St Estève-XIII Catalan helped himself to a 52-0 win against St Gaudens who has struggled since the start of the season and has still not won a win after seven games.
“We have the means to win this game,” home team coach Jérôme De Azevedo said during the week, but his words were contradicted on the playing field. St Gaudens has recruited two foreign players, PNG hooker Silas Gahuna and Samoan striker Matt Filipo, but on this basis the team does not meet the Elite 1 standard. They are bottom of the rankings, down one point, after a two point deduction for not playing a rescheduled game in Carcassonne last month.
The Catalans’ reserves had won just two of their six games before the weekend, but are now bolstered by the option to sign players from the Super League roster. Two of them, halfback César Rougé and second rower Corentin Le Cam, teamed up for the opening attempt that set the tone. Ex-Limoux youngster Rougé scored a try himself and created another as the Catalans took a 28-0 lead, with ex-Avignon winger Corentin Rey going over the head twice. In the second half, the Catalans picked up where they left off and scored four more tries. Full defender Robin Brochon and winger Romain Franco, both members of the senior squad, took two.
All teams have had six weeks of holiday and Lézignan, undefeated so far, struggled to find the pre-Christmas rhythm. At home, they trailed Albi 14-0, which has only one win to their name. With young halfback Baptiste Fabre impressing with his vision, Albi went 24-10 before a late rally saved the FCL. Winger Jordan Flovie finished with four tries as Lézignan took a 34-24 win, while Albi, who saw more than one refereeing decision against him, only had a bonus point to show for their efforts.
Villeneuve had arguably the best win of the weekend, beating third-seeded Limoux 22-12. Second rower Dimitri Biscarro got the Leopards off to a good start with a 75-meter try before giving center Gavin Marguerite the pass that led to the second. Limoux hit back just before and after the break, scoring attempts via Léandre Torres and Allan Torreilles, but Villeneuve withstood the pressure. Biscarro landed for the second time, Thomas Lasvenes converted and then, from his own 20 yards, put winger Hamza Bachoukh on course for the winner.
The game between Toulouse and Avignon was postponed due to positive Covid tests.
Lezignan 34 Albi 24
St Gaudens 0 St Estève-XIII Catalan 52
Villeneuve 22 Limoux 12
Toulouse v Avignon postponed
The weekend of January 29-30 was scheduled for the Coupe de France, which has now been canceled for this season. The next full round of competitions will take place on the weekend of February 5-6.
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