Top 14: A nice Christmas present for the OC

This Sunday, during the “Boxing Day” of the Top 14, Castres won in Aimé-Giral against Perpignan by a small point (19-20), thanks in particular to Urdapilleta’s foot (10 points). In the standings, the CO provisionally passes 4th.

In Aimé-Giral, the OC gave itself a very nice Christmas present. Indeed, during the 13th day of the Top 14, Perpignan fell at home at the end of the match against Castres (19-20), who achieved the big blow of the day. If this « Boxing Day » had started rather badly, with four games postponed, the only meeting of the day allowed rugby fans to smile again. In this meeting, it was the USAP which struck first with a Melvyn Jaminet still as valuable on a penalty of about 45 meters to the left to start hostilities (3-0, 7th). The latter had shortly before seen Romain Poite, the referee of the meeting, logically refuse him a try because he had flattened outside the limits of the field.

Beaten by nothing at Thomond Park against Munster in the Champions Cup last week (19-13), the Tarn did not take long to react thanks to a test by Martin Laveau. Following the start to a recovery error from the Catalan striker, the center of the CO was at the conclusion (3-7, 22nd). In difficulty this season in the standings, Perpignan however finished strong the first period. While Jaminet reduced the gap at the foot (6-7, 26th), Seilala Lam improved the work of his forwards on a touch shortly before the siren. Always so precise at the foot, the local back then offered his team six lengths ahead at the break by transforming (13-7). Jostled during the end of the first act, the visitors still found the resources after the break to reverse the trend.

Castres takes place in the top 6

For that, it was necessary to be patient, to digest the test refused to Laveau for an involuntary offside beforehand (43rd) and to make the round back, while Jaminet knew a first heavy failure of consequence (46th). Because, behind, if the latter (53rd and 66th) and Benjamin Urdapilleta (50th and 56th) answered each other at the foot (19-13), it is indeed Castres who finished strong to have the last word. In the last ten minutes, on a touch captured by Tom Staniforth, it was the Georgian pillar Levan Chilachava who spoke his power near the line to completely restart this meeting. In the continuity, Urdapilleta did not tremble on his attempt of 22 meters to the right to put the CO in front of the scoreboard (19-20, 70th), while the public present in Aimé-Giral was scolding.

But, in the last minutes, the USAP paid heavily for several errors, such as a scratching on the ground by Vilimoni Botitu on a percussion from Bautista Delguy (78th) or even a fatal forward from Patricio Fernandez after the siren (81st). Defeated at home, Patrick Arlettaz’s players can harbor great regrets after this meeting which seemed within their reach. Opposite, it is a big blow signed by Castres, deprived in particular of Julien Dumora absent at the last minute for a happy event, with this second success of the season away. While waiting for the other results of this 13th day, the CO is in 4th place, while the Catalans could pass the red lantern.

TOP 14 / 13TH DAY
Sunday December 26, 2021
Perpignan – Castres : 19-20

Monday, December 27, 2021
19h00 : Biarritz – Montpellier
21h05 : La Rochelle – Lyon

Postponed to a later date
Racing 92 – Pau
Toulon – Bordeaux-Begles
Brive – Clermont
Toulouse – French Stadium

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