That weekend was going to be special. With the Six Nations Championship taking a rest, the domestic leagues had the priority in the North. It was important to keep playing well.
Meanwhile, in the Southern Hemisphere, the Super Rugby competition was carrying on. In a very competitive season, all the franchises had their word to say about the play-offs race.
That weekend for the Northern Hemisphere clubs were about finding the balance. Lots of sides could not rely on their Test players with the Six Nations, so the turnover had to be effective.
* Grenoble vs. Biarritz : ProD2 (Stade des Alpes, Grenoble, France)
The home side kicked a penalty with Enzo Selponi. He missed his second attempt. Grenoble at Davit Kubriashvili binned at scrum time. Biarritz set up a maul and scored with Lucas Peyresblanques.
In the second-half, Grenoble went through the phases and back-rower Deon Fourie touched down. Nicholas Smith kicked two consecutive penalties for Biarritz who was back in front.
Grenoble landed a penalty with Enzo Selponi and it was all square. Nicholas Smith missed a penalty for Biarritz. Grenoble held their lines and managed to get a good home draw (FT : 13-13).
* Edinburgh vs. Cardiff : Pro14 (Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Scotland)
The Cariff Blues opened the scoreboard with a penalty from Jason Tovey. On the re-start, Dan Fish’s kick was charged down and George Taylor touched down. Jason Tovey missed a penalty, later on.
Just before the Half-Time, Simon Hickey, for Edinburgh, and Jason Tovey, for Cardiff Blues, both landed a penalty. In the second-half, it was an arm-wrestle with both defences making turnovers.
Edinburgh defended well and playmaker Simon Hickey nailed two consecutive penalties. The scottish province remained composed and secured a tough home win with some wind and rain (FT : 14-06).
* Colomiers vs. Oyonnax : ProD2 (Pierre Bendichou, Colomiers, France)
First, Lionel Beauxis missed a kick but nailed the next for Oyonnax. Jules Soulan got two kicks for Colomiers. Thomas Dubois, for Colomiers, and Irakli Mirtskhulava, for Oyonnax, were binned.
Lionel Beauxis landed a kick. In the second-half, both kickers added one kick with one more to Jules Soulan. Oyonnax had a second player binned with Rory Grice. Hugo Pirlet scored for Colomiers.
After that, Yohan Le Bourhis got a kick for Oyonnax. Jules Soulan added one and missed another. Colomiers had Romain Bezian binned as Quentin MacDonald scored for Oyonnax. Colomiers won (FT : 22-19).
* Gloucester vs. Sale : Premiership (Kingsholm, Gloucester, England)
The Sale Sharks kicked a penalty with Robert du Preez. Following some confusion in the Gloucester defence, Luke James got the try. Bryn Evans added another one from close range.
After that, Billy Twelvetrees landed a kick for Gloucester as WillGriff John was binned for Sale Sharks. Fraser Balmain scored. Though, Marland Yarde got a stunning try for Sale Sharks.
With tough weather, Gloucester scored with Billy Twelvetrees. Sale Sharks got a penalty with Robert du Preez. They defended very well and held their lines to get a massive away win (FT : 17-23).
* Reds vs. Sharks : Super Rugby (Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia)
The Reds kicked a penalty with Jock Campbell. The Sharks replied with Curwin Bosch who landed a kick before Kerron van Vuuren touched down from a maul. The Reds got the try with Henry Speight.
In the second-half, the Sharks scored from close range with Dylan Richardson. The Res came back from a quick-tap wih Tate McDermott. Curwin Bosch landed two 50-metre penalties for the Sharks.
They got an interception try with Lukhanyo Am while Madosh Tambwe got a counter-attacking score. Lwazi Mvovo was binned and Ed Craig scored for the Reds. Though, the Sharks won (FT : 23-33).
* Racing 92 vs. La Rochelle : Top14 (Paris La Défense Arena, Nanterre, France)
The home side set up a maul and Teddy Baubigny touched down. Finn Russell got the interception try while Teddy Iribaren kicked a penalty. Racing 92 scored a second try from a good interception.
