That weekend was all about the management for the coaches in the Northern Hemisphere. With the Six Nations Championship starting the week after, many teams were missing key players.
It meant that many coaches had to re-shuffle their team. The ProD2 clubs, playing in the French second division, were not in the same situation. They were all targeting the Top14 promotion.
Finally, it also was the last weekend for preparation in the Southern Hemisphere. Super Rugby would come back quickly for another entertaining season and incredible fixtures, obviously.
* Oyonnax vs. Biarritz : ProD2 (Charles Mathon, Oyonnax, France)
The Biarritz team started well with a counter-attacking try from Ximun Lucu. Pierre Bernard kicked a penalty and Yohann Artru got the try on the turnover. Oyonnax unleashed the huge comeback.
Playmaker Yohan Le Bourhis got a penalty while Tony Ensor and Rory Grice both got set-piece tries. Oyonnax built the phases and Gabiriele Lovobalavu scored and Aurelien Callandret intercepted.
Oyonnax had Josh Tyrell yellow-carded for foul play. They even had a second player binned with Jeremy Gondrand. Biarritz scored a late try with Steffon Armitage. Oyonnax won (FT : 31-22).
* Beziers vs. Grenoble : ProD2 (Raoul Barrière, Beziers, France)
The home team landed a penalty with Jerome Porical. Grenoble scored the try with Enzo Selponi. Jerome Porical got a second penalty while Gaëtan Germain also got one for the Grenoble team.
He added two more penalties. In the second-half, Gaëtan Germain landed his fourth penalty and hit the posts on his next attempt. Jerome Porical got a kick for Beziers but Jean-Baptiste Barrere was binned.
Gaëtan Germain got a kick but Thibault Rey was binned for Grenoble. Beziers got a try with Vitolio Manukula. However, Gaëtan Germain landed a sixth penalty. Grenoble got the win (FT : 16-25).
* Kings vs. Cheetahs : Pro14 (Nelson Mandela Bay Syadium, Port Elizabeth, South Africa)
The Kings got a penalty with Baden Pretorius. He got the try and added a kick. The Cheetahs had Tian Schoeman binned but Sintu Manjezi got the try. Stefan Ungerer got an interception try for the Kings.
However, they had Thembelani Bholi binned. Sintu Manjezi got a brace for the Cheetahs. The Kings got another try with JT Jackson. The Cheetahs came back with a maul try from Wilmar Arnoldi.
After that, Baden Pretorius landed a kick. The Cheetahs spread the ball wide and Rhyno Smith touched down. On the last play, he got a brace. Ruan Pienaar landed the winning conversion (FT : 30-31).
* Bristol vs. Gloucester : Premiership (Ashton Gate, Bristol, England)
The first-half was a high contest. Callum Sheedy, for the Bristol Bears, and Owen Williams, for Gloucester, both kicked three penalties. Callum Sheedy added two more kicks before the Half-Time.
In the second-half, the Bristol Bears built a few phases and Henry Purdy concluded the build-up. The home side spread the ball wide again and winger Luke Morahan touched down for a great try.
Still attacking, theY scored a stunning try with Mat Protheroe. Gloucester scored a late try with Freddie Clarke. Henry Purdy was binned for the home side but the Bristol Bears still won (FT : 34-16).
* Bath vs. Leicester : Premiership (The Rec, Bath, England)
In difficult conditions, the first-half was a territory battle between the two sides. Bath Rugby ran the ball and Tom Homer touched down. Tom Hardwick kicked a penalty for Leicester Tigers.
In the second-half, Bath Rugby landed a penalty with Rhys Priestland. However, the home side lacked discipline and Josh Bayliss was yellow-carded. Ben White got the try for Leicester Tigers.
Bath Rugby remained composed and unleashed another build-up. The ball came on the wing and Tom Homer got a stunning brace. Bath Rugby held their lines for a valuable win (FT : 13-10).
* Castres vs. Racing 92 : Top14 (Pierre Antoine, Castres, France)
The Racing 92 side started brillantly. Maxime Machenaud kicked a penalty while fullback Brice Dulin got a stunning try after an inside ball. Racing 92 kept attacking and Henry Chavancy touched down.
The home side lacked discipline. Christophe Samson was yellow-carded. In the second-half, Castres Olympique had Marc-Antoine Rallier sent off for foul play. Racing 92 maintained their standards.
Back-rower Fabien Sanconnie touched down from close range. Castres olympique could not come back. It was a very convincing win from Racing 92 away from home as well (FT : 00-27).
* La Rochelle vs. Montpellier : Top14 (Marcel Deflandre, La Rochelle, France)
The Montpellier side landed two kicks with Handré Pollard and Francois Steyn. Stade Rochelais got a kick with Jules Plisson. Montpellier got a try with Yvan Reilhac. La Rochelle hit back with two tries.
Pierre Bougarit scored and Arthur Retiere got a set-piece try. Nicolas Jansé van Rensburg was binned for Montpellier as Arthur Retiere got a brace with a similar try. He even got a Hat-Trick.
Jules Plisson got a kick. Montpellier replied with a try from Johan Goosen. Jules Plisson got a kick but Geoffrey Doumayrou was sent off. Nemani Nadolo scored late for Montpellier. La Rochelle won (FT : 35-30).
* Brive vs. Pau : Top14 (Amédée Domenech, Brive, France)
The home side scored a quick try with So’otala Fa’aso’o. Antoine Hastoy got a penalty for Pau and so did Thomas Laranjeira for Brive. Antoine Hastoy scored two more penalties and Jale Vatubua scored.
Attila Septar also scored. Thomas Laranjeira got a penalty. Antoine Hastoy also got a kick with Thomas Laranjeira adding one. Pau had Jale Vatubua binned with Thomas Laranjeira kicking a penalty.
He got a try after a big defensive mistake from Pau. As it was all square, Brive went for the win. Thomas Laranjeira got a brace as Pau did the exact same mistake. Brive snatched the win (FT : 33-26).
* Clermont vs. Stade Français : Top14 (Marcel Michelin, Clermont, France)
The home side were under pressure early as John Ulugia was yellow-carded. Stade Français scored the try with Waisea and Nicolas Sanchez kicked two penalties. Clermont came back.
Morgan Parra landed three penalties. Nicolas Sanchez got two kicks. Jonathan Danty was binned for Stade Français. Greg Laidlaw got a penalty and Jake McIntyre got a stunning try for Clermont.
Greg Laidlaw landed another kick an Peceli Yato carried over the line. Stade Français had a second player binned with Yoann Maestri. Clermont secured the home win in a tough game (FT : 29-19).
That weekend was definitely entertaining. First of all, in the ProD2, Oyonnax performed well and Grenoble made a statement away from home. In the Premiership, the Bristol Bears delivered.
Bath Rugby clinched the win. Back in France, in Top14, Racing 92 played well. Stade Rochelais and Brive also won. Clermont impressed. In the Pro14, the Cheetahs snatched an away comeback win.
Next weekend, there will be a Pro14 derby again. Other domestic leagues will take a rest as the Six Nations Championship will start. Super Rugby will be back as well. It should be outstanding.