French Rugby League round-up

With a crushing 62-4 victory over next-to-bottom side Toulouse, Carcassonne narrowed the gap at the top of the table after Lézignan’s match against Villeneuve fell victim to the heavy rains which made the FCL pitch unplayable.

Centre Thibaut Marty and half-back Clément Herrero both touched down twice in the first half, with back-rower Djibryl Dauliac and winger Georgy Gambaro also crossing for a 32-0 lead. At the restart, Gaetan Vick went over for Toulouse but the revival did not last long. Herrero’s half-back partner Brock Pelligra and full back Clément Soubeyras both scored tries before Gambaro added two more to his account, with Marty also completing a hat-trick. Herrero kicked nine goals for a personal haul of 26 points.

With five matches left before the end of the regular part of the season, third-placed Limoux took three valuable points from a potentially difficult game at Avignon. Maxime Grésèque’s side were just 8-6 ahead at half-time but controlled the second half to emerge as 24-6 winners and prevent Avignon from taking a bonus point.

The match between Albi and St Estève-XIII Catalan was as close as you would expect from two teams rubbing shoulders in the table, though the Catalans were forced to play catch-up throughout.

Albi led from the moment free-scoring winger Nittim Pedrero ran half the length of the field to touch down under the posts and Baptiste Fabre landed the first of his six goals as the hosts plotted their course towards a 32-26 victory, their fifth in a row. But each time Albi scored, the Catalans replied. Ugo Tison, from half-back César Rougé’s pass, responded to Pedrero’s try and Florian Vailhen to Tristan Dupuy’s effort. But when full back Julien Cancé went over and then Catalan forward Corentin Le Cam was yellow-carded, Albi opened up a 12-point lead after Pedrero touched down direct from a scrum. Tison scored his second soon after the break, but Brad Wall broke the Catalan defence and Fabre further extended the lead. The Dragons’ reserves came back strongly in the final quarter, scoring two late tries but had to be satisfied with the bonus point. Albi move up to fourth in the table.

Albi 32 St Estève-XIII Catalan 26
Avignon 6 Limoux 24
Toulouse 4 Carcassonne 62
Lézignan v Villeneuve postponed
Bye: St Gaudens

Saturday 19 March
St Estève-XIII Catalan v Lézignan 16:30
Villeneuve v Toulouse 15:00
Sunday 20 March
Carcassonne v St Gaudens 15:00
Limoux v Albi 15:00
Bye: Avignon
Dates and times tbc

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