2011–12 Top 14 season

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2011–12 Top 14 season
View on place du Capitole from the balcony of the Capitole - 2012-06-10.jpg
Countries  France
Champions Toulouse
Runners-up Toulon
Relegated Brive
Lyon
Matches played 183
Attendance 2,566,416 (average 14,024 per match)
Top point scorer England Jonny Wilkinson (273)
Top try scorer Fiji Timoci Nagusa (11)

The 2011–12 Top 14 competition was a French domestic rugby union club competition operated by the Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR). Home-and-away play began on August 26, 2011. Two new teams from the 2010–11 Rugby Pro D2 season were promoted to Top 14 this year, Lyon and Bordeaux Bègles in place of the two relegated teams, La Rochelle and Bourgoin.

Toulouse claimed the Bouclier de Brennus as champions for the 19th time, defeating Toulon 18–12 in the final on June 9, 2012 at Stade de France in Saint-Denis. At the other end of the table, Brive and Lyon were relegated.

Competition format[edit]

Each club played every other club twice. The second half of the season was conducted in the same order as the first, with the club at home in the first half of the season away in the second. This season maintained the format introduced the previous season for the knockout stage: the top two teams qualified directly to the semifinals, while teams ranked from third to sixth qualified for a quarterfinal held at the home ground of the higher-ranked team.

The teams[edit]

Team Captain Head coach Stadium Capacity
Agen South Africa Adri Badenhorst France Christophe Deylaud
France Christian Lanta
Stade Armandie 14,600
Bayonne France Pépito Elhorga France Didier Faugeron Stade Jean-Dauger 16,934
Biarritz France Imanol Harinordoquy Australia Jack Isaac and
France Jean-Michel Gonzalez
Parc des Sports Aguiléra 15,000
Bordeaux Bègles New Zealand Matthew Clarkin France Marc Delpoux
France Laurent Armand
France Vincent Etcheto
Stade André Moga 9,088
Brive South Africa Antonie Claassen France Ugo Mola Stade Amédée-Domenech 15,000
Castres France Alexandre Albouy
France Sébastien Tillous-Borde
France Laurent Labit and
France Laurent Travers
Stade Pierre-Antoine 11,500
Clermont France Aurélien Rougerie New Zealand Vern Cotter Parc des Sports Marcel-Michelin 16,334
Lyon France Matthieu Lazerges
France Raphaël Saint-André
Matmut Stadium 8,000
Montpellier France Fulgence Ouedraogo France Fabien Galthié Stade Yves-du-Manoir 15,000
Perpignan France Nicolas Mas France Bernard Goutta
France Christophe Manas
Stade Aimé-Giral 16,593
Racing Métro France Lionel Nallet France Pierre Berbizier Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir 14,000
Stade Français Italy Sergio Parisse Australia Michael Cheika Stade Charléty 20,000
Stade de France 80,000
Toulon South Africa Joe van Niekerk France Bernard Laporte Stade Mayol 14,700
Toulouse France Thierry Dusautoir France Guy Novès Stade Ernest-Wallon 19,500
Stadium Municipal 35,472

During the regular season, three teams changed coaches a total of four times:

  • Toulon was forced to find a replacement for Philippe Saint-André once he was named to become the new head coach of the France national team, effective 1 December.[1] Bernard Laporte, a former France head coach (1999–2007), was named as Toulon's new head coach, and took over in September after Saint-André was granted an early release by Toulon.[2]
  • Perpignan sacked Jacques Delmas on 21 November, only four months after he had taken over from Jacques Brunel, who left to become the new head coach of Italy. The Catalans had lost seven of their 12 matches in all competitions under Delmas. Assistants Bernard Goutta and Christophe Manas were named as replacements.[3]
  • Bayonne sacked their entire coaching staff—director of rugby Christian Gajan, forwards coach Thomas Lièvremont and backs coach Frédéric Tauzin—on 6 December. Gajan's position was filled by Jean-Pierre Élissalde, former Japan head coach and also father of former France international and current Toulouse backs coach Jean-Baptiste Élissalde.[4] After six weeks, in which Bayonne remained near the bottom of the table with two losses and one draw in league play, Élissalde was sacked on 16 January, with former Stade Français head coach Didier Faugeron named as his replacement.[5]