Francois Trinh-Duc gave the ball to Dorian Laborde for the try. In the second-half, Olivier Klemenczak added another one for the home side while Fabien Sanconnie carried over the line.
Racing 92 maintained the standards as Maxime Machenaud scored the try and Hassane Kolingar was also on the scoreboard. La Rochelle did not find his game. It was impressive from Racing 92 (49-00).
* Bulls vs. Jaguares : Super Rugby (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, South Africa)
The Jaguares scored quickly with Emiliano Boffelli. Marco van Staden replied for the Bulls. The Jaguares scored a powerful try with Rodrigo Bruni as Warrick Gelant hit back again for the home side.
The Jaguares built some phases and Guido Petti Pgadizabal touched down and so did Mattias Moroni. The Bulls had a try with Cornal Hendricks but Johnny Kotze was binned. Emiliano Boffelli got a brace.
After that, Morné Steyn got a kick for the Bulls and so did Joaquin Diaz Bonilla for the Jaguares. The Jaguares playmaker was binned but Santiago Socino got a maul try. The Jaguares won (FT : 24-39).
* Pau vs. Montpellier : Top14 (Stade du Hameau, Pau, France)
The home side began well with two penalties from Antoine Hastoy. Montpellier replied and it was all square when Handré Pollard also kicked two penalties. Antoine Hastoy landed a third for Pau.
In the second-half, Handré Pollard added two more kicks for Montpellier. Colin Slade nailed a penalty for the home side and it was all square again. Handré Pollard landed his fifth penalty.
After that, Section Paloise started a huge build-up and prop Nicolas Corato touched down. The home side managed to hold their lines in defence. They clinced a massive win (FT : 19-15).
* Brive vs. Lyon : Top14 (Amédée Domenech, Brive, France)
The home side kicked a penalty with Thomas Laranjeira while winger Joris Jurand got a great try on his wing. Lyon replied with a penalty from Patricio Fernandez but Brive had the possession.
Winger Joris Jurand got a stunning individual brace. He even got a Hat-Trick before the Half-Time after winning the kick-chase. In the second-half, Lyon got the try with Thibaut Regard.
After that, Brive were awarded a penalty and Thomas Laranjeira was on target. Lyon made too many mistakes as Brive defended well. It was a huge home win for Brive who played well (FT : 30-11).
* Bordeaux vs. Castres : Top14 (Chaban-Delmas, Bordeaux, France)
The home side kicked a penalty with Maxim Lucu. Castres hit back with a try from Julien Caminati. Maxime Lucu landed a second penalty but Rodrigo Capo Ortega scored the try for Castres.
Bordeaux went through the phases and Blair Connor concluded a nice move. Back-rower Mahamadou Diaby also scored. In the second-half, Castres got the try out wide with Filippo Nakosi.
The home side kicked two more penalties with Ben Botica. He was off target on his next attempt. Castres got a try with Anthony Jelonch. Though, Bordeaux held their lines and won (FT : 26-24).
* Toulon vs. Stade Francais : Top14 (Felix Mayol, Toulon, France)
The Stade Francais got a kick with Joris Segonds. Toulon kicked tw penalties with Anthony Belleau. Stade Francais had Tala Gray binned and Anthony Belleau kicked a third penalty.
Stade Francais had a second player binned with Sami Mavinga but Nicolas Sanchez landed a kick. Toulon got the try with Swan Rebbadj. Stade Francais replied with a try from Lester Etien.
They added another try with Kylan Hamdaoui as Toulon had Brian Alainu’uese binned. Though, Toulon were awarded a penalty. Louis Carbonel kicked it. Toulon snatched the win (FT : 19-18).
That weekend was entertaining. About Pro14, Edinburgh got a home win. In the ProD2, Grenoble got the draw and Colomiers played very well. In Premiership, Sale Sharks got a massive away win.
In the Super Rugby, the Sharks and the Jaguares performed very well. Meanwhile, in the Top14, Racing 92 impressed. Section Paloise snatched the win and Brive played very well.
Also, Bordeaux and Toulon got a good win. Next season, the Six Nations Championship would come back. The domestic leagues and the Super Rugby will carry on as well. It should be good.