Pro D2 – On Thursday evening, at the opening of the eleventh day of the French championship, Union sportif Montalbanaise won at home against Olympic Biarritz 32-21. In front at half-time, thanks to three tries and a first period that was generally dominant (17-7), the USM saw the BO pass in front of them in the second half. But the locals finished the competition better, thanks to the entry of Jérôme Bosviel, author of fifteen points.
After three defeats in a row and a month without a victory in the championship, Montauban put an end to this bad period in front of his audience on Thursday evening. Against the BO, Pierre-Philippe Lafond’s players won 32-21. Thanks to this success, they temporarily rise to sixth place in the rankings. Biarritz, in turn, has a second setback in a row. The Basques are now ninth.
While the matches between Montauban and Biarritz are usually lively and rich in tries (there were eight last season), Thursday evening’s meeting got off to a bit of a rough start. To be fair, the USM had the ball in their hands quickly, but they came up against a fairly well-organized Biarritz defense, solid in the lead and probably unhindered by the last-minute packages of Yann David and Jonathan Joseph, in the middle of the field.
Fortunel involved in two tests
Fifteen minutes after the match and while the score was still 0-0, Pierre Philippe Lafond, questioned by the broadcaster, analyzed the situation as follows: “There are intentions, but we encounter a good defense from the BO. We’ll have to alternate”. The instructions were applied to the letter, as on the next action Thomas Fortunel hit a small kick over the Basque defense, Yvan Reilhac took advantage of a favorable rebound and the three-quarter cent opened the scoring (7-0, 17th).
The BO’s response did not take long. Until then deprived of balls, Romain Lonca’s partners proposed a long sequence on the opponent’s 22 meters, after a breakthrough by Imanol Biscay. The attackers, behind a spirited Mohamed Haouas, gained ground and Christopher Hilsenbeck faked the pass (7-7, 22nd). Thomas Hébert again found a breach in the Montalban curtain, but the opportunity did not materialize (28th).
The halftime and the end of the first period were in favor of the locals, in numerical superiority after the yellow card addressed to Adrian Motoc (high tackle on Kevin Gimeno, 30th). With 15 to 14, after another action at the foot of Thomas Fortunel, Secundo Tuculet was faster than Cordin and scored his team’s second try in the corner (12-7, 31st). Moments later, the same Tuculet took a candle from Hilsenbeck, before breaking through the Basque defense and then serving Alexis Bernadet, who finished the job (17-7, 35th). Thus, the local club returned to the dressing room with a ten-point lead and the gap could have been bigger if Fortunel had not dropped seven points along the way (one penalty, two conversions).
Biarritz comes back strongly, but the entry of Bosviel made the difference
By getting the ball back at the start of the second half, the BO quickly got back in the right direction. At the end of a long series, Gervais Cordin brought in Romain Lonca, who brought his partners back to level (17-14, 42nd). It was Temo Matiu, who came to support a good attack from Adrian Motoc, who gave his team the advantage for the first time in the match (17-21, 50th).
Montauban, however, did not panic. The locals got their hands on the ball again and had two big possessions (56th, 62nd) near the Biarritz goal. The visitors defended well and the USM had to rely on the boot of Jérôme Bosviel to come back to a small point (20-21, 58th).
Moreover, the Montalbanese back was decisive at the end of the match. He was very good in the occupation battle, which he won. And faced with the numerous errors received by the BO, especially on the ground, Bosviel gave four penalties (65th, 70th, 74th, 79th), allowing his team to return to victory (32-21).