this game will be “a test of personality and character”, Xavier Garbajosa insisted. From the beginning, Lyonnais settled on the Brive pitch and remained there for practically the entire first period. The LOU largely dominated the debates, keeping the ball in play as they advanced, scoring two tries from Botha (22nd) and Arnold (34th) but Brive’s inaccuracies and aggressive defense prevented them from taking off, especially as the CA who had opened the Esteban Abadie’s striker played hard on each counterattack and scored every time he ventured into the Lyon field (13-17 at half-time).
Same scenario in the second half with a Lyon that thought of escaping definitively with an interception and a try by Kpoku (52). But Lee fought back and kept his team alive at the hour mark. Saginadze breathed new life into the arch-dominant LOU who was able to target the offensive bonus. But on the contrary, it was a penalty try after the siren that allowed the Brivistas to snatch the defensive extra point (27-31).
Still in qualifying, Toulon battled its way into this first Top 14 match against promoted Bayonnais. Apathetic during the first half, surprised at the start by the brilliance of the Basques who arrived at Mayol eager to play (try by Jacquelin, 3rd), Varois returned to the locker room, led, with a score of 14-18. Toulon resumed forward movement thanks to their South African back row Du Preez (48th, 19-25), who flattened behind a carried ball after a bunt.
Five minutes later, in the same phase of the game, it was Teddy Baubigny who offered his first try (54th, 26-25). In ’56, the Var coaches Mignoni and Azema changed their second row: Alainu’uese and Rebbadj gave way to Tanguy and Timani. Renewed power materialized with a try from Ollivon (61), then another from Cordin (63). Toulon won with a flattering score (40-25) with five attempts and one certainty: there is still work to be done.
French Stadium – Clermont: 24-18
After a somewhat insipid first half where the scorers were not, on the other hand, successful (8-6), the match got carried away somewhat in the second act. When Habel-Küffner scored a try in a personal number (44th) and starter Joris Segonds made the score worse on his feet (50th), we thought that the fate of this match was played out (18-6). Four minutes later, second row Baptiste Pesenti received a yellow card for a dangerous tackle. Ten minutes is how long it took for ASM to catch up.
First with a try from center Samuel Ezeala (57th) and then with a second from hooker Yohan Beheregaray (62nd). The score was then 18-18. It’s not illogical despite the visitors’ superior possession. But again at fifteen against fifteen, it was Stade Français who finished the match better. Thanks to two penalties from Segonds (72 and 77), the capital club finally won with difficulty to start their season (24-18).
The Béarnese suffered to win, losing between the 49th and 78th minute. They went for this success at the last minute, Joseph scoring a try in the 74th, converted by Henry, who added a penalty goal at the end of the game (78) to tilt the marker. Pau’s starter had already been the unlucky hero of this long and uncertain match when he saw his pass intercepted by his vis-à-vis, a sharp proof (49th) that allowed the USAP to dream of a moving victory for enter the Championship. .
But the indiscipline was fatal for the culés, reduced to thirteen at the end of a game that they no longer controlled, unlike the first half which, very poor in points (3-0 for Pau at the break), favored them. A referee’s decision against USAP – the referee did not give a red card to a Pau player guilty of a dangerous play in the 28th minute – could cause a little ink to flow, but in the end Perpignan could not maintain a deserved lead (6- 14) at the hour mark.
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