“Flops…” – Former All Black Falls Short in Stade Francais’ Defeat Against Pau in Top 14 Showdown…

‘We Anticipated a Stronger Performance’: Former All Black Falls Short in Debut for Stade Francais…

Brad Weber, the ex-All Blacks halfback, faced disappointment in his inaugural start for Stade Francais, as the team suffered a decisive 30-6 defeat against Pau in the Top 14.

Weber, previously the co-captain of the Chiefs, began his French stint with two appearances off the bench before securing a starting position in the eighth-round match. Stade Francais found themselves trailing early on, with Pau securing two tries courtesy of blindside Sacha Zegueur and lock Mickael Capelli.

Joe Simmonds, former Exeter flyhalf, contributed two conversions and two penalties, allowing Pau to lead 20-6 at halftime. The second half saw Stade Francais unable to score, as Simmonds added another penalty, and former All Black No. 8 Luke Whitelock scored an additional try for Pau.

French writer Jerome Prevot of RugbyRama labeled Weber and former England international Joe Marchant as “flops.” Expressing disappointment in Weber’s performance, Prevot noted a lack of brilliance and cited a perplexing decision to quickly play a penalty that resulted in a direct kick into touch.

Marchant, who had a stint with the Blues in Super Rugby in 2019, was described as being “annihilated” throughout the match by the Pau defense. Prevot expected more incisiveness and allure from the England midfielder, given the nature of the game.

Weber’s attempts to ignite his running game proved challenging, with six runs covering 15 meters. Stade Francais failed to register a line break, as the formidable Pau defense held firm.

The highly anticipated clash between two top-four sides in the Top 14 saw Pau secure the top spot in the league. Following the loss, Stade Francais slipped to a 5-3 record for the season, now in third place, reversing their pre-match standings.

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