Too undisciplined, often clumsy despite a good scrum, US Carcassonne struggled offensively (18 dropped balls, 11 penalties) against a well-established columérine formation (24-6) last night.
If Carcassonne hoped to find in Colomiers a studious atmosphere for its first of the season, it is missed. The Colomiers stadium, bathed in a scorching sun late yesterday afternoon, had released the disco ball. Electro festival atmosphere for the men of Christian Labit when they entered the columérine enclosure, loud sound system and overheated DJs. And the open-air nightclub cuts the legs of Carcassonne, from the start. Deprived of the ball, USC is at fault for the third time in six minutes. Not ideal for entering the scene (6-0, 8th). After this start where Carcassonne still seemed on the dancefloor, here are Herjean’s men getting their hands on the ball in a meeting which had difficulty finding its rhythm, recovery obliges. In line with his very good preparation matches, Baptiste Mouchous reassures: 47 meters full axis (6-3, 20th) then 45 meters corner (6-6, 24th). Attractive. What to doubt – a little – Colomiers and his captain, Anthony Coletta, author of a dive, not in a swimming pool, but in a ruck. It’s yellow (26th).
USC took the upper hand in scrimmages. It even hurts and gives itself five big minutes that it unfortunately does not materialize. Samuel Marques first plays the shot flush with a ruck and Maxime Marty will score but the referee signals a slump. Shame. Romain Manchia then. The second line is on the verge of passing in force but it is still missed. It comes alive, and Valentin Saurs pretends to score. The winger’s first attempt is not awarded after a second video call; the second is the correct one. Following a scrum from 5 meters, Saurs sends Maxime Marty and Colomiers takes control at the break (14-6).
Triple penalty in one minute
Draft, like the start of the second period. The recovery match takes on its full meaning. And Carcassonne falls into a certain false rhythm where he tends to use ineffective footwork. Thomas Girard took advantage of this and increased the addition (7-6, 49th).
When USC tries to set the pace, puts itself in the advance by Manchia in particular, it is penalized, drops a ball. It’s messy… Things then get terribly complicated for USC who receives a first yellow card (Manchia) then a penalty try on a columérin maul and a second yellow card (Herjean). All in one minute (24-6). Triple pain, headache for the guys from the City when, moreover, the DJ also pushes the sound slider. More undisciplined, less on the legs in a meeting that stretches in lengths, nothing smiles at USC apart from its scrum which will make more than one suffer, this season, again. Even on the mauls, where he is usually a killer, Carcassonne can’t tell the difference.
Next Friday against Montauban (7:30 p.m.), for its first at Domec for four months, and in a first block of fear (in Colomiers, against Montauban and Béziers then in Vannes and Biarritz), USC will have to, quickly , find the right tempo.
In Colomiers (Michel-Bendichou stadium). 3,500 spectators. Half time: 14-6.
Referee: Benjamin Hernandez (Alps).
For Colomiers: 2 Saurs tries (36), penalty (57), 4 Girard penalties (3, 8, 40+1, 50).
For USC: 2 Mouchous penalties (21, 25).
Yellow cards: in Colomiers, Coletta (26), Sheklashvili (66); at USC, Manchia (56), Herjean (57).
COLOMBIER: Girard – P. Rokoduguni, Perrin (Pimienta, 56), Deysel (Perrin, 73), Saurs – (o) Seguy (Auriac, 61), (m) Seguela (Gori, 63) – Lescure, Peysson (Pirlet, 67- 76), Coletta (cap.) (Pacheco, 61) – Granouillet (Ricard, 56), J. Thomas (Granouillet, 73) – Pirlet (Sheklashvili, 49), Larrieu (Elliot, 56), Djehi (T. Dubois, 49).
USC: Gianet (Clavières, 55) – Marty, Plessis, Aguillon, Dulon (Gianet, 66) – (o) Mouchous (Jones, 52), (m) Marques (cap.) – Meka (Onambele, 46), Herjean, Annetta ( Carroll, 60) – Landman (Harley, 46), Manchia – Bekoshvili (Akhobadze, 60), Carbou (Sa, 61), Mavinga (Martinez, 40).
Score evolution: 3-0, 6-0, 6-3, 6-6, 11-6, 14-6, 17-6, 24-6.
SA finally on the bench
Connor Sa, the hooker on loan from Bordeaux-Bègles, was able to play his first match with USC last night. What was not sure until a few hours before kick-off since the Carcassonne leaders received the license yesterday morning.
RAMOS, BRONCAN… Beautiful people in the stands
As a neighbor, a few players from Stade Toulousain, including Thomas Ramos and Arthur Bonneval, came to watch the game last night. Castres manager Pierre-Henry Broncan was also present.
Ch. Labit: “We took a blank bullet”
Christian, indiscipline costs you dearly…
We missed out on the quality of play, we lacked benchmarks, we couldn’t make three passes without dropping the ball. We are feverish in attack and we make too many mistakes. This match will serve us enormously and I am convinced that we are capable of raising the level. What we saw does not reflect the quality of our team. It takes time and we will have to agree to play average matches. We are too much in the pass. Sometimes you have to be more pragmatic and it will pass with time and the acceptance of the formula even if it is not very simple when you are a player and you want to play more and more. We dropped balloons, and to win away from home, it’s not possible.
We will try to find the forms of play that suit our team. I’m not worried, it will come. You have to take the time, like every time when you have ten new players. We must make use of what we have not done well.
Like the multiplication of faults for example?
Yes, repeated faults for some players. I don’t think they can play this rugby anymore. So they won’t play in our band anymore. I can’t ask one player to get involved and another to make mistakes. The men who make mistakes will naturally come out and the others will come in. And the game, we will advise in three months. Now we have to be efficient, pragmatic in the 22 meters, score points and hold the ball as much as possible. This will be our leitmotif to win the next matches and in particular the one that happens to us, Montauban.
There are points of satisfaction. The melee, the defense?
Yes, the scrum was good but we can’t rely on this base, it won’t be enough. It will be necessary to be efficient in the balls carried. We weren’t good at keeping the ball. It looks like we can play all week without scoring… Then we can’t win by just defending. We are missing a somewhat atypical player in front and behind. If we have an injury, we are in trouble. We will find solutions. Will that be enough to win? We lived stories not so old as that where, at the beginning, we were not very enthusiastic in the game and we went much further. We will become a team that will play simply and we will do the accounts at the end. It’s a disappointment. We took a blank bullet with no impact. You have to watch out for live ammunition now.