Despite a disastrous start to the match, Castres got off the ground thanks to a brilliant, very brilliant Santiago Arata. Young number eight Yann Peysson performed well, while Pau’s second row Guillaume Ducat was, like his team, lacking in defence.
If CO came out of this encounter, which started so badly (still 14-0 after seven minutes of play), it was mainly thanks to Santiago Arata. The Uruguayan troubled the Pau defense all afternoon with his lightning acceleration close to the handles. The latter, too wait-and-see, was overpowered from all sides by the tireless scrum-half. Mind you: in 72 minutes, the nine beat at least eight moves. So of course he didn’t score, but he was at the origin of several tries for his team.
Young Yann Peysson did not disappoint in his first stint in the third midfield position with CO. Skilful with ball in hand, often well placed in support, he allowed his winger Nathanaël Hulleu to score after the break with a wonderful acrobatic pass. He had earlier scored a try at the foot of the posts when he came close to Leone Nakaraw, who was also in good sight on Saturday afternoon. Young man see again.
Still starting on the left of Pau’s scrum to compensate for numerous injuries in the position, the young Georgian was outstanding. Papidze, who was not satisfied with punishing Henry Thomas in the scrum, excelled in his game activity, at half-time he already had eleven successful tackles and four balls played. A full game for this player who will grab the opportunity that has come his way with both hands.
That boy from the Pau section is definitely up to something. Despite its pocket size, it always manages to get out of impossible situations with effective noise and electric supports. From the 7th minute, he fed his team-mate Gailleton’s felt foot in the corridor and combined well with Maddocks for the Australian to score the final try for Palois in the first half. On defense, he also often caught the pass on kickoffs, but was also absent in the passing game.
We don’t know if he was distracted by the fact that he was there against his other club, but second row Guillaume Ducat missed his game. He was at fault for Botitu’s first try, the second line was also clumsy a few minutes later when they made a forward attack in the opponent’s 22 meters, which spoiled a testing opportunity when his team badly needed it, as Castres came back on top (14-14). In the second half, he missed Santiago Arata, who initiated Castres’ fourth try.
The Englishman, author of a good start to the match, gradually fell apart and ended up tripping off the road, as did his leg failure, while his team-mate Joe Simmonds – also little in sight – was no longer on the field due to a yellow card. In short, an evening to forget for Pau, who will be able to take a few days off to recharge his batteries.
The Welshman missed his first start under his new Castres colours. Henry Thomas, unable to adapt to the versatile Papidze, who helps out on the left due to numerous injuries in the position, was penalized several times. He ended up getting a yellow card handed out by Mr. Descottes for repeated fouls.