The heat was on for Sarlat Rugby’s B team in Belvès

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Sarlat Rugby’s B team faced down the oppressive heat and fierce opposition on Sunday for the first official game of the season. The derby between local rivals was intense and brutal, a perfect example of the benefits of aggression. The B team managed to walk away with their pride, if not the win, as they rose to the challenge of a rough start to claw their way back to a photo-finish 18-16.

Despite the health constraints and sweltering September heat, supporters for both teams showed up in droves for the Sunday derby. Sarlat Rugby’s B team competed first, enduring the worst of the afternoon heat to offer audiences an action packed game. 

Spectators showed up in droves for the derby game, which pitted Sarlat Rugby against their nearest rivals, Belvès. The stadium was more than packed, everyone sweating in their masks in the 34° heat, as the two towns took to the seats or stood to cheer their team on. The pressure was on for both teams, with the home team rising first to the occasion. 

The boars of Belvès lived up to their namesake on their home turf. They brought a charging ton of aggression that caught Sarlat Rugby players off guard. Belvès used their momentum to seize an early lead, dominating in the first half. Each confrontation was more brutal than the last, as the home team took every chance to bring their strength to bear. 

Belvès dominated the first half, but couldn't completely stop Sarlat Rugby
Belvès dominated the first half, but couldn’t completely stop Sarlat Rugby

Belvès scored two tries early and kept the visiting team on the defensive. Allowing only a few successful plays by Sarlat Rugby, who were able to score only 6 points in the first half of the game. This brought the score at half time to 13-6, with tempers high and spirits low, Sarlat Rugby took a needed break to refocus, and rethink their strategy. 

When they came back onto the pitch however it was with renewed vigor and enthusiasm, and aggression. Those rose up to meet the Belvès Boars head on, and stole the momentum. The second half was all about Sarlat, and their rise. Creeping up, kick after kick off the feet of Mael Louradour and Tom Pinta-Tourret brought their score up little by little. 

Louradour’s powerful kicks help Sarlat Rugby take back the momentum

Louradour’s powerful kicks help Sarlat Rugby take back the momentum

The second half was far more contentious than the first, with bold plays on both sides. The two teams were suffering from the heat, but did not let it stop them. Only ten minutes from the end, Sarlat Rugby’s teamwork and newfound determination paid off as Cyril Carriere took the ball over the try line; bringing the score to 18-16 with Belvès still barrely in the lead. 

Unfortunately Belvès, sensing their victory in peril, dug deep and found enough strength to hold fast. Both teams spent the last ten minutes locked in alternating struggles as the ball changed hands but never made it across either line. Frustrated, but proud of their come-back, Sarlat Rugby left the pitch, their heads held high. And ready to cheer the A team on later that afternoon. 

Sarlat Rugby rises to the occasion but couldn’t quite get the win. 

Sarlat Rugby rises to the occasion but couldn’t quite get the win. 
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