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View Full Version : Stade Francais Paris in chaos?



Melhor Time
06-09-09, 09:44 PM
Stade Francais lost today to Biarritz and lost on Wednesday against lowly Montauban. Last weekend was a come from behind scrappy win against lowly Montpellier. SF Paris drew with Toulon in their first match and were defeated badly by Bayonne in Spain in their other match. None of these teams were semi finalists last season or the season before last. Zero good performances so far and consequently the team is in 13th place out of 14!

This is a team packed with test players. In todays loss, in which SF were very much outplayed, they had 11 current or former French internationals: Beauxis, Bastareaud, Messina, Liebenberg, Bousses, Dupuy, Rabadan, Papé, Kayser, Szarzewski and Marconnet. Plus Bergamasco (Italy), Leguizamon, Pedro Ledesma and Roncero (Argentina) and Palmer and Haskell (England) plus Ollie Phillips.

This is a team missing key players, but those missing are replaced by test players, i.e. Parisse and Taylor have been replaced by Haskell and Palmer. In the backs, however, its a different story. The team has Dupuy, Bastareaud, Beauxis and Gasnier as its star backs. Bergamasco is not at the same level and the rest are a major drop off in ability. In other words, the club has more stars in the backrow than it does in the entire backline.

This raises the question of why SF Paris recruited who they did? A back row of Juan Leguizamon, Sergio Parisse, Simon Taylor, Mauro Bergamasco, James Haskell and Pierre Rabadan is plainly ridiculous. Leguizamon was great, again, today. Great runs, breaking the line like a centre. So why have Parisse and Taylor in the squad too? the answer is to be the best possible. Yet, the teams options from 10-15 are very, very limited. The problem is there are too many rubbish backs playing for this SF team.

SF Paris are missing Juan Martin Hernandez and with each game the extent of this is becoming more and more clear. Many called for him to play 15 and play Beauxis at 10 last season but that was simply poor judgement. JMH is a vastly superior playmaker with better passing, better kicking an better defence. Beauxis cannot play fullback but this should not factor into determining where Juan Hernandez should play. Thankfully it didn't. Hernandez has left the club, giving Lionel Beauxis the chance to play 10 but there is no cover, none at all. The club needs to find someone and do so now. Liebenburg is not the solution. A few options on the market can be found in Argentina. Santiago Fernandez and Benjamin Urdapilleta. Both are capped internationals, the earlier playing 80 mins in the win over England in June. Surely a club as financially strong cannot go all season without a 10 to support Beauxis? Leicester Tigers have Flood and Vesty. Thats before playing their rubbish third 10, Staunton. Toulouse have Michalak and Skrela.

Last season was not a good one for SF Paris and the reason is the same as what has happened so far this season: the backs are rubbish. No fullback, the star young centre (Bastareaud) being clearly affected by his behaviour in New Zealand in June and since, wings who are really centres and above all else no depth. It was very unfortunate than Ignacio Corleto missed all last season with a shoulder injury and had to retire. They used Camara as his replacement and he was poor defensively. The best example being SF's loss to Harlequins at Stade de France in the Heineken Cup. Camara was out of position for a fullback twice and the Quins got lucky tries as a result. He has been 15 this season a few times already and the same thing has been happening: his position play on defence is poor. Montpellier's simple charge down kick last weekend explaining this perfectly. SF Paris has purchased a good 15, Hugo Southwell (Scotland), but he is injured. No replacement has meant Camara played there and failed so today Beauxis played 15 and again, it was a failure. Beauxis playing 15 meant a poor scrumhalf, Noel Oelschig (South Africa) played 10. A lesson learned surely. Regardless of SF Paris losing to Montauban they only have one flyhalf and that is Lionel Beauxis. Oelschig was so poor all season in 2008/2009. He only played as the club had no other scumhalf, so they bought Agustin Pichot out of retirement for the final few months of the season. Desperation indeed. Despite not playing for almost a year he was able to influence play. Oelschig should be carrying the water bottles. I remember him being dominated by Danny Care in the Quins matches.

Bousses is not a star player. Nor is Messina or Liebenburg. They are the quality of Albi not Stade Francais. The reason they play is the club hasn't bothered buying better backs. A stupid mistake. The club bought Southwell and Phillips who are both good players. Phillips is a wing though and this is where SF Paris are playing Mirco Bergamasco and Mark Gasnier. With Bastareaud being France's test 13 this just highlights my point: buying playing in wrong positions. The club has no player to play 12 so Liebenburg or Bousses play there. Neither player is anything like that of the skill that other clubs have. Could they play 12 for Toulouse? Toulon? Perpignan? Brive? Clermont? Bayonne? Montpellier? Certainly not.

