Montpellier won the regular season in the 2017-18 Top 14, but has started 1-2-1 with only a single bonus point; Clermont finished third and has looked unstoppable in going 4-0.
This week in FloRugby's coverage of the French Top 14, you can see both of those teams, live, as they handle two very different starts.
Clermont at Bordeaux-Begles
Clermont is 4-0, with two bonus-point victories, and should be favored, but this rivalry is anything but one-sided. Yes, Clermont won 33-3 late last season, but Bordeaux won the previous matchup in the fall, they tied in January, 2017, and two weeks before that Clermont won 9-6.
What has been dangerous about Clermont is that of the 20 tries the club has scored, no one player has scored more than two. So news that fullback Nick Abendanon is out three months due to hernia surgery will just open up an opportunity for someone else.
Meanwhile, Greig Laidlaw is second in the league in points with 47.
Said Clermont's Camille Lopez, (paraphrased from a translated interview) Bordeaux has undergone coaching and player changes, but still plays a running style. "It's up to us to exploit that," he said.
Toulouse at Montpellier
Montpellier lost the team's opener (seen LIVE on FloRugby) and then rebounded against La Rochelle. But a 9-9 tie with Bordeaux and a horrible 55-13 loss to Lyon has the players shaking their heads. It won't get any easier as 3-1 Toulouse visits the southern city.
While the two teams have split their last four meetings, Toulouse has to be favored this week.