Top 14: The USAP, grandiose but frustrated, will have to win the Access Match in Mont-de-Marsan to maintain

The Catalans managed a great performance against Bordeaux-Bègles (22-15). But that was insufficient to snatch the maintenance, Brive winning in Paris at the same time (17-33). See you in a week at Mont-de-Marsan for a second and last chance to hold on.

USAP did not have its destiny in hand, this Sunday evening, during the last day of the Top 14 championship. The Catalans knew it well when starting this decisive clash against a team from Bordeaux which was aiming for a place. direct to the semi-finals.

But faced with the Bordeaux armada, the Usapists had above all to succeed in their part of the contract and impose themselves in order to hope to maintain themselves. They also had to count on a defeat without a bonus if possible from Brive to the Stade Français.

starved to death

For 80 minutes, Patrick Arlettaz’s men fought, stripped and looked the Bordelo-Béglais in the eye. Even Seuteni’s two flash tries did not affect their morale. The Catalans had starved to death. Like their supporters, hot and boiling hours before kick-off.

The heat of the afternoon still weighed heavily when the “blood and gold” people invaded the aisles of their favorite stadium, but they all had this faith pegged to the body only with an extra soul, putting themselves in “mode” final stages”, the USAP could complete this Top 14 championship in 12th place, synonymous with maintenance.

Brive on survival, Paris on vacation

But now, this season, the USAP has dropped points. Two bonuses against Brive, an avoidable defeat against Stade Français, in particular. And it is the Stade Français, precisely, already on vacation that had part of the destiny of the Catalans in its hands. But faced with Brivistes in survival mode, the Parisians had their minds elsewhere more than in the rucks. And this crazy evening in Perpignan will finally lead to great frustration for an entire people. USAP remains three points behind Brive in the final standings.

The investment, the rage and the enthusiasm displayed this Sunday evening at Aimé-Giral deserved a better fate even if the USAP can boast of having won a very big victory against a Bordeaux team deprived of a direct semi-final. It’s not nothing but it’s not, in the end, not much.

The USAP will have to make an extra effort, repair the bodies and the heads in the week and put back the blue of heating, next Sunday (5:45 p.m.), in Mont-de-Marsan to try to be the first team of the Top 14 to be maintained via an Access Match.

We’re not going to tell them it’s impossible. It seems that beating Bordeaux then in the race for the semi-finals was already. And as with a valiant heart, nothing is impossible…

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