La Rochelle vs Stade Francais
Competition: French Top 14 Rugby
Date: 18 February 2016
Kick-off: 14:45 CET
La Rochelle have the honour of topping the Top 14 log, breaking a long standing monopoly that Clermont held for such a long time, it has been a good effort by La Rochelle who have only recently been promoted to this level of rugby. Up against Stade Francais, they will feel confident at home, even though Stade are recent champions.
La Rochelle have been there and there about, fluctuating between third and fifth for a lot of the season, but recently they made a push up the table and sat themselves in second, waiting to pounce on Clermont who were starting to stutter a bot with some surprising losses. Now, with 54 points, they are just a single point ahead of Clermont, so they will want to keep winning to try and push out a lead. Things are very similar between Clermont and La Rochelle, they have both won 10, drawn three and lost four – even their points difference is close with Clermont on 146 and La Rochelle on 126.
Stade Francais continue to have a torrid time in the Top 14 competition as they are one of the sides you expect to be mixing it up with the big boys in the top three or four, but looking down the log they find themselves in 11th which is a really poor showing especially if you consider Grenoble and Bayonne, in 13th and 14th, are way out of the running. That means Stade are just a point above Lyon who are third bottom, although a way off the other two. Stade’s problem has been their away from, and with another away game looming against the now top of the table team, things do not look good.
La Rochelle vs Stade Francais: Current form
La Rochelle have gotten to where they are thanks to four wins, and a draw, in a row. This stint includes two away games, against a tough opponent in Toulon, as well as against Bayonne.
For Stade, they have lost their last two games – home and away – and then gone about their usual way of winning home games, but not well, and losing away games.
La Rochelle vs Stade Francais: Prediction
La Rochelle have taken on the mantle of log leaders, and with that comes a bit of determination to stay there, luckily they are facing a Stade side at home and as such they will feel full of confidence. Add into it that La Rochelle are also undefeated in five games, and they are certain winners.
La Rochelle vs Stade Francais: Tips
La Rochelle could well cut loose here and take apart a Stade side that is missing a few key players to the French National side. Bet on a 23 point winning margin.