PRO D2 – At the end of the eighteenth day of Pro D2, SU Agen received, this Friday evening, the Olympic Biarritz. This real clash between two candidates assumed in the final stages ended in a victory for the Agenais, 27-17. While the two teams were back to back at the break (12-12), the SUA made the difference in the second half, thanks to the boot of Thomas Vincent.
The chance of the calendar sometimes does things well, and the regular followers of the Pro D2 have been spoiled. After a duel between the leader Oyonnax and his runner-up Mons yesterday (25-26), Agen (4th at kick-off) and Biarritz (3rd) had an appointment this Friday evening on the lawn of Armandie. As in the first leg, it was Agen who won the match. Thanks to this success, the SUA doubles the BO in the standings. The club coached by Bernard Goutta is now third. Biarritz loses two places and finds itself fifth.
In front of their home crowd, SU Agen made the ideal start to the match. By recovering the ball on the kickoff typed by Thomas Vincent, then taking advantage of a clearance unscrewed by Henry Speight, Agen directly put the BO under pressure. A well-negotiated carried ball and a small side start later, the Lot-et-Garonnais opened the scoring with a try from Kolinio Ramoka, when we had only been playing for three minutes (5-0). The weird answer? She was not long in coming, since in the process, when the Basques had just gone up 80 meters, Dave O’Callaghan was on the verge of scoring his team’s first points in a corner, but the good return of Tevita Railevu made commit a forward to the red and white captain (7th).
To catch up, the BO relied on the boot of its opener, Baptiste Germain, who passed two penalties (12th, 16th) and thus rewarded the good work of his team, which led to the quarter of an hour of play (3-5). Patient ball in hand, rather well in place and dominating in closed scrum, the BO pushed the SUA to the fault, but as in the first leg, the visitors failed to concretize their opportunities. On a new counter, Barry thought of registering his first try (20th), but it was finally refused on video by Mr. Gardner, for a forward from Eliott Dixon at the start of the action.
Biarritz, so many missed opportunities!
For his part, Agen doubled the bet and took the lead at the half-hour mark, behind a new good ball carried concluded by Clément Martinez (12-9, 33rd). On yet another breakthrough from the Basques, Barnabé Couilloud lacked speed to conclude the action (39th). Nevertheless, Olympic Biarritz came back up to Agen in added time thanks to a penalty from Germain (12-12, 40 + 3rd), following a succession of faults from the locals. By the way, Kolinio Ramoka received a yellow card and his team would have to attack the second period at fourteen.
On the restart, although outnumbered, the SUA regained the advantage with a penalty from Thomas Vincent (15-12, 42nd), before seeing Olympic Biarritz pass in front following a magnificent try from Steeve Barry, at the conclusion of a movement initiated by Baptiste Germain (15-17, 44th). However, while we thought the Basque club could kill the match, the visitors were unable to take off, because of a Lot-et-Garonne defense rather in place.
17 points for Vincent
In a second period marked by numerous faults and a card on each side (Perraux in the 53rd, Maksymiw in the 63rd), the SUA fed on Basque errors and Thomas Vincent (49th, 55th, 59th) widened the gap for his team. Thus, at the hour mark, Agen led 24-14.
Again, Biarritz had the opportunities to get back into the game, but Baptiste Fariscot, served by a pass on a step from Baptiste Germain on the small side, committed a forward one meter from the in-goal (68th). Manhandled in the closed scrum in the first period, the SUA raised their heads in this sector thanks, in particular, to the good entry of Malik Hamadache and did not collect a point despite the multiple attacks from Biarritz. At the very end of the match, Thomas Vincent, very skilful against the poles (only one failure), sealed the victory for his team, which therefore won with a difference of ten points, 27-17.