Bet: Montpellier -6.5
Montpellier moves to Oyonnax on behalf of the 17th day of TOP 14.
Oyonnax is last with 14 points, 9 less than Agen. The Oyomen are clearly below the other teams in this championship. If the USO plays well with the ball, in front, it lacks power and defensively, they are bad.
At home, Oyonnax is not used to loose. They beat Agen’s B team by only 2 points. In front of La Rochelle, they were led by 10 points just few minutes from the end but managed to take the draw because La Rochelle relaxed.
06.01.18 T14 US Oyonnax Stade Rochelais 38: 38
30.12.17 T14 US Oyonnax Racing 92 12: 16
25.11.17 T14 US Oyonnax ASM Clermont 32: 32
04.11.17 T14 US Oyonnax Olympic Castres 19: 32
07.10.17 T14 US Oyonnax Section Paloise 16: 19
30.09.17 T14 US Oyonnax Bordeaux Begles 9: 39
09.09.17 T14 US Oyonnax SU Agen 12:10
26.08.17 T14 US Oyonnax Stade Toulousain 23: 23
Oyonnax has few players with Top 14 standart: hooker MacDonald, back rows Taieb, Ursache and Grice, opener Botica and fullback Basson. For this match, the fullback Basson is injured as Sykes, Sobela, Ma’afu, Tauleigne, Audy and Hopper. Captain Ursache is in on international duty with Romania while the number 8 Grice is suspended following his red card against Toulouse. The back row is so weakened that the coaches decided to line up the usual hooker Hikawera Elliot in number 6.
Just before the truce, Montpellier had created the surprise by winning at Clermont thanks to a try of Nadolo in the last minutes of the meeting. This was the third success of the MHR on the road this season in the TOP 14. Previously, the men of Vern Cotter had won in Pau (16-22) and Castres (17-22).
Montpellier also has a lot of absentees. Nariashvili and Camara are in selection. Mikautadze, Paillaugue, Bardy, Watremez, Liebenberg, Jacques Du Plessis, Cruden are wounded. Fortunately, Fall, Gallterier and Picamoles were released by Jacques Brunel.
The starting XV is very solid. In front, they are very heavy. I have a little doubt however about the level of the lock Jarrad Hoeata. Former All Blacks, medical joker J. Du Plessis will debut for the first time tonight. Behind, it’s very heavy! The only thing that bothers me is that Steyn will start as 10. Every time he played this job, he was catastrophic.
If Montpellier takes this game seriously, they can win by more than 10.