouis, Etien – (o) Segonds, (m) Hall – Kremer, Macalou, Burban – Maestri (cap.), Gabrillagues – Tagi, Latu, Clément.
Alternates: L. Da Silva, Kakovin, M. De Giovanni, Gray, Chapuis, Coville, Vuidravuwalu, P. Alo Emile.
Arbitrator : Cardona
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr