Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

Top14 player imposter!

JDV smashed by Benoit August

The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Friday, June 27, 2008

Top 14 Final preview - Toulouse vs Clermont

The Stade de France in Paris will on Saturday play host to the climax of the French rugby season – the final of the Top 14. Toulouse and Clermont will meet in front of 80 000 passionate fans to compete for the the prestigious Bouclier de Brennus and claim the title of the best team in France.

Toulouse are still bearing the scars of their dramatic loss in the Heineken Cup, and have not won the French title in seven years. They will be as hungry as ever as they look to end the season on a high, with 80 vital minutes of rugby ahead that will determine if the season was a success or failure. It’s as simple as that unfortunately.

Clermont themselves have struggled to capture the elusive title, having appeared in the final an incredible eight times, all of which were unsuccessful and were all narrow losses. A ninth time would be devastating for the loyal fans who’ve turned up to support their side with such vigour all season.

The two esteemed clubs have met three times previously in the final, first in 1994, then 1999, and then the last time Toulouse won the championship, in 2001. This season though, Clermont have had the measure of their rivals on two occasions, winning 21-17 in Clermont and 23-11 in Toulouse.

Some say Clermont should be favourites this time around because they come in fresher, both from having the extra rest day, and more importantly, after Toulouse’s long and exhausting European campaign.

If this season is anything to go by though, we’re sure to see a festival of running rugby with both teams filled with tremendous athletes and a high try scoring record.

This video is a nice little preview to the final, featuring some of the best moments from both teams this season. Some of the tries that have been scored are phenomenal, so lets hope we see more of the same in the final tomorrow. Predictions anyone, or too close to call?

Time: 03:24



  • Great vid!
    Is it true that Elissalde is not playing? i read it somewere!!

    By Anonymous Eric, at June 27, 2008 3:41 pm  

  • That's correct. I just read on lequipe.fr that Elissalde is hurt and won't be there tomorrow.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 27, 2008 3:55 pm  

  • Toulouse have too many injuries. Poitrenaud, Clerc, Elissalde, so many internationals. Clermont to win it - definitely.

    By Anonymous Fan de Paris, at June 27, 2008 4:02 pm  

  • No way... Even with many injuries, Toulouse is going to win. Just look at medard.

    By Blogger Max, at June 27, 2008 4:07 pm  

  • Speaking as a welshman who greatly admires French rugby:

    Cedric Heymans.

    By Anonymous David, at June 27, 2008 4:50 pm  

  • Yeah but dont forget Rougerie, Nalaga, James, Mignoni, Ledesma...

    Elissalde, Nyanga, Clerc, Poitrenaud won't be there for Toulouse.
    Actually I support Toulouse, but I don't think they can win, Clermont is too strong this year...

    By Anonymous Ben, at June 27, 2008 6:08 pm  

  • Probably Clermont's year, although Toulouse are such a big-game team...far too close to call

    By Anonymous TheFullback, at June 27, 2008 6:13 pm  

  • Ellissalde is in the XV of toulouse.

    Noves is ridiculous...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 27, 2008 7:11 pm  

  • Actually he's questionable for the game, since he managed to play 40 minutes against Perpignan with his injury, maybe he could play the final's first half, but nothing is sure at the moment.

    By Anonymous Ben, at June 27, 2008 7:41 pm  

  • Great vid and great choice of music; it really went perfectly in time with the action... good work!

    As for tomorrow; my money's on Clermont; they've choked too many times in finals and have led the T14 for nearly the entire season. Brock James is a master at 10 and Toulouse don't really have a fly half.

    I think we'll see a big scrap up front with Clermont doing their utmost to keep the ball out of the hands of the Toulouse back three as even without Poitrenaud and Clerc that video shows how dangerous players like Donguy, Medard and as everyone knows, Heymans, are.

    Aurélien Rougerie is a big game player who is fed up living in the shadow of the Toulouse back three and Saturday I can see him, Ledesma, Privat, Vermeulen and James coming to the fore to out-think the Toulousains.