Table[edit]

Key to colors
     League champions; receive a place in the 2012–13 Heineken Cup.
     Top two teams qualify directly to semifinals and receive places in the 2012–13 Heineken Cup.
     Third and fourth placed teams play their quarterfinal at home and also receive automatic Heineken Cup berths (but see note below).
     Fifth and sixth placed teams play their quarterfinal away and also receive automatic Heineken Cup berths (but see note below).
     Biarritz qualified for the Heineken Cup because they won the 2011-12 European Challenge Cup.
     Two teams relegated to the 2012–13 Rugby Pro D2.
2011–12 Top 14 Table[6][7]
Club Pld W D L PF PA PD BP Pts Head-to-head
1 Toulouse 26 19 1 6 629 448 +181 9 87 Toulouse 5–4
2 Clermont 26 19 2 5 644 364 +280 7 87
3 Toulon 26 14 5 7 581 393 +188 7 73
4 Castres 26 14 4 8 585 522 +63 5 69
5 Montpellier 26 14 1 11 601 505 +96 9 67
6 Racing Métro 26 13 1 12 569 538 +31 10 64
7 Stade Français 26 11 2 13 568 588 −20 10 58
8 Bordeaux Bègles 26 12 0 14 493 619 −126 5 53
9 Biarritz 26 10 2 14 424 518 −94 8 52 Biarritz 6–2
10 Agen 26 12 1 13 479 573 −94 2 52
11 Perpignan 26 9 2 15 515 578 −63 9 49
12 Bayonne 26 9 3 14 479 619 −140 6 48
13 Brive 26 7 1 18 408 488 −60 12 42
14 Lyon 26 5 3 18 369 591 −222 5 31


Due to the interplay between LNR's schedule for Heineken Cup qualification and the rules of European Rugby Cup (ERC), which operates both European cup competitions, it is theoretically possible that a team finishing as high as fourth in the league table may not qualify for the Heineken Cup. Under ERC rules, the winners of the Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup each earn a place in the following season's Heineken Cup. If a team from France wins one of these competitions, the Top 14 will receive a seventh Heineken Cup place. However, if French teams win both cups, the Top 14 is capped at seven Heineken Cup places. Biarritz' victory in the Challenge Cup gave France an extra place for the 2012–13 Heineken Cup.

The LNR presents teams for the Heineken Cup in the following order, skipping any steps occupied by clubs outside the Top 14 or filled in a prior step.[8] The clubs involved in each step for this season are indicated in the numbered list.

  1. Champion – Toulouse
  2. Runner-up – Toulon
  3. Heineken Cup holder – Skipped (won by Leinster of Pro12)
  4. Semifinalist that finished higher in the league table – Clermont
  5. Semifinalist that finished lower in the league table – Castres
  6. Challenge Cup holder – Biarritz
  7. Additional berths based on league position – Montpellier, Racing Métro

Under LNR rules, only Top 14 clubs are eligible for European competition. This means that in the (unlikely) event that the winner of one of the two European Cups is relegated from the Top 14 in the same season, its European place will go to a current Top 14 team, based on league position in that season.[8]

Under another ERC rule, if teams from England, which is also capped at seven Heineken Cup places, win both European cups, the extra place will go to the highest-ranked non-English team in the European Rugby Club Rankings that is not already qualified for the Heineken Cup. If that club is in the Top 14, it will receive a Heineken Cup place regardless of its league position, as long as it avoids relegation.

For a team in the top six to be left out of the Heineken Cup, French teams must win both European Cups, and those teams must have finished outside the top six in the league while also avoiding relegation.

