A delight Sunday up in the Minervois for the Villeneuve Federal Pool clash with Aude neighbours St Laurent Cabrerisse won by the home side 34-22. Local reporter Michel Lausse called it right a match ‘engagée et tres agreeable’- a good turn out on a lovely sunny autumnal afternoon with 200 or so behind the barriers.
The Federation have changed a few things from last season. The Elite1/2 now has 20 sides after Montpellier’s collapse. National 1 had only 8 sides last year & not really going anywhere. They’ve now expanded that substantially to 21 clubs in three regional Pools.
For us in the Aude it’s worked out pretty well even if Ornaisons have dropped out after being Federal Champions just two years ago. Apparently a local union set up enticed a bulk of the team to uproot. Fortunately USO will still run with an U21s & school of rugby intact.
Ferrals & Villegailhenc are the two local sides to move up to tier 3 with the latter opening their account at the weekend with a hard fought home win 32-28 against the Catalans of St Laurent Salanque. Below that level we still have a decent set up with a Federal Pool of 8 sides. Prexian where stragglers last term but now fused with near neighbours Le Lauquet to form ASPL & have a certain Daniel Waggon ex-Para Eels in tow as player coach. They’ve started like the proverbial house on fire with a win at new boys Limoux based Flassian & Sunday thumped the Catalans of Ille-sur-Tete 64-14 before nearly 400 spectators. This division looks promising offering derbys for Catalans, Corbieres, Aude Valley & Mountain Noire - the latter with the arrival of Aussillon-Mazamet from over the hill in the Tarn.The newcomers from just across the border opened their account with a close fought win 28-26 against Val de Dagne.
The wider region to me looks stronger than its ever been developing around the phenomena of the Catalan Dragons. Behind the SL club you have 5 semi pro set-ups, two Elite 2 clubs, 7 National 1 clubs & 8 at Federal. The Dragons feeder club, St Esteve beat Lezigan 36-24 yesterday before nearly 2000 supporters in an enthralling tussle full of quality & intensity attracting praise from many quarters.
Edited by audois, 16 October 2012 - 09:34 PM.