Toulouse in free fall, Paris atomizes Biarritz, Brive and Montpellier back to back … What to remember from the 18th day

The 18th day of Top 14 was marked by a rain of tests and movements in the classification. Pau performed well against Toulouse (27-22), Stade Français corrected Biarritz (65-19), Toulon came out of the red zone by winning against Perpignan (29-18), Castres preserved its invincibility at home (19-17), while Brive and Montpellier were neutralized (16-16), Saturday February 19. Later in the evening, La Rochelle returned to winning ways against Clermont (31-27).

The bad spiral: sixth defeat for Toulouse

The crisis continues in Toulouse. The defending champion, defeated at home by the Pau Section (27-22), chained a sixth defeat in the league, a first in the history of the club. Despite a double numerical superiority (Pau having been reduced to 14 after 30 minutes then to 13 for half an hour), Stade Toulousain suffered from the absence of its internationals retained in Marcoussis. The three tries scored in nine minutes around the hour mark, however, allowed Ugo Mola’s men to leave with a defensive bonus and maintain their rank in the Top 6.

This sixth consecutive defeat further undermines the confidence of Toulouse, who find themselves in an unprecedented situation. “It’s obvious that we are worried. If we weren’t, we would be blind”said the assistant coach of the Pink City club, Jean Bouilhou.

The correction: the French Stadium dynamites Biarritz

Full card for the Parisians in Jean-Bouin. Stade Français outclassed Biarritz (65-19). The Pink Soldiers relaunched themselves in the race for the final phase (65-19), winning at the same time thetheir biggest success of the season. On their side, thehe Basques are slowly but surely getting closer to a return to Pro D2. The BO is red lantern five lengths from 13th Perpignan and seven from Toulon (12th), which has two games less.

The end of the series: no 9th successive victory for Montpellier

Brive and Montpellier parted ways in a draw, won in the final moments by the visitors (16-16). The CAB believed in it until the end, but Guilhem Guirado put an end to Brive hopes by scoring a try at the last minute. The MHR could even have won but the Italian Paolo Garbisi touched the post during his transformation. With this draw, Brive ended the series of eight Montpellier successes, which had been running since October 16.

The good operations: Toulon and La Rochelle give each other some air, Castres climbs on the podium

Toulon signed a second victory in a row (a first since May 2021), winning against Perpignan (29-18). After getting the best of the Bordeaux leader last week, the Toulonnais showed a lot of control, which allows them to pass their opponent of the day in the standings (12th).

Always intractable at home, Castres won (19-17) on his lawn against Lyon, allowing him to climb on the podium. This is the seventeenth consecutive game without defeat (16 wins and 1 draw) at home for CO, which has not lost to Pierre-Fabre since December 2020 against Brive (24-25). At the same time, this defeat puts an end to the series of LOU, undefeated in 2022 with four wins in a row.

Finally, La Rochelle, which had not won in the Top 14 since Christmas, returned to victory against Clermont (31-27), which allows the Maritimes to stay within reach of the qualifying zone.