Playoffs[edit]

  Quarterfinals     Semifinals     Final
                           
      1  Toulouse 24  
  4  Castres 31     4  Castres 15    
  5  Montpellier 15         1  Toulouse 18
      3  Toulon 12
      2  Clermont 12    
  3  Toulon 17     3  Toulon 15  
  6  Racing Métro 13  

All times are in Central European Summer Time (UTC+2).

Quarter-finals[edit]

25 May 2012
21:00
Castres 31 – 15 Montpellier
Try: Lacrampe 18' c
Con: Teulet (1/1)
Pen: Bernard (5/5) 2', 33', 44', 50', 80'
Teulet (3/3) 15', 38', 72'
Report Try: Tulou 36' m
Fakate 68' c
Con: Bustos Moyano (1/2)
Pen: Bustos Moyano (1/1) 23'
Stade Ernest-Wallon, Toulouse
Attendance: 15,203
Referee: Patrick Péchambert

26 May 2012
21:00
Toulon 17 – 13 Racing Métro
Try: Armitage 66' m
Pen: Wilkinson 35'
Giteau (3) 58', 62', 80'
Report Try: Fall 27' c
Con: Descons (1/1)
Pen: Steyn 16'
Descons 32
Stade Mayol, Toulon
Referee: Mathieu Raynal

Semi-finals[edit]

2 June 2012
20:45
Toulouse 24 – 15 Castres
Pen: McAlister (6/6) 6', 11', 29', 51', 61', 71'
Beauxis (1/1) 39'
Drop: Beauxis (1/1) 20'
Report Pen: Bernard (3) 18', 26', 46'
Teulet 37'
Drop: Bernard (1/1) 22'

3 June 2012
16:30
Clermont 12 – 15 Toulon
Pen: Parra (4/5) 8', 30', 62', 73'
Report Pen: Wilkinson (5/5) 12', 22', 34', 59', 77'
Stadium de Toulouse, Toulouse
Attendance: 35,608[10]
Referee: Pascal Gaüzère[10]

Final[edit]

9 June 2012
18:00
Toulouse 18 – 12 Toulon
Pen: McAlister (6/6) 3', 21', 35', 42', 64', 68'
Report Pen: Wilkinson (4/6) 1', 27', 32', 46'
Stade de France, Saint-Denis
Attendance: 79,612[11]
Referee: Romain Poite
FB 15 France Clément Poitrenaud
RW 14 France Vincent Clerc
OC 13 France Yann David Substituted off 61'
IC 12 France Florian Fritz
LW 11 Fiji Timoci Matanavou
FH 10 New Zealand Luke McAlister Substituted off 70'
SH 9 France Jean-Marc Doussain Substituted off 50'
N8 8 France Louis Picamoles
OF 7 France Thierry Dusautoir (c)
BF 6 France Jean Bouilhou Substituted off 53' Substituted in 62' Substituted off 68'
RL 5 Argentina Patricio Albacete
LL 4 France Yoann Maestri Substituted off 76'
TP 3 Samoa Census Johnston
HK 2 France William Servat Temporarily suspended from 51' to 62' 51' to 62'
LP 1 South Africa Gurthrö Steenkamp Substituted off 76'
Replacements:
HK 16 France Christopher Tolofua Substituted in 53' Substituted off 62'
PR 17 South Africa Daan Human Substituted in 76'
FL 18 France Yannick Nyanga Substituted in 68'
FL 19 France Grégory Lamboley Substituted in 76'
SH 20 Australia Luke Burgess Substituted in 50'
FH 21 France Lionel Beauxis Substituted in 70'
CE 22 France Yannick Jauzion Substituted in 61'
PR 23 France Yohan Montes
Coach: France Guy Novès
FB 15 France Benjamin Lapeyre
RW 14 France Alexis Palisson
OC 13 France Mathieu Bastareaud
IC 12 Australia Matt Giteau
LW 11 Samoa David Smith
FH 10 England Jonny Wilkinson
SH 9 France Sébastien Tillous-Borde
N8 8 Argentina Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe
OF 7 England Steffon Armitage
BF 6 South Africa Joe van Niekerk (c) Substituted off 53' Substituted in 62' Substituted off 68'
RL 5 England Simon Shaw Substituted off 61'
LL 4 South Africa Bakkies Botha
TP 3 Georgia (country) Davit Kubriashvili Temporarily suspended from 63' to 73' 63' to 73' Substituted off 73'
HK 2 France Sébastien Bruno Temporarily suspended from 51' to 62' 51' to 62' Substituted off 70'
LP 1 Wales Eifion Lewis-Roberts Substituted off 74'
Replacements:
HK 16 France Mickaël Ivaldi Substituted in 53' Substituted off 62' Substituted in 70'
PR 17 France Laurent Emmanuelli Substituted in 74'
LK 18 France Christophe Samson Substituted in 61'
FL 19 France Pierrick Gunther Substituted in 68' Substituted off 70' Substituted in 73'
FL 20 France Geoffroy Messina
FB 21 Australia Luke Rooney
SH 22 France Fabien Cibray
PR 23 Georgia (country) Levan Chilachava Substituted in 70'
Coach: France Bernard Laporte

