Moa returns to Catalans but Lézignan march on

Lézignan have lost their front-rower Sam Moa, who has returned to the Catalan Dragons to join their coaching staff. Moa, Lézignan’s defence coach, was already sidelined with a repeat fracture of the forearm and will now concentrate fully on coaching.

At Villeneuve on the fourth weekend of the championship, the FCL maintained their unbeaten record with a hard-won 16-6 victory. With three other ex-Catalans, Krisnan Inu, Antoni Maria and Jason Baitieri in their line-up, Lézignan led from start to finish. But after going 10-0 ahead after only 15 minutes’ play, thanks to tries from wingers Jean-Baptiste Bousquet and Jordan Flovie and a conversion by Rémy Marginet, the visitors were made to toil by this tenacious young Villeneuve side. Thomas Lasvenes landed three penalties to reduce the deficit but a darting run from Thomas Lacans, again impressive, brought the try which, goaled by Marginet, ended Villeneuve’s hopes.

Limoux, also undefeated, were too good for Avignon, winning 38-6. Leading 12-0 at the interval, Limoux pulled away just before the hour, as Maxime Péault, Lucas Vergniol and Fabien Flovie scored tries in quick succession. Avignon did not cross the Limoux line until four minutes from the end when full back Rémi Andreu went over but it was Limoux half-back Stan Robin who had the last word, dummying the defence for the final try of the match.

Chastised by coach Cyrille Gossard in midweek for their poor attitude in defeats at Limoux and Avignon, St Estève-XIII Catalan earned their first league points of the season with a 32-19 win over Albi. But it was the visitors who took a 13-12 first-half lead with tries from ex-St Gaudens winger Valentin Chanet and full back Julien Cancé. Playing for the first time this season in front of their home crowd at St Estève, the Dragons’ reserves took control in the second period, posting four unanswered tries as well as denying Albi a defensive bonus point.

Carcassonne were not troubled by a Toulouse side which had so far beaten only bottom club St Gaudens. Against his former club, forward Clément Boyer powered through for Carcassonne’s first try, followed by Sophien Bitigri, Georgy Gambaro, Walid Bouregba and recent signing from Australia, half-back Brock Pelligra, for a 26-0 lead at the break. Centre Bitigri crossed twice more, Clément Herrero scored from an interception, Gambaro on the wing added his second and Clément Soubeyras and Alexis Escamilla also contributed tries to a 54-10 score, with Maxime Stefani and Gaetan Estruga touching down for the Super League side’s reserves.

Carcassonne 54 Toulouse 10
Limoux 38 Avignon 6
St Estève-XIII Catalan 32 Albi 19
Villeneuve 6 Lézignan 16
Bye: St Gaudens

Saturday and Sunday 27/28 November
Albi v Limoux
Carcassonne v St Gaudens
Lézignan v St Estève-XIII Catalan
Toulouse v Villeneuve
Dates and times tba

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