Nevers has finally clocked up some points. After two disappointing matches, they managed to overcome their opponents, although it was quite scary at times. Their season is now underway.
Following on from the example of the scrum, the blue and gold XV went on the attack. After six minutes, a line out with the ball caught by Thomas Ceyte led to a devastating maul shortly afterwards. Back in the game, Auvasa Faleali’i surprised the visiting defence with a pass behind his back to Nasoni Naqiri, who sped straight towards the line. Zack Henry converted, unlike his opposite number Pierre Bernard who missed the target from 45 metres on his first attempt.
The Nevers fly-half scored a penalty in the first quarter of an hour. He missed out on a goal and the conversion of the second try scored by David Lolohea. The right prop was in the right place to complete an attack, which started with some passionate defending a few centimetres from the local team’s goal. 17-0. Everything was going well for Xavier Péméja’s men. It was just a foul which allowed Bernard to get the first points for the Basques just before half time.
When they came out of the changing rooms, Asier Usarraga was pushed into touch by the trio formed by Raisuqe-Bastide-Quercy, and it looked like Nevers had it sewn up. What a mistake!
A messy situation allowed the winger Gavin Stark to cool down the excitement. A knock on by Kilian Jaminet, who had done perfectly well until then, gave hope to Bayonne. At the end of the attack, Naqiri received a yellow card for a foul in the ruck and Stark did it again. With Bernard converting, it was all to play fort again (17-17, 48th) and it became rather scary for the spectators in the stadium.
There was hardly any time for doubting however, as a tackle on Raisuqe saw the team from Burgundy recover the ball. Henry showed that he wasn’t just a kicker by ripping through the Basque defenders. Fred Quercy took advantage to score and the third try was also converted.
With the score at 20-17, Nevers appeared to recover but were caught out by a kick from Bernard, who manages to succeed in everything he attempts. The threat was growing with just ten minutes to go, when the Basque bomber inflicted a penalty on Never after Joris Cazenave had made his getaway.
Fragile, Nevers were under pressure from Biarritz. A foul by Lucas Peyresblanques in the 76th minute gave a final opportunity to USON’s English player to use his left foot. The ball placed on the halfway line went between the posts.
The final bell
A pointless tackle on Ilikena Bolakoro gave Bernard a final chance to show off his defence, but this time from a long way away he missed the target. The final attack from Biarritz ended with a tackle on Yvan Watremez by the young Luka Plataret. The Nevers scrum doing well on this September Thursday secured the victory of their team.