Christian Goumondie Stadium quickly filled up and spilled over for the highly anticipated game this Sunday. Sarlat Rugby welcomed Lormont, current leaders in the bracket’s rankings: a chance to overthrow them and impose themselves. The noise was impressive, and the crowd’s excitement palpable after a narrow loss from the B team and Benji’s (the team’s new mascot) encouragement.
In four games, Sarlat Rugby’s B team had yet to be defeated by more than 3 points. The inevitable happened yesterday as they ended just four points down 12-18. At the end of their game, rather than try to close the gap with an easy penalty, they honorably pushed for the win but were stopped short. Stay tuned for a complete breakdown of their game later this week.
With the kids and youths of the rugby school in attendance as well, hopes were high for the game between the first and third-place teams. A home game chance for Sarlat Rugby to take the top spot, the pressure was on as they took on the well-seasoned veterans of Lormont.
Up until the 33rd minute, only the kickers for both teams were able to hit the score-board. Sitting at 9-6, with three penalties sent home by Sarlat Rugby’s Bordoli, and two by Girondin visitor Pont. The visiting team showed off their talents and saw more, and better, action. A strong physical presence on the pitch, their combination of offensive aggression and well-oiled offloads gained them the upper hand.
Sarlat Rugby, struggling under the weight of several penalties, were unable to get their rugby going. Reigned in by a well organized, tightly sealed defense. Individual plays took unfortunate precedence over collective plays, which might have gained more ground. Tuwai and Massignac, the two high scoring wings, saw remarkably few opportunities to show off their talent with the ball.
Their scrum game, however, did well. Yet when their maul brought the ball within meters of the try-line after an impressive push down the field, Bordoli was unable to put it through the posts, twice.
At the 36th minute, shortly before the break, Lormont continued to dominate the confrontations. Their efforts were rewarded when their captain, Beaudouin, carried the ball in for a try. 9-13 for the visitors.
After the break, Lormont did not lose their determination and were quickly able to crystalize their efforts, offering Pont another chance to show off. 9-16. The game was not over, however, and in the wake of Mathieu Lacoste who often broke through the first line of Lormont defence, Sarlat Rugby would finally seize some of the initiative.
With ground gained after a penalty, Sarlat Rugby was able to score a collective try. Hope returned to Stephane Labrousse and his team, but Marvin Garrigue also missed the goal from the edge of the pitch, leaving the score 14-16. Anything was possible, but the clock was running out. There was just about time for one more score, but, unfortunately, it was to be off the foot of Pont. Bringing his team three more points for a final score of 14-19.
Expectations were high for the game, and finishing 5 points down is inevitably a disappointment. A battle lost perhaps, but not the war. In a tight bracket, Sunday’s score was further evidence that no game will be easy. The team now needs to get ready for their next game, an away game against Saint-Yrieix. A team whose track record so far belies its potential.
Three away games lost, but they were also able to pick up the defensive bonus point against Lormont. They will be hungry for a win, especially on home turf, as they will be fighting for their survival.
Sarlat Rugby still needs to settle into their potential. They currently lack, at key moments, the right timing and perfect execution needed to secure more wins. This next game will be another chance to better evaluate the potential of the team which is still experiencing some growing pains.
The team’s composition:
Bordoli. Tuwai. Delmas. Testut. Massignac. (o) Louis Pontagnier. (m) Bonnet. Lacoste. Dupont-Butez. Fontenay. Vaitkevicius. Fono. Okriachvili. Olluyn (c) . Puyraud.
Bouty. Goursac. Pardo. Granger. Cyril et Romain Carrière. Garrigue.