This week has seen an interesting week in all things rugby across the Channel. Tuesday night saw Monsieur Harinordoquy Snr enter the field of play to defend his son’s honour in the sixth minute of a hotly contested Basque derby. Now that raises a number of issues for me. Surely it is not the first time that Harinordoquy Jnr has been involved in a scuffle on the field so I wonder what it was that triggered the reaction on this occasion. A ban from attending matches must surely follow. If I were the younger of the two men then I would be highly embarassed by the behaviour. It reminded me of the incident in the Leeds and Worcester match last season. I think that I played somewhere in the region of 300 rugby games in my career from mini rugby through to professional and my Mother watched me play on two occasions only. Both occasions were at Twickenham and perhaps it was the increased security on those occasions that she felt able to watch without charging on to the field. If you can’t control yourself at a match Monsieur Harinordoquy Snr then stay at home and wacth it on the television.
The League table makes for interesting reading across the Channel. Biarritz are sitting dead last on 15 points, Perpignan are sitting in 12th place on 20 points, big spending Bayonne are in 11th on 20 points and Agen are up in 4th. Biarritz’s form this year has been awful and it makes the result against Saracens in the Heineken Cup even more surprising. Yachvili has been a huge loss but the problems seem to run far deeper than the loss of one player. Bayonne just seem to be a group of individuals with no team. Perpignan just can’t score tries and an away defeat to Lyon is to my mind a terrible result. Lyon are a poor team. They had not won a League match since October 16th. The best results this weekend for Perpignan and Biarritz is to get knocked out of Europe as quickly as they can and to focus on the League.
Form lines are a great way to start pricing up matches and keeping a record of a team’s performance against a handicap can be beneficial. Biarritz have only covered the handicap once this season and that an away win against Bordeaux. Brive have covered every single time they have played on the road this year until this weekend when the handicap line was bang on from the compilers. Lyon, perhaps surprisingly, are another team who have been highly profitable to follow on their trips away from the Matmut Stadium. Montpellier have not been beaten away from home on the handicap although they have landed bang on the mark twice.
Harking back to last week’s blog. Database management and having all information at your finger tips is a key to pricing up your tissue.