French Cup. Wolves host Saint-Gaudens Wolves aim to make it to the last four

Villefranche xiii. After a well-deserved break, Wolves return to action against Saint-Gaudens for the Coupe de France quarter-final this weekend. If Wolves’ main goal continues to be the championship, aiming for promotion at the end of the year, fans can dream of being in the last four against this team in the middle of the Elite 1 rankings.

Could you tell us about your staff, its operation and distribution of duties?

Julien Larroque: video editing, stats + terrain. Christian Lautrette: Monitoring professional player training, liaison with medical staff + matchday pitch. Bastien Dintihlac: skills + terrain. Vincent Guilhen: video matches. Medical Staff: Jérôme Savignac, doctor, Sylvain Loupias, physiotherapist, Paul Fraysse, physiotherapist, Chloé and Nell, physiotherapist in training. Michel Morel, steward.

You’ve been coaching Wolves for a few years now, what are your feelings about the team compared to previous seasons?

This is my 5th season at the club but the first 2 seasons were stopped due to covid, I came back in January for the 3rd season because the team was in a difficult situation. I had stopped to join the France team for the World Cup in England. My first season ended with defeat in the final last year. This defeat allowed us to highlight our weak points. I think this year’s team is more complete than in previous years, the recruitments are well targeted and provide real added value to an already well-performing team. My goal was to create a healthy group of players working in the team, this criterion is very important to me.

There were 7 wins in 7 matches in the league. We assume you are very satisfied?

Yes, I’m really pleased, especially since the work and effort the players have put in since August is paying off. However, this is only the first stage of the championship, the second will be difficult due to a very busy January. I am satisfied but very cautious, everything can change very quickly, the differences between teams are very small and if we do not remain serious and determined, we may find ourselves in 3rd place at the end of January.

The defense was on point as the team conceded just 15 tries. The attack is not bad either in 38 attempts. Areas for improvement?

Yes, our offensive and defensive statistics are good now, but we need to be more organized in our technical performances, our discipline and fouls need to increase despite the current good results.

What goals did you set for your players at the beginning of the season?

I asked the players to be determined and work hard in their preparations, only then can we achieve high goals. Our goal is to go as far as possible without regrets and giving it our all.

At the end of the first match, Wolves came first, followed by Ille, Villegailhenc and Carpentras. Which teams do you think will advance to the final stages?

The Elite 2 championship is quite homogeneous, the differences are not significant. All teams can qualify even if the Hall is behind. After the ceasefire, the cards will be redistributed.

How is the condition of the infirmary now?

We’ve been lucky not to have too many injuries since the start of the season, apart from the last game (5) before facing Carpentras in the Cup, but everyone should be able to go on for the title after the Cup game against St Gaudens.

How to manage a ceasefire?

Managing the Christmas holidays is never easy. We continued training until December 22. Qualifying for the cup allows us to reduce this break, the players still have a 10-day rest period with the mission to return in good shape on January 3.

St Gaudens team was selected for this new round of the cup in the draw. How are you preparing for your match against this Elite 1 club?

We know it will be a very tough match. St Gaudens have strengthened and are playing in the play-offs in Elite 1. We will do this with the current staff. Injuries will be too tight for us to continue, but our main goal will be to raise our level of play to be present in this match. The speed will be higher, the impacts will be harsher. For this match to serve us well for the rest of the championship, the players will need to do more and better. The score is not important, but I will pay close attention to the content and attitude of the team.

Your predictions: Villefranche

If all the Elite 1 teams play at their level against the Elite 2 teams, there will be no surprises. In other matches I see the qualifiers of Carcassonne and St Esteve-13 Catalan. Even if anything is possible in the match…

Finally, what can we wish for the whole group, Wolves volunteers and supporters at the end of the year?

Returning to the final to bring all Villefranchois fans together around a big celebration to reward the hard work put in by managers, volunteers, players and staff. But we have 9 teams that want to get there. Everything will be difficult until the end.

Wolves coach David Collado:This year’s team is better equipped than previous years

Villefranche 30-18 St-Gaudens (first half: 18-12) – Stade Henri Lagarde – Referee: Thierry Alibert

According to Villefranche: 6 tries from O’Connel (9th), El Kalouki (19th), Loupias (38th), Stoham (44th), Frayssinous (54th) and Booby (66th); 2 conversions (20th, 38th) and 1 penalty (32nd) from Booby.

