Saturday 3 December 2016

European Watch: Grenoble take on O'Gara's men

John Fallon

Published 19/02/2016 | 02:30

Bernard Jackman. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile
Bernard Jackman. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile

Grenoble resume their Top 14 campaign this weekend with a game against leaders Racing 92 which could decide the way their domestic campaign goes from here.

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Bernard Jackman's men sit in ninth place on 28 points and with Oyonnax (14 points) and Agen (10 points) falling further adrift, these two seem to be primed for relegation.

Pau (20 points) and champions Stade Francais (22 points) are also looking over their shoulders, with La Rochelle (26 points) far from safe as well.

A win for Grenoble tomorrow evening at Stade des Alpes would greatly ease lingering relegation issues but, more importantly, would revive their hopes of making the play-offs. To do that they need to finish in the top six, with Brive sixth on 36 points, just ahead of Montpellier on the same points.

However, Racing 92 have lost just twice this season, having won ten and drawn one of their games.

Ronan O'Gara's side are level at the top with Toulouse on 43 points, with Toulon two points back and Clermont Auvergne a couple of points behind them.

Clashes between Grenoble and Racing 92 have been even in recent years, with four wins and four losses each since 2009. It hasn't always gone the way of the home side either, with both recording away wins in that time. Racing won 23-14 when they met in Paris in September.

Irish Independent

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