Agenais, who were seven points behind Mont-de-Marsan before the final quarter of an hour had started, exploded as they conceded four tries in ten minutes…
The start of the match was enough to make the Agen team break out in a cold sweat. Because the first five minutes presented a disturbing picture of the encounter. Ryan, Fellah and Maddocks’ men monopolized the ball for the first time in the Mons camp. But playing at a very slow pace, without brashness or aggressive ideas, they did not advance a single pine cone. On the other hand, Landais showed great tempo in his first balls and tried to keep the ball alive by applying a high tempo. As a result, Agen’s defense was shattered in 30 seconds (7-0, 6th).
There were reasons to be afraid in this derby. But Agen found solutions. First, Arnaud Duputs led his troops into a much more aggressive defense. The Agen captain personally dealt with wall-piercer Veresa Ramotabua. Mons number eight was also shaken many times by William Demotte. And in the game SUA was more dangerous in the upwind game. They found progress in the rubble. They were penalized for the balls carried. After the failure (15th), Thomas Vincent narrowed the gap (7-3, 21st).
We may regret that Lot-et-Garonnais did not use and abuse this strategy. Because the moment they moved away from support, they were in trouble. It’s either approved by the referee or disapproved by Landes’ counter-attacks. However, Du Plessis was in control and the score changed little (10-3). Because the same Mons opener dropped the ball into the goal after the siren.
Agen’s defense was solid at the start…
In the game, Agen suffered from this comparison. However, our character in defense and possession of the ball enabled us to stay in touch throughout the first 40 minutes.
After strategic adjustments in the dressing room, SUA came back with another game plan, with a plan to dispossess Stade Montois to make full use of the effectiveness of their defense and put Stade Montois under pressure. The strategy paid off and was rewarded with a big offensive breakthrough (10-6, 48th). Agen had some nice success away from Armandie this way last year.
However, sensing that danger had returned, the Landai reacted very quickly.
First with a penalty (51st). Four minutes later Léo Banos managed to escape Lot-et-Garonnaise’s grip. He dispatched 3rd line center “Pato” Fernandez with a spectacular chistera. Mont-de-Marsan very quickly made the first break of the match (20-6).
Before it explodes in ten minutes
Explosion in flight
As in the first half, this defensive error did not upset Agenais, and they were effective in the scoring area with the contact they regained. After a carried ball rewarded with an outstretched arm, Ben Volavola took the initiative and feinted the defenders to get between the posts (65th).
Bonus (or better) was possible at 20-13. But the opposite happened. SUA literally exploded in flight, conceding four attempts (68th, 73rd, 75th, 78th) in ten minutes. And a heavy defeat that did not reflect the investment made in 65 minutes.