Game Preview: Sarlat Rugby – Saint Yrieix, First Match of 2022!

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Sarlat Rugby and Saint Yrieix square off for the first match of 2022
After a well-earned holiday rest, Sarlat Rugby will be back this Sunday, January 9th, for the first game of 2022! The autumn champions of the Federale 2 bracket 8 will welcome Saint Yrieix, currently in 9th place. The home game will start at 3 p.m. after the B team finally gets to play again earlier in the afternoon, to confirm their upwards trajectory from a more difficult second half of 2021.

Starting off the year in high gear? That is what the Sarlat Rugby team hope to accomplish this Sunday against Saint Yrieix. The team in Blue and Black are back to try and continue their impressive streak of wins from the first half of the season. But it will be up against a Saint-Yrieix team which, while currently ranked ninth in the bracket, are fiercely determined to do well. 

Beginning 2022 as we ended 2021! 

Crowned Autumn Champions, Sarlat Rugby has 11 wins after as many games, and so far have risen to the challenge of every encounter of their bracket in the Federale 2 championship. After heavy recruitment at the start of the season, they managed to fly through the first half of the 2021-2022 season undefeated. Time to see if they can achieve the same in the second half! 

Looking back on the first half of the season, you might recall it also started with a win against this weekend’s opponents, Saint Yrieix. An away game win of 10 – 23 for Sarlat Rugby. It was far from an easy win for the Perigord Noir team, though it was their very first official game of the season. After the match, Sarlat coach Stephane Labrousse said, “We could have done better, and we went head to head with a well organized and determined Saint Yrieix team, who gave 200%. Victory is good, but we have to play on a higher level”.

Eroni Tuwai charges through Saint Yrieix Lines for Sarlat Rugby
Eroni Tuwai was one of the key players for Sarlat against Saint Yrieix last year

Raising their level is exactly what Sarlat Rugby were able to do after that first match, having won the next 10 games. In addition, the team picked up the offensive bonus point at almost all of their home games and their last two away games, giving them an extra 7 points in the ranking after just the first half of the season. 

After this series of wins, fans and observers will eagerly await Sarlat Rugby’s confident kick-off to the New Year.

The Sarlat Rugby B team, which will be playing earlier in the afternoon on Sunday, had, on the other hand, won in a crushing victory against Saint Yrieix in their away game, 10 – 64. Sarlat’s reserves will thus also be eagerly anticipated on the pitch, especially as the second half of the fall was tarnished by two defeats, even though they did still manage to finish first in the rankings.

The game against Saint Yrieix will thus be a chance for them to prove they are still as strong as ever and start the new year on the right foot. 

Matt Doyle of Sarlat Rugby's B Team helped score 63 points against Saint Yrieix in the away game
Caption 2: Sarlat Rugby scrum-half Matt Doyle ran circles around Saint Yrieix’s reserves in 2021. 

Saint Yrieix will be Looking to Begin their Comeback Against Top Team Sarlat Rugby.

Saint Yrieix Rugby, currently ranked 9th in the Federale 2’s 8th bracket tied in points with Belvès and JA Isle, did not end 2021 on the best foot. Two losses in a row, one against Belvès (21-13) and the other against Barbezieux Jonzac (12-25).

The team, who started off the season with an objective of a strong showing in the bracket, still has a long way to go to meet that goal, and a lot to prove. 

Instead, the relatively young team is not entirely out of danger of relegation, and will have to play hard and well to avoid dropping a division.

With that in mind, a win for Saint Yrieix against Sarlat Rugby, while no easy achievement, would be the perfect way to start off their comeback. The Christian Goumondie stadium is likely to witness another game at 200%!

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