The coach needs to stop meddling with the backline combination and get combinations right. Playing 3 games in 9 days is no excuse. Esp, when two were loses. Things must be organizaed so that when the injured players return the team can takeoff. Southwell missing does not mean Beauxis should be 15. The clubs has got to find a player or two for depth at 10, 12 and 15. The above mentioned Pumas 10's would be very viable options. Hernandez's departure was last minute and has influenced the team dramatically. They cannot sit back and go all season without replacing him. They do have Ignacio Mieres but he is like Boussès, in that he is not at the level of his team mates. He is not in the top five list of current flyhalves for Argentina or fullbacks. The French backs I am criticising are not likely to make the top 10 in their positions, or even top 15.

1 Roncero 2 Szarewski 3 Marconnet
4 Pape, 5 Palmer
6 Bergamasco, 8 Leguizamon, 7 Haskell

9 Dupuy, 10 Beauxis
12 Gasnier, 13 Bastareaud
11 Phillips, 15 Boussès, 14 Bergamasco

* Haskell at 7 means Parisse can return immediately at 6 with minimal disruption.
* Rabadan to cover 6 if Mauro Bergamasco is not fit.
* Boussès playing 15 to allow the backs to settle. Gasnier is not supposed to play wing, this was never the purpose of buying him. SF Paris's problems at 12 mean it is logical to play him there and use Mirco and Ollie Phillips on the wings.

Stade Français Paris vs Perpignan, 24 octobre 2009, Stade de France. Could SF Paris go into this match actually being in or close to the relegation zone? Game between now and then are all tough: Castres, Bourgoin (well relatively tough), Toulouse and Brive.

Lastly, to the forum's operators: please could you, have a table of the Top14 like you do for the Guinness Premiership. That would be great.

monkeypigeon
06-09-09, 09:57 PM
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Melhor Time @ Sep 6 2009, 10:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}> ('index.php?act=findpost&pid=410758')</div>
Leicester Tigers have Flood and Vesty. Thats before playing their rubbish third 10, Staunton. [/b]

Hahaha, so true.



I agree with the post. The standard of backs for a so called top-team is lacking major quality when you look at the likes of Clermont and Tolouse who they intend on seriously competing with. and the amount of talent in the backrow is laughable in comparisson.

Just badly thought out by the management. Was it Stade Francais who signed Hugo Southwell? Because if it was then they&#39;re hardly helping their cause their. Nearly as bad as having Jeremy Staunton at fullback.

cyRil
06-09-09, 09:58 PM
I never got why they signed Southwell.
He is sssshhhhhhhiiiittt!

Mr.cyclopede
07-09-09, 12:07 PM
Confirmation, SF is for the first time since its reapparition in TOP14, in the relegation zone (15th position), even if it&#39;s only the 5th day of competition, clearly a red alert that need to be taken in account by the managers.

Good news for their opponents in the H Cup pool, they even won&#39;t need for the ref this year...

erwanseb
07-09-09, 01:11 PM
I do not agree with the comments on the back, sure SF backs are not at the level of Toulouse, Clermont but they are nevertheless quality guys.

Messina was close to the French team, Beauxis and Bastareaud both have caps, Libenberg can&#39;t pass the ball but played at RWC03, Gasnier is fine, Bousses has a few caps,

They are not the top backs in France but they are not far.

And actually they have been playing some quality attacking rugby, having scored 10 tries so far. They are actually ranked 3rd on number of tries scored which is quite good, they are even ranked first on points scored !!!!!!

The real problem is the defense and defense is often more about organisation than quality of players. I think the coaches should take the blame there, there is no defensive organisation, no defensive pattern at all.

I am not sure Dominici is the right guy there and I think part of blame lays in the back row, some unbelievably good players but a lack of cohesion, too many players out of positin and too much turnover.

Fushitsusha
07-09-09, 01:56 PM
Gasnier playing at inside centre with his limited rugby experience?

You&#39;d want to hope he doesn&#39;t open up a nice big hole for the opposition...

Melhor Time
07-09-09, 05:25 PM
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Codorniou @ Sep 7 2009, 10:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}> ('index.php?act=findpost&pid=410811')</div>
I do not agree with the comments on the back, sure SF backs are not at the level of Toulouse, Clermont but they are nevertheless quality guys.