Statistics[edit]

Top points scorers[edit]

Updated 19 May 2012

Rank Player Club Points Tries Conversions Penalties Drop goals
1 Jonny Wilkinson RC Toulon 273 0 24 75 0
2 Conrad Barnard SU Agen 267 0 15 75 4
3 Romain Teulet Castres Olympique 249 0 30 62 1
4 Martín Bustos Moyano Montpellier HR 213 3 27 48 0
5 Julien Dupuy Stade Français 206 2 23 50 0
6 Benjamin Boyet Aviron Bayonnais 202 2 12 55 1
7 Lionel Beauxis Stade Toulousain 191 0 19 43 8
8 Luke McAlister Stade Toulousain 191 3 22 44 0
9 Brock James USA Perpignan 190 2 24 40 4
10 Jonathan Wisniewski Racing Métro 92 174 1 20 42 1

Top try scorers[edit]

Updated 6 May 2012

Rank Player Club Tries
1 Timoci Nagusa Montpellier HR 11
2 Romain Martial Castres Olympique 10
- Yves Donguy Stade Toulousain 10
- Timoci Matanavou Stade Toulousain 10
5 Alex Tulou Montpellier HR 8
6 Lucas Amorosino Montpellier HR 7
- Sireli Bobo Racing Métro 92 7
- Henry Chavancy Racing Métro 92 7
- Blair Connor Union Bordeaux Bègles 7
10 Marc Andreu Castres Olympique 6
- Steffon Armitage RC Toulon 6
- Jean-Marcellin Buttin USA Perpignan 6
- Damien Chouly USA Perpignan 6
- Rudi Coetzee USA Perpignan 6

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Saint-Andre confirmed as next France coach". ESPN Scrum. 25 August 2011. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "Laporte takes charge at Toulon". ESPN Scrum. 12 September 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "http://www.espnscrum.com/france-top-14-2011-12/rugby/story/154732.html". ESPN Scrum. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Bayonne sack coaching staff". ESPN Scrum. 6 December 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "Elissalde axed by Bayonne". ESPN Scrum. 16 January 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  6. ^ http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/rugby/top-14/2011-2012/tables/
  7. ^ http://rugbyradar.com/top-14
  8. ^ a b "Règlement Sportif des Compétitions Professionnelles, Article 328, Participations des clubs français en Coupes d'Europe" (PDF). Statuts et Règlements Généraux de la LNR – Saison 2011/2012 (in French). Ligue nationale de rugby. pp. 134–35. Retrieved May 18, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "Top 14 2011-2012 - Demi-finales : Toulouse–Castres" (in French). L'Équipe. 2 June 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "Top 14 2011-2012 - Demi-finales : Clermont–Toulon" (in French). L'Équipe. 3 June 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  11. ^ "Ô Toulouse ! Ô Brennus !" (in French). L'Équipe. 9 June 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2012. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]