Nevers have chased away the ghosts that were lurking around the end of their matches. By dominating Biarritz Olympique, the Yellow Jackets put their heads in the right place and almost regretted not having added an attacking bonus to their performance. The bo against the BO would have been quite a gift.
Faced with the wind, a decision taken by the Basque staff after a favourable toss, the men from the Pyrénées-Atlantiques seemed to manage their start perfectly. At least that’s what the first twenty minutes showed, like the try by young scrum-half Kerman Aurrekoetxea who scored as easily as his name is difficult to pronounce for a dyslexic.
Fortunately for the Azure and Gold fans, already tense in front of their TVs, their favourites reacted. At the start of a touchline, Ilikena Bolakoro, an alert thirty-year-old, fixed the opposing defence as if to put oil in the Joris Cazenave-Tanguy Ménoret hinge. The latter offered Romaric Camou’s sticks the chance to go between the posts.
Willem Du Plessis, who had broken the scoreboard, scored a second penalty for the visitors but this was sandwiched by two goals from Cazenave. 16-11 to the citrus and wind in their sails, the Nivernais could fear the second half even if they had shown some nice things during the first forty minutes, in the lineout in particular.
When it mattered
However, it was the Nivernais who came out of the locker room with more energy. A good challenge from David Lolohea sent the forwards into the penalty box. The house speciality destroyed the Biarritz dam, the referee awarding a penalty try and sanctioning the BO with a double penalty by excluding left prop Yvan Watremez for ten minutes.
In order to avoid an anxious final, the Usonistes folded the match. Julien Kazubek stole the ball from their opponents in touch and it ended up in the hands of Nemo Roelofse and behind the line. With Cazenave’s conversion in the corner, USON had done the hardest (30-11, 52′).
Le Gal responds
The match, already pleasant, became a little more relaxed. Biarritz missed a few chances and Nevers several counter-attacks. The video, very well used, deprived Guillaume Manevy of a try because Bolakoro had committed an infringement at the start of the yellow and blue offensive.
If Francis Saili instilled a hint of doubt in the minds of the Burgundians, it only took two minutes after the New Zealander’s try for Loïc Le Gal to answer him and go over. Rudy Derrieux closed the gap by converting.
Biarritz insisted one last time but, faced with the threat of another local counter and the prospect of a Nevers attacking bonus, Baptiste Couilloud put an end to the proceedings shortly after the siren.