Messina was close to the French team, Beauxis and Bastareaud both have caps, Libenberg can&#39;t pass the ball but played at RWC03, Gasnier is fine, Bousses has a few caps,

They are not the top backs in France but they are not far.

And actually they have been playing some quality attacking rugby, having scored 10 tries so far. They are actually ranked 3rd on number of tries scored which is quite good, they are even ranked first on points scored !!!!!!

The real problem is the defense and defense is often more about organisation than quality of players. I think the coaches should take the blame there, there is no defensive organisation, no defensive pattern at all.

I am not sure Dominici is the right guy there and I think part of blame lays in the back row, some unbelievably good players but a lack of cohesion, too many players out of positin and too much turnover.[/b]

1. Surely a player like Damien Traille should be playing for SF Paris. This would all but resolve all their problems. Not buying him or someone else has created significant issues for the team.

2. The French backs from SF that you mention are poor on defence which is why Montpellier, Bayonne and Montauban all defeated SF Paris. Liebenburg gets a yellow card virtually every second match, and I am not exagerating. Like you say he can&#39;t pass. So, whats he doing playing 12 for one of the biggest teams in the World?

3. I would say France&#39;s top players for 12 are: Jauzion, Mermoz, Traille, Baby and David. Its interesting that all play for top clubs yet SF have no good 12. Gasnier is a 13 and a very good one but SF have Bastareaud who is, on form, the best 13 in rugby. His attacking abilities are comparable to Jonah Lomu. Of course, he has not been good because of his off field fiascos. Nevertheless, he is still very good and not suited to 12 and not suited to wing either. SF need to play Gasnier at 12 and Bastareaud at 13 and give them time to gel. Playing Gasnier on the wing with Bastareaud on the bench is ridiculous. Starting Messina, Bousses and Liebenburg at 12 and 13 goes agaisnt what&#39;s best for the team. Having an Italian international who is still young and playing well in the team can help here. Mirco Bergamasco is not an inside centre, he is a wing. He is best here but his experience is ideally suited to preparing a solid centre pairing of Gasnier and Bastareaud.

4. Good point about the backrow. They have been changing it every match because of depth. Burban won&#39;t play again. He has been crap and yellow carded. They really need to set up a first XV and stick to it. Do you think my suggested XV is accurate?

erwanseb
08-09-09, 01:32 AM
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Melhor Time @ Sep 8 2009, 12:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}> ('index.php?act=findpost&pid=410831')</div>
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Codorniou @ Sep 7 2009, 10:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}> ('index.php?act=findpost&pid=410811')
I do not agree with the comments on the back, sure SF backs are not at the level of Toulouse, Clermont but they are nevertheless quality guys.

Messina was close to the French team, Beauxis and Bastareaud both have caps, Libenberg can&#39;t pass the ball but played at RWC03, Gasnier is fine, Bousses has a few caps,

They are not the top backs in France but they are not far.

And actually they have been playing some quality attacking rugby, having scored 10 tries so far. They are actually ranked 3rd on number of tries scored which is quite good, they are even ranked first on points scored !!!!!!

The real problem is the defense and defense is often more about organisation than quality of players. I think the coaches should take the blame there, there is no defensive organisation, no defensive pattern at all.

I am not sure Dominici is the right guy there and I think part of blame lays in the back row, some unbelievably good players but a lack of cohesion, too many players out of positin and too much turnover.[/b]

1. Surely a player like Damien Traille should be playing for SF Paris. This would all but resolve all their problems. Not buying him or someone else has created significant issues for the team.

2. The French backs from SF that you mention are poor on defence which is why Montpellier, Bayonne and Montauban all defeated SF Paris. Liebenburg gets a yellow card virtually every second match, and I am not exagerating. Like you say he can&#39;t pass. So, whats he doing playing 12 for one of the biggest teams in the World?

3. I would say France&#39;s top players for 12 are: Jauzion, Mermoz, Traille, Baby and David. Its interesting that all play for top clubs yet SF have no good 12. Gasnier is a 13 and a very good one but SF have Bastareaud who is, on form, the best 13 in rugby. His attacking abilities are comparable to Jonah Lomu. Of course, he has not been good because of his off field fiascos. Nevertheless, he is still very good and not suited to 12 and not suited to wing either. SF need to play Gasnier at 12 and Bastareaud at 13 and give them time to gel. Playing Gasnier on the wing with Bastareaud on the bench is ridiculous. Starting Messina, Bousses and Liebenburg at 12 and 13 goes agaisnt what&#39;s best for the team. Having an Italian international who is still young and playing well in the team can help here. Mirco Bergamasco is not an inside centre, he is a wing. He is best here but his experience is ideally suited to preparing a solid centre pairing of Gasnier and Bastareaud.

