Rugby Union: European Champions Cup - Two French Sides in Control

With France winning the Grand Slam, it’s not surprising that some of their club sides are doing well in the Heineken Cup. The two teams who are more than likely to go through to the last eight are La Rochelle who won by 18 points(31-13) against Bordeaux-Begles and Racing 92 who were victorious in the Paris derby by 22-9.

La Rochelle are in cracking form and by putting more than 30 points against Bordeaux, it was the first time they’d scored that number of points away from home against French opposition.

So sensible people would back them to win again, not least because they’re back at the Stade Macel-Defland, kick off on Saturday at 15.00.

France’s Test star, back row forward Gregory Alldritt, such a forceful figure in the Six Nations, should be able to inspire his team-mates, and as La Rochelle have won their last five home games in the European Champions Cup, his club are favourites to make the quarterfinals.

And so are Racing 92 who are also at home this Sunday, kick off 15.30, at the Paris La Defense Arena for the second match against Stade Francais, beaten 22-9 last weekend.

There was only one try, scored by one of the big stars of the Six Nations, Racing’s centre Gael Fickou, in the first leg, so expect much more from him on Sunday in front of his own supporters.

One point that was interesting was how indisciplined Stade Francais were at home they gave away numerous penalties, five of which were put over by the Racing 92 scrum half, Nolann Le Garrec.

Indeed, Le Garrec also added a conversion to finish the Paris contest with 17 points, a match winning display which you’d think would be good enough to confirm Racing’s place in the last eight.