Villefranche: 1-Jean Frison, 2-Nicolas Tranier, 3-Frédéric De Colonges, 4-Damon Booby, 5-Jérôme Frayssinou, 6-Christopher Levy, 7-Sean Mullins, 8-Jérôme Bisson, 9-Ahmed Harrat, 10-Abde El Kalouki, 11-Philip Stonham, 12-Cyril Amans, 13-Martin O’Connel, 14-Sébastien Marty, 15-Stéphane Dega, 16-Romain Dintilhac, 17-Franck Loupias – Coach: Sean Mullins

A fantastic win for the “Wolves”, who fulfilled their contract by playing a full match and also took sixth place in the standings.

With the crowd roaring in the stands, the referee called for a minute’s silence following the accidental death of former Villefranche player Franck Bourgeteau.

After both teams got off to a poor start, it was St Gaudens who first found the crack in Villefranchois’ solid defence, opening the scoring through Borlin. Three minutes later O’Connel reduced the score.

Commingeois were upset and then tightened the game, but united and organised, Villefranche stood firm and confirmed their superiority with a try from El Kalouki, well managed by Mullins. Then the attacking actions of both sides added a spectacular dimension to the game. Booby then converted a penalty before Golder, “Ours”, failed to infiltrate the Rouergate defence, who had not fully repositioned themselves to try for the equaliser, following a quickly played free kick. Villefranche regained the advantage just before the break through Loupias.

At the restart, the hypermotivated “Wolves” widened the gap, first with Stoham and then with Frayssinous. St Gaudens tightened the game again but Booby cleared the tension after a 60-metre run. The guest team’s last stand will not overshadow Villefranche’s indisputable superiority.

Arrangement: 1-UTC: 39 points, 2-Pia: 37 points, 3-Villeneuve: 34 points, 4-Lézignan: 34 points, 5-Toulouse: 32 points, 6-Villefranche: 27 points, 7-St Gaudens: 26 points, 8-Limoux: 23 points, 9-Carcassonne: 22 points, 10-Carpentras: 22 points, 11-Albi: 11 points.

In Retro (2002): Villefranche with style

Enemy. Saint-Gaudens, an impressive navy

The team chosen by the draw to face Wolves in the last 16 rounds of the French Cup Lord Derby is the Elite 1 team. St Gaudens XIII will arrive in the province of Aveyron on Sunday, January 7. The start time will be at 15.00. The pre-match meal will be served under the stadium’s heated tent starting at 12:00. The partner of the match will be Phalip Carrelage facilities.

Coach Cyril Moliner and player-coach, former Superleague player Mitch Garbutt can count on an excellent squad. Guillaume Gorka at the back, wingers Guillaume Arreou, Joris Beranger, Kylian Bernoville, Mathieu Pons, centers Kuni Minga (8 tries), Hugo Multignier, Maxime Ramos are passed through the hinge perfectly; Valentin Dumas in attack and, in the opener, 27-year-old former Villefranche player Corey Willis, scored 14 tries and 77 conversions, 8 penalties and 1 drop-off in 16 matches, making 227 points for Wolves. Even though he is currently playing at the highest level in France, he is still the best director of the championship.

The forwards have a heavy but very mobile team. In the middle of the columns are Mitchell Garbutt, Connor Moore, Cédric Sentenac, Lasarusa Tabu, hookers Isaac Misky and former Villefranche player Gabriel Bouscayrol, who played 9 games last season before leaving for Australia. The rest of the team consists of Dorian Brioux, Hnaloan Budden, Alexandre Caparros, Esteban Hermosilla, Benjamin Vizcay.

With 4 wins and 5 losses (mostly by very narrow margins) the team is in 6th place in the rankings.

The Bears are looking to start the year with a victory before heading to Albi next weekend. But Wolves won’t be fooled and pushed around by many of their fans, they hope to at least put this team in doubt.

Results: St Gaudens 46-24 Albi / Pia 30-24 St Gaudens / St Gaudens 16-36 Carcassonne / Toulouse Olympique 16-44 St Gaudens / St Gaudens 20-10 Lézignan / Limoux 32-04 St Gaudens / St Gaudens 22-18 Villeneuve / Saint-Estève XIII Catalan 30-22 St Gaudens / Avignon 24-14 St Gaudens

Elite 1 ranking: 1-Carcassonne: 25 points / 2-Albi: 21 points / 3-Limoux: 19 points / 4-Saint-Estève XIII Catalan: 18 points / 5-Lézignan: 16 points / 6-Saint-Gaudens: 15 points / 7- Pia: 13 points / 8-Avignon: 11 points / 9-Toulouse Olympique: 8 points / 10-Villeneuve: 5 points

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