4. Good point about the backrow. They have been changing it every match because of depth. Burban won&#39;t play again. He has been crap and yellow carded. They really need to set up a first XV and stick to it. Do you think my suggested XV is accurate?
[/b][/quote]

Agree, they definetly need a better inside center with good distribution skills unlike Liebenberg, too many wing/ouside center not enough guys who can offload in the tackle.
But the main issue remain their defense as per today they have scored more tries than Toulouse or Clermont, they&#39;re the best attacking team of the top 14 so far but the worst defense, how to expplain this contradiction ???

BLR
08-09-09, 09:48 AM
The answer is that you have a New South Welshmen as coach. End of.

Gambit
08-09-09, 11:32 AM
IS McKenzie fired ?

erwanseb
08-09-09, 01:54 PM
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Gambit @ Sep 8 2009, 06:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}> ('index.php?act=findpost&pid=410907')</div>
IS McKenzie fired ?[/b]

Yes, Dominici too

Stillknox
08-09-09, 09:50 PM
I muts desagree with you on some points.

- Oelschig a poor scrum half ? Sure he&#39;s note world class, but he&#39;s easily one the best Stade players since the beginning of the season. He&#39;s the best kicker of the league with Brock James in term of accuracy and he is far more quick than Beauxis when playing at 10. At nine, he&#39;s not in the same league as Dupuy but he&#39;s stilll fine for Top 14 level.

- Messina is a class player. Have you seen him in the 2006/2007 season ? He was outstanding with Stade, both Top 14 and H-Cup and was called in the french squad for the 6 Nations. He had almost two year wasted by injuries and he showed some good stuff since the beginning of the season. He was our 13 during the Galthié era when the defense was excellent so I don&#39;t think he&#39;s particularly weak on that point. Same thing for Burban, in his first two seasons he pushed Remy Martin on the bench. He has a major injury last year (0 games played) so he needs time but he can do well.

But you&#39;re right about the 10 and 15 position. Haskell and Kayser are good players but with their salary you can recruit at least 3 quality players on the backs... now McKenzie is out. It&#39;s a bit harsh, last year he was eclipsed by Dominici and he was doing well with the forwards this season. Dominici was the real weak link for me, unexperimented and egomaniac. The defense is bad and it&#39;s not only the fault of the players, the organisation and the replacement on the field was awful and he&#39;s in charge of that sort of things.

Now Delmas and Faugeron. We&#39;ll see... but Delmas was fired from Biarritz who had the same problems last year so I&#39;m not confident.

My best XV would be:

1 Roncero 2 Szarewski 3 Marconnet
4 Pape, 5 Palmer
6 Parisse, 8 Leguizamon, 7 Haskell
9 Dupuy, 10 Beauxis (who else ?)
12 Bastareaud, 13 Messina or Gasnier
11 Phillips, 15 Southwell (bis) , 14 Bergamasco

To me Bastareaud can play at 12 in the same way that Nonu plays with the Blacks, alongside a lighter and quicker outside center like Conrad Smith. Messina or Gasnier could fit in this role. A team like that should at least play a quarter in H-Cup and the Top 14 Final.

monkeypigeon
09-09-09, 02:55 PM
"I made a big effort. I tried to speak to them in French. Of course when I spoke French I couldn&#39;t be as precise as if I was speaking English. But I made that effort because it was important. John Connolly spoke English in his time and it cost him his place. I tried to do the opposite. It didn&#39;t work."

- McKenzie on being sacked.


Anyone suggested to the board that they could try sticking with French coaches if that&#39;s a problem?

DonBilly
09-09-09, 03:38 PM
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Monkeypigeon @ Sep 9 2009, 03:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}> ('index.php?act=findpost&pid=411064')</div>
"I made a big effort. I tried to speak to them in French. Of course when I spoke French I couldn&#39;t be as precise as if I was speaking English. But I made that effort because it was important. John Connolly spoke English in his time and it cost him his place. I tried to do the opposite. It didn&#39;t work."

- McKenzie on being sacked.


Anyone suggested to the board that they could try sticking with French coaches if that&#39;s a problem?[/b]

When McKenzie was recruited he made clear that he would speak French to the team. His French is quite good actually, almost as good as Nick Mallet&#39;s (former Stade Francais coach) or Vern Cotter&#39;s current Clermont Coach. The only coach that was not able to speak French was John Connolly.