Limoux in late surge

Due to an unfortunate error in this week’s paper, we inadvertently reprinted last week’s French Roundup.

The headline, results and fixtures were correct, but below is the copy that should have been printed.

We can only apologise for this error.


Limoux’s clash with St Estève-XIII Catalan lived up to its billing as the match of the weekend, as Maxime Grésèque’s men overcame a ten-point deficit in the final eight minutes to win 22-20.

After nationwide protests had disrupted the opening of the championship last weekend, it was a first run-out for both sides, who would have met in last season’s final had the Catalans not been disqualified on appeal. Both are likely to be in contention for the title again this season.

After Limoux’s Benjamin Vergniol was dismissed early in the second half, Catalan winger Jordan Flovie crossed for his second try to open up what looked like a winning lead. But when Catalan loose forward Bastien Scimone was sin-binned ten minutes from full time, the home side took advantage. Tristan Béteille and new signing Léandre Torrès both raced through for tries, evergreen half-back Mickaël Murcia did not fail with the conversions and Limoux pulled off a thrilling win.

Lézignan, also one of the hot favourites for the title, suffered a shock defeat at St Gaudens, losing 26-24. Despite the absence of three key players, St Gaudens went 14-4 up in the first half before Lézignan hit back with tries from Mickaël Tribillac and Benjamin Sarda.

It was neck-and-neck in the second period as winger Guillaume Arreou restored St Gaudens’ margin, Cyril Stacul responded for FCL and then crucially full back Valentin Chanet went over for the home side. In mounting tension, scrum-half Valentin Ferret scored a converted try for the visitors but Gilles Dumas’ men held out.

Last season’s champions Avignon travelled to Palau and suffered a surprisingly emphatic defeat. With both John and Jordan Boudebza in their side, Palau took a 22-0 lead at the break. The champions’ reply was unconvincing. They came back with two tries, but Palau added two more of their own and were worthy 32-10 winners.

Villeneuve, who won last week at St Gaudens, could not repeat the performance at Albi. In a finely-balanced first half, Albi led 18-12 and pulled further ahead after the interval as second row Cédric Mazars and winger Hugo Lescouzères both went over, Morgan Carensac adding two goals to the 30-16 victory.

After narrowly failing at Lézignan on the opening weekend, Carcassonne got off the mark at the expense of Toulouse Olympique’s reserve side, who scored first through centre Pierre Fourquet, son of the ex-international Philippe, but went down 50-4. Léo Edline scored a hat-trick for the home side, full back Clément Soubeyras touched down twice, as on the previous weekend, and Alexis Alberola added seven conversions.

Albi 30 Villeneuve 16
Carcassonne 50 Toulouse 4
Limoux 22 St Estève-XIII Catalan 20
Palau 32 Avignon 10
St Gaudens 26 Lézignan 24

Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 December
Albi v St Gaudens
Avignon v Carcassonne
Lézignan v Toulouse
St Estève-XIII Catalan v Palau
Villeneuve v Limoux
Dates and times TBA