the maintenance guide, where are Brive and Perpignan two days from the end?

Two days before the end of the regular phase, the CAB and the USAP are drawn into a fierce fight for maintenance which will see one team join the Pro D2 directly and the other play the Access Match.

Since victory in rugby earns 4 points, it is a victory that separates CAB and USAP at the dawn of the 25th and penultimate day of the Top 14. However, when we take a close look at the ranking in the different columns, Perpignan won two games more than its competitor, but Brive brought back more bonuses (7 against 3), most often defensive.

The deal is simple, the Catalans are masters of their destiny unlike the Brivistes. The first, who have 39 points, will probably play the accession match against the loser of the Pro D2 final by winning their last two games or by counting on a misstep by Patrice Collazo’s men. The latter precisely, with 35 points, must sign two successes and support the opponents of Perpignan.

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For the two teams, a direct maintenance in the Top 14 is practically unthinkable, even if for Brive it is a certainty, insofar as the Pau Section is 12e with 47 points. In other words, Perpignan can still believe in it, but with a good slew of circumstances in its favor. The Béarnais, who will go to Bordeaux Bègles this weekend and receive Montpellier on May 28, only need a victory or a defeat for USAP to guarantee their maintenance, they who have an 8-point lead. before this 25th day.

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Toulouse and Castres as justice of the peace

At first glance, Stade Toulousain, which is the leader of the Top 14 and Castres 11e already (practically) maintained, have little to do with maintenance. And yet yes. Both teams will have a major role to play in the race for retention. Indirectly, since they themselves will not be concerned, but because they will both face Brive and Perpignan on the final two days.

Toulouse goes to Perpignan this Saturday at 3:00 p.m. before receiving the CAB in two weeks. Reverse program for Castres which goes to Brive this Saturday and will receive the USAP during the 26e and last day. No excuse, neither for the Corréziens, nor for the Catalans, since by facing the same teams, we will see who will be able to come out on top.

The advantage for the two teams at the bottom of the table is that Toulouse and Castres have nothing to play for. Even if the Toulousains will want to finish first (and thus play their semi-final on Friday evening to benefit from 24 hours of additional recovery in the event of victory), they have already secured their place in the semi-final by beating Bordeaux Bègles the week ped (31-17). And Ugo Mola will rotate his executives for the final stages.

For its part, Castres will not necessarily let anyone rest, but the Tarnais have had a very disappointing season. Especially since there remains a tiny possibility of seeing them slipping in the barrage. This would require seeing them lose twice (and without taking a single bonus) and Perpignan winning twice with, each time, an offensive bonus in their pocket. Unlikely…

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Brive has heart

Last week, the CAB moved to Montpellier and could in the event of defeat on the lawn of the MHR and victory of Perpignan at Gerland against the LOU, be definitively condemned to the Pro D2. Which was the case at one point in the game. “At the 60e minute, we were in Pro D2 but we (the players) did not know it“, admitted the Argentine opener Nicolas Sanchez. But the Corréziens have reversed a completely compromised situation with a test after the siren and a transformation of the same Sanchez to win 26-27 in the Hérault.

The test of the victory of Brive (26-27) in Montpellier PASCAL GUYOT / AFP

The joy and euphoria felt after the meeting gave a lot of hope to a team from Brive who have always believed in it despite their situation in the standings. While everyone no longer saw them capable of climbing the slope, the Brivistes proved that they had the heart and what it took to overthrow the reigning French champion. If the band keeps the same heart, who knows what might happen? But Brive will absolutely have to win its last two matches to hope to play the Access Match and for Perpignan to lose at least once.

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Perpignan advantage

Brive has heart but the USAP has the cards in hand. In addition, Mathieu Acebes’ teammates have already experienced a similar situation last season by winning the Access Match against Mont-de-Marsan, and this, by quite a margin (41-16). The men of Arlettaz also have the advantage of the clification. Perpignan only need a bonus win and a zero-point loss to Brive to qualify for the play-off. Otherwise two successes or two defeats of Brive.

The USAP will try to take the last step to maintain RAYMOND ROIG / AFP

We suspect that Franck Azéma will observe the situation closely, he who will train the USAP next season to replace Patrick Arlettaz, who will stop at the end of the season (a rumor announces him to join the staff of the XV of France after the World Cup…). The current coach of Toulon would experience a great disappointment if he were to take the lead of a team joining the ranks of the Pro D2 in the next exercise…

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