Toulon vs Castres
Competition: French Top 14
Date: 15 April 2017
Kick-off: 14:45 CET
As the Top 14 heads into the third last round of the round robing stages, the stakes couldn’t be higher for the top eight teams in the competition. Toulon currently sit in fourth place on the log after grabbing an impressive 10 point win over Toulouse.
They were under pressure going into the clash as they looked to keep hold of their fourth place spot. Only five points separate Toulon, on 53 points, and Lyon who sit in tenth place on the table. The other five teams are fighting for spots in the top six in order to secure a place in the playoffs – while the top two teams at the end of the round robin stages secure semifinals berths.
Almost every team in that fight for playoff spot secured a victory last weekend, so the pressure is on again this week. Toulon will be buoyed by that victory and their big name players continue to prove their worth.
This weekend’s clash is a big one though as Castres can leapfrog the hosts if they secure victory. The visitors failed to beat Lyon on the weekend which didn’t do them any favours in terms of their playoff ambitions. The defeat cost them their fifth place spot on the Top 14 table but they are still well in the fight as they trail Toulon by two points, while Racing Metro and Brive only have a point buffer ahead of them.
Castres will be kicking themselves for wasting home advantage and they will have to contend with a hostile Toulon crowd this coming weekend. They’re also on a two match losing streak so they won’t exactly be brimming with confidence.
They have to contend with an all out onslaught from the hosts this weekend. Toulon have a big, strong physical pack and their backline poses an even bigger threat. All Black centre Ma’a Nonu has been in good form of late and will be a danger man for Toulon.
Toulon vs Castres: Current form
Toulon have bounced back from their European Champions Cup exit two weeks ago with a solid win over Toulouse. The win ended a two match losing streak and they’ll be looking to build some momentum going into the last three rounds.
Castres have a poor run of form, suffering three narrow defeats in a row to Lyon, Grenoble and Pau.
Toulon vs Castres: Prediction
Toulon are the clear favourites to win this clash. They are now solely focused on their Top 14 campaign and they’ve bounced back from their Champions Cup disappointment with a good win over Toulouse. They’ve got home ground advantage and the visitors have gone three matches without a win – they could run riot here.
Toulon vs Castre: Tips
Toulon have managed some big results this season so bank on them grabbing a try bonus point in this encounter.