Relegation for Oyonnax, as Grenoble promoted to French Top14

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Relegation for Oyonnax, as Grenoble promoted to French Top14
Grenoble's supporters cheer during the French Top 14 rugby union match at the Stade des Alpes in Grenoble AFP PHOTO / JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT / AFP / JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT (Photo credit should read JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT/AFP/Getty Images)

ProD2 runners-up Grenoble have been promoted to the Top14, after a 47-22 victory over Oyonnax.

The promotion/relegation play-off win sees Grenoble head back to the French top flight, having dropped down this time last season. The loss means relegation for Oyonnax, who went in to the game as favourites.

The promotion/relegation play-off win sees Grenoble head back to the French top flight, having dropped down this time last season. The loss means relegation for Oyonnax, who went in to the game as favourites.

Grenoble wasted no time in scoring in their seven try victory, with Kiwi signing Lolagi Visinia touching down twice. Conversely, a strong and experienced Oyonnax side failed to break down the momentum Les Grenoblois seemed to constantly exert.

Relegation for Oyonnax

Oyonnax have spent the majority of the season in the depths of the Top14. However Oyonnax went into the play-off as favourites, following recent form and having overtaken Brive who were automatically relegated in the penultimate game of the regular season.

The ever-reliable New Zealander Ben Botica failed to inject the go-forward we’ve seen so consistently this season. A meagre seven points this time out, wasn’t the swansong he would have wanted after a long campaign in hope of avoiding this situation.

Oyonnax falling into the ProD2 could have repercussions in their ranks. Botica especially could find himself on the receiving end of offers to leave the club he joined following spells at Harlequins and Montpellier. As Grenoble have done this season, a likely return to Top14 rugby should be on the cards.

Promotion for Grenoble in 2018/19

Grenoble’s ProD2 final 38-13 loss to Perpignan last weekend would have been the perfect motivation to ‘right the wrongs’ in their quest to play Top14 rugby again next season.

They perhaps had the upper hand, following recent meetings. Prior to this ascension play-off game, Grenoble had won three of their last five contests against Oyonnax – consecutive victories at that.

Now a fourth win, Grenoble will return to France’s top flight where they’ve spent the majority of the last decade. Whether they can remain in the league next season remains to be seen, especially after such a competitive campaign this year.

Both Oyonnax’s and Grenoble’s seasons come to an end and will immediately look to start planning for the respective 2018/19 terms. Oyonnax will certainly look to hold on to their current crop of players to gain promotion back. However, Grenoble will undoubtedly want to build on theirs, bolstering and strengthening for the long term.

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The Top14 proper will continue with the play-offs next weekend. The knockout round will be played, before the semi finals the following week.

Once those matches are determined, and the two sides confirmed, then the Stade de France stadium awaits ,for a hotly anticipated final on Saturday, June 2.

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