It’s a last day disputed without the fear in the stomach of elimination after the last eighty minutes of the regular season. But this Sunday (9:05 p.m.) of the Top 14 multiplex remains crucial for Stade Français and Racing 92, whose arithmetic situation is currently comparable before their respective trips to La Rochelle and Clermont. Respectively third and fourth on equal points (66), the two clubs have mathematically ensured their qualification in the play-off, a meeting for the time scheduled on their lawn, but which the twists and turns of the evening can move away from their stadium in the event of a descent. in the ranking.
Because behind, the fifth, Bordeaux, traveling to a Toulon which still has a minimal chance of qualifying, and the sixth, Lyon, opposed to Bayonne, dream of upsetting the hierarchy of this Top 14 one last time, to compete the week -next end this quarter-final which does not bear the name in front of their supporters. A crucial advantage, and we are well placed to know it in the capital as in the Hauts-de-Seine. A year ago, Racing 92 was beaten in Bordeaux (36-16). While in 2021, for its last participation in the final stages, Stade Français had been outclassed (38-21) with the Racingmen.
“It will make things easier for us to reach the semi-finals”
“The objective is to receive in the barrage. If we can do it, it will make things easier for us to reach the semi-finals, ”underlines the third line sky and white Baptiste Chouzenoux. “In the Top 14, it is an important advantage to be at home for these decisive meetings, abounds the Parisian three-quarter Paolo Odogwu. The teams are boosted by their supporters. »
But beyond this common ambition, Racing 92 and Stade Français face two very different problems on the final day. On the one hand, the first have an appointment in Auvergne to face ASM, which will have no other motivation than to finish well in front of its supporters. The Parisians are challenging La Rochelle, already directly qualified for the half, a week after the Maritimes managed to win a second Champions Cup in a row against Leinster. By trying to forget that this barrage at home was reaching out to them a fortnight ago and this draw conceded (31-31) against Lyon after leading 28-0.
“It’s behind us, promises rear coach Julien Arias. We want to finish this championship well. We spent 80% of the season second or third, it would be a shame to go lower over the last two days. Make sure you’re there, yes, but how much? The Stade Français will go to Charente-Maritime without Sekou Macalou or his captain Paul Gabrillagues or his hooker Mickaël Ivaldi. Racing will start the match in Auvergne with Gaël Fickou, Finn Russell and Nolann Le Garrec on the bench.
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