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Top 14 Surprise Champions

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    Top 14 Surprise Champions

    Has anyone picked up on the surprise winners of the Top 14 ?

    Yes folks, Castres defeated Montpellier comprehensively to win their 3rd ever title. This is the same Castres where we scraped a fortuitous draw in Round 1, and fairly well trashed them in Thomond on the day where it turned into a swimming pool ! Who would have thought back then that they would put together a string of form that would bring them the Top 14 title ?

    Along the way, they defeated Toulouse and Racing in successive knock-out games - no fluke there !

    Castres don't have any stars, they have 2 geriatric 2nd Rows, a temperamental out-half, and mostly journeymen players throughout - it puts the likes of Toulon, Racing and Montpellier with their mega-budgets to shame.

    #2
    Its their second title in 6 years. Also finished 2nd, fifth, 6th recently enough as well.
    They regularly dont bother with Europe especially the away games and focus on the league. Not that surprising.

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      #3
      They and Lyon finished 5th and 6th and ended up in the semis. The other 2 semi finalists finished 1st and 2nd. If you'd been betting at the start of the play offs....
      "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

      "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


      "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

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        #4
        They won't cut the moutarde in Europe
        Nulla semper amicus, servivit mihi, in iniuriam mihi neminem quem non persolvi

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          #5
          Have been in 14 editions of the Heineken/Champions Cup. Only time they made the knockout stages was 2001/02 when they were beat in the semi final by Munster.

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            #6
            Was surprised to learn this year in the T14 that Montpellier had never won the Bouclier de Brennus. That pressure definitely showed in the final.

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              #7
              Originally posted by Sulla View Post
              They won't cut the moutarde in Europe
              Thats because the Top 14 is too attritional, and a relatively small club like Castres has no choice but to priortize the Top 14. And thats what their fans want and expect.

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                #8
                I have a feeling that Castres get income from a huge trust as long as they stay in the Top 14 and that explained why they targeted the Top 14 and not Europe a few years ago (when they were in more danger of relegation) and maybe even now. Not sure about that so assume it's wrong unless someone can throw more light on it.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by coolbawn View Post
                  I have a feeling that Castres get income from a huge trust as long as they stay in the Top 14 and that explained why they targeted the Top 14 and not Europe a few years ago (when they were in more danger of relegation) and maybe even now. Not sure about that so assume it's wrong unless someone can throw more light on it.
                  Yeah they were backed by some wealthy local business man(think it's make-up or skincare) who died around the time they won their last Bouclier. IIRC it was how Travers and Labit made their name. Team got stripped of it's stars after the win and they nearly got relegated. Think they get something like 5m a year but as you say they'd lose that if they get relegated.

                  They always go very hard at home even if they've no chance of progressing.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by ManWithDog View Post
                    Has anyone picked up on the surprise winners of the Top 14 ?

                    Yes folks, Castres defeated Montpellier comprehensively to win their 3rd ever title. This is the same Castres where we scraped a fortuitous draw in Round 1, and fairly well trashed them in Thomond on the day where it turned into a swimming pool ! Who would have thought back then that they would put together a string of form that would bring them the Top 14 title ?

                    Along the way, they defeated Toulouse and Racing in successive knock-out games - no fluke there !

                    Castres don't have any stars, they have 2 geriatric 2nd Rows, a temperamental out-half, and mostly journeymen players throughout - it puts the likes of Toulon, Racing and Montpellier with their mega-budgets to shame.
                    Fifth actually. Won it in 1949, 1950, 1993, 2013 and now 2018.
                    Good things happen to those who wait, though mostly much too late.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      In Racing's defence I watched the semi and the second half refereeing performance was up there with the worst of them. Castres should have had 3 in the bin simultaneously. Having said that Racing p*ssed themselves in the last 10 and stopped running the ball wide.
                      He's a guy who gets up at six o'clock in the morning regardless of what time it is.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by paddy0090 View Post
                        Yeah they were backed by some wealthy local business man(think it's make-up or skincare) who died around the time they won their last Bouclier..
                        Pierre Fabre is on their shirts. A superb town to visit.

                        https://www.pierre-fabre.com/en/history

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