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Zoom. Top 14 – Day 14: At Claremont, Alexei Bales had to take on the difficult task of replacing Antoine Dupont.

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The defending champion for the first time since October 31, Alexei Bales did not leave his mark on the match. Even worse, he made a careless mistake on Clermont’s first attempt.

It was no coincidence that Alexei Bales was present at the pre-match conference on Thursday before Clermont of Toulouse. Pregnant after losing Baptiste Germain and Antoine Dupont, ahead of him in the hierarchy, the Agen trainee had the opportunity to show himself, two months after a hamstring injury contracted during his last spell against Racing 92″. Physically good. Being a new carrier doesn’t require special preparation for me. : I know my role,” he stated during this press conference. Since kick-off, Player No. 9 has been consistent with his team for a successful start to the match. It was he who set the pace by accelerating the playing time as the goal line approached, a few seconds before the first attempt of the match. He also showed confirmation on a few air balls: the former U20 France international was clean first.

Guilty lack of focus

up to this 12e A minute when he was stalling in front of his line: he didn’t see Etoria fall to his left, he didn’t manage to fend off a danger: a cash-paid foul… not necessarily good for confidence, and also evidence that this kind of match has no room for inattention. In the process, he was able to erase this mistake when he planted a mass test running smoothly from the Toulouse camp. But Ramos striker at the beginning of the match deprived him of this happiness, which he did not know yet, in the red and black shirt. Like his team, Alexi Balès was losing activity and was well locked in by the Auvergne defense.

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He suffers like his team

Also in the difficulty of defending against Clermontois returning from the locker room with more aggressiveness, Balès did not find the goal from the start of the match. Less tempted in a match that was choppy, the people of Toulouse struggled to capitalize on the Clermont camp: a problem for our No. 9 player, and more comfortable when it came to handing out the game when his team mastered their theme. But there, it was far from being the case and it was visible: Bales barely touched any more balls (he even lost some), misses tackles and no longer pushes his team forward. His team believed it until the end and could have won by wire. But for Balès, it was a night without her.