Sarlat Rugby Barely Pulls off Another Offensive Bonus Win against Causse Vézère

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Sarlat Rugby after an unhoped for offensive bonus victory against Causse Vezere
After an extremely tedious and error-prone first half that left Sarlat Rugby down 2 points going into halftime, the boys in Blue and Black delivered a stunning second half. Try after try from determined players and fresh replacements helped deliver another offensive bonus point and a victory for Sarlat. Earlier in the day, the B team also won their contested showdown against a determined home team.

On a beautiful sunny day reminiscent of Spring to come, the Alexis-Jaubert Stadium was full to bursting as local fans came to see the home team, a Causse Vézère, try to unseat Sarlat Rugby, so far the uncontested leader of the bracket. 

A Poor First Half leaves Sarlat Rugby Reeling and Causse Vézère Hopeful 

Under the watchful eye of M. Beylier, the referee joining us from Occitania, Sarlat Rugby struggled. Two missed opportunities early in the game left fans wanting more. One by Antoine Delmas which was recovered mere meters from the try line, and another by Lucas Caneda who was not quite able to catch the ball kicked to him by Testut. 

Sarlat Rugby kicker Serafin Bordoli lines up a penalty against Casse Vézère
Sarlat Rugby stayed on the scoreboard in a rocky first half thanks to Serafin Bordoli 

Serafin Bordoli kept the team in the game, however, opening the score for Sarlat Rugby with a penalty, though Causse Vézère were quickly able to tie up the score. 3-3. The home team, tied up with a visiting team making plenty of minor but costly errors, could taste an unexpected victory and put the pressure on! The blue and black were able to pull ahead for a while off another penalty, but it was the home team who would be able to score the first try of the day off a maul of their own. 

8 to 6 going into halftime, a bitter score for Sarlat Rugby, and a very hopeful start for Causse Vézère.  

Sarlat Rugby Recovers and Takes off in Action-Packed Second Half

Doubt was now planted in the minds of the onlookers, while Sarlat had to step their game up, Causse Vézère were starting to hope. Their hopes seemed confirmed as they were first to score in the second half off another penalty. Sarlat Rugby seemed to have found their focus again, however, and kept better control of the ball, executing push after push until, finally, they got Luciano Bencivenga over the line with the ball off a powerful maul. 11-16. 

Luciano Bencivenga (#2) scored off a maul for Sarlat Rugby against Causse Vézère
The maul clears, leaving Luciano Bencivenga with the ball over the try line!

Penalties scored by the home team’s kickers Barboutie and Veyssiere helped the home team keep up, staying within five points as the visitors also continued to score, first 14 – 19, then 17 – 22. Stephane Labrousse’s decision to bring on fresh players then started to make a real difference in the last 15 minutes against a tiring home team. After a graceful throw from fullback Frank Fresneda, Lucas Caneda caught the ball to score a textbook try. Sarlat Rugby was back in the game. 

Eroni Tuwaï, who had come in recently on the wing, worked his strength at the 40-meter line, shoving through two defenders before ending his run right under the goalposts. Minutes later, a collective effort got the ball to Nicolas Gal for a final try, earning Sarlat Rugby an offensive bonus they hadn’t dared hope for after the first half. 

Sarlat Rugby’s Eroni Tuwai breaks away from the Causse Vézère defenders to score
Joining the game late, Eroni Tuwai still found opportunities to make a big difference

The job was done. Despite a brief scare, Sarlat Rugby pulled through, 17-39. The weekend of rest will be well deserved and needed given that the next game will be against no less of a team than Bergerac. A home team game where the first place in the bracket could be at stake! 

Captain Jonathan Laporte congratulates his players on a game won despite a rocky first half
A big hug for Sarlat Rugby’s players after a final try for the unhoped-for bonus point

A Choppy, but Ultimately Successful, B Team Game 

Earlier in the afternoon, the Sarlat Rugby reserves lined up against their Causse Vézère counterparts for the first showdown of the day. The reserves, coming in hot off a pair of wins, needed to secure another to prove they had found their groove. 

The game started off slow however, with both teams earning plenty of penalties and faults to slow down the game play. Sarlat Rugby’s B Team found themselves unable to build up momentum quickly, but the penalties did open opportunities for Matt Doyle (#10) who opened the score. 

Sarlat Rugby’s #10 Matt Doyle lines up a powerful kick against Causse Vézère
Matt Doyle’s powerful kicks helped Secure Sarlat Rugby an early lead.

Matt scored two more penalties in the first half, while Causse Vézère only managed one. Sarlat’s first real opportunity came when, after a series of forward pushes, Jules Chadourne (#2) was able to score in the corner. Causse Vézère also managed to score a try of their own however, since neither were confirmed, the score was 8-14 going into halftime. 

Jules Chadourne Scores in the corner for a first try for Sarlat Rugby against Causse Vézère
Hooker Jules Chadourne finds the gap for Sarlat Rugby against Causse Vézère

The second half was looking stronger still, with a brilliant try, once again by Jules Chadourne (#2), who broke through the Causse Vézère lines and sprinted 30 meters to score. This time Matt nailed the conversion, though. Unfortunately, however, so did his counterpart in green after a try of their own. 15-21. 

Sarlat Rugby was taking off. Finally their momentum had arrived in the form of Jarod Millet (#11), who pierced the Causse Vézère defense, charged across the remaining 50 meters, and outmaneuvered each defender along the way to score under the posts. Another confirmation, plus a final penalty to seal the deal and Sarlat Rugby had won another B team match 15-31.

Sarlat Rugby wing #11 Jarod Millet crushes Causse Vézère fan hopes
Sprinting ahead, Jarod Millet carried the ball 50 meters for the try for Sarlat 

The victory was particularly sweet for the visitors, since Causse Vézère had been the first team to beat them last year, on a home game too, and in the presence of no less an auspicious guest than UBB’s Christophe Urios

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