    By Blogger Disco, at June 27, 2008 8:17 pm  

  • Clermont will clear the table, they are great nalaga will probably score in the second half to insure their win

    By Anonymous Chazza, at June 27, 2008 8:39 pm  

  • Holy crap both teams have an incredible amount of individual challenge.

    By Anonymous Tim, at June 27, 2008 11:45 pm  

  • It is too close to call....but I have a feeling about Toulose.....;)

    By Anonymous italianscrummy, at June 28, 2008 12:25 am  

  • Now they are reporting that Elissalde will play tomorrow.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 28, 2008 1:08 am  

  • why the hell isn't the Top 14 shown on Setanta? From the highlights I keep seeing it often looks even more entertaining than both the GP and Super 14 (both of which already highly entertaining).

    I really wish I could watch this game. Totally unsure who to root for as well.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 28, 2008 1:58 am  

  • Anonymous, a top 14 match is shown every friday night on eurosport 2 and they have a highlights programme on sunday mornings. You should be able to pick this up with if you can get Setanta.

    As for the weekend, I hope Clermont finally pull it off on win. Toulouse just have too many innjuries and Clermont have great strength in depth (Malzieu and Delasau not starting!)

    It will be good to see Clermont target the HC next year and give Munster a strong challenge in the group.

    By Anonymous Gareth, at June 28, 2008 2:48 am  

  • I hope Toulouse wins it. I know how desperate Clermont are to finally get their first TOP 14 title after eight losses in a finale.. But Toulouse is just the most entertaining team to watch in the world.. after the crusaders. I am looking forward to see Heymans at his best.. And Maxime Medard, 22, seem just as good as Vincent Clerc.

    By Anonymous Ave88, at June 28, 2008 11:44 am  

  • What time kick off today?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 28, 2008 5:57 pm  

  • 9 pm, french time.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 28, 2008 6:13 pm  

  • 8.50 PM, French schedule

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 28, 2008 6:14 pm  

  • What a game, a clear indication that it's not the laws of the game that require an over haul, but that the skill set of the players need an overhaul.

    Toulouse second try an awesome try,

    By Blogger Rob878, at June 28, 2008 10:27 pm  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Rob878, at June 28, 2008 10:38 pm  

  • Who won it??? I just got back from watching Argentina-Italy crappy game BTW... who is the top 14 champ?¿?

    By Anonymous Eric, at June 28, 2008 10:55 pm  

  • so who won????

    By Anonymous italianscrummy, at June 28, 2008 11:20 pm  

  • Toulouse 26-20 Clermont

    By Anonymous TheFullback, at June 29, 2008 12:01 am  

  • Toulouse 26-20 Clermont !

    Tries by Servat and Médard for Toulouse, Rougerie and Zirakachvili for Clermont.

    Great win by Toulouse !

    It was wonderful to see such hapiness !
    But it was also sad, to see Clermont's players crying (especially Rougerie, he looked as if he was going to kill someone...).

    Too bad for Clermont, but once again, great win by Toulouse !

    ( Ps : I apologise in advance for any mistake I could I've made, my english is not perfect yet ^^ )

    By Anonymous Julie, at June 29, 2008 12:01 am  

  • Unlucky John Smit. A move from the sharks with no silverware to another club with no silverwear

    By Anonymous verge, at June 29, 2008 10:59 am  

  • What a game !!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2008 4:22 pm  

  • Toulouse won the match after an excellent match!! All toulouse players were genious!! The french rugby grow up...

    By Anonymous Arthur, at June 29, 2008 10:48 pm  

  • Great great video! The final was so nice! Toulouse deserved it! Ellisalde played with a rib injury! This guy is a pearl!

    By Anonymous Xi.uk, at June 30, 2008 11:23 am  

  • His rib gets break !

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 30, 2008 1:43 pm  

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