Friday 20 October 2017

Peter Bills: French keep their powder dry ahead of Irish invasion

Perhaps it was the warm sunshine of south-west France on Saturday, or maybe it revealed a collective focus on next weekend's Heineken Cup semi-finals.

Whatever the reason, neither Toulouse nor Biarritz produced much rugby likely to terrify Leinster and Munster respectively, a few days before their Heineken semis.

Toulouse came from behind to beat Castres 25-17 in Toulouse while Biarritz lost at home, 19-26, to Clermont Auvergne. Les Toulousains did just enough to ensure a home tie, against the same opposition, in the round of the 'Barrages' in two weeks' time but Biarritz had no prospect of qualification for the knock-out stages of the French Championship.

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