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UBB-Saracens: the elusive Girondin three-quarters, Itoje and the unrecognizable “Sarries”… the tops and the flops


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UBB-Saracens: the elusive Girondin three-quarters, Itoje and the unrecognizable “Sarries”… the tops and the flops


Three doubles and an orgy of rugby, the party was total in Chaban-Delmas Saturday afternoon. As in January when they inflicted the heaviest defeat in their history in the competition (55-15), the Union Bordeaux-Bègles martyred the triple English European champions. Elected man of the match, opener Matéo Garcia, who replaced Matthieu Jalibert who was injured in the knee, scored a double (37th, 49th), including a vital corner try which allowed his partners to make the break just before the break. Elusive and rushing into all the holes in the Saracens defense, Nicolas Depoortère (61st, 67th) and Louis Bielle-Biarrey (64th, 76th) then imitated him. Although he did not manage to cross the line, Damian Penaud delivered two assists to his partners, constantly consumed English defenders to free up space and finished the match with 63 meters covered with the ball in hand.

Unrecognizable during the Six Nations Tournament, relegated to the bench in favor of Nolann Le Garrec, Maxime Lucu has resumed his cruising speed with the Union Bordeaux-Bègles. Despite the approximations and the lack of realism of the Girondins in the first act, the scrum half, on several occasions, gave voice to reassure his partners. Setting a crazy pace when returning from the locker room, he is one of the big players in this round of 16 and the launching pad which led to the tests of his three-quarters. Author of a flawless foot (5/5, 11 points), he left to the ovations of the public, replaced by Yann Lesgourgues (64th)


Despite his status as a manager of Saracens and of English rugby in general, Maro Itoje did not help his partners at the end of the first period by committing a voluntary forward which annihilated a real Gironde testing opportunity (35th). The second row logically received a yellow card and Saracens conceded a first try a few seconds later, which allowed Union Bordeaux-Bègles to make the break (10-0).

After the slap received on January 14 in the same Chaban-Delmas stadium (55-15), the heaviest defeat in their history in the Champions Cup, the Saracens did not manage to rectify the situation against UBB and lost again heavily (45-12), exiting the competition through the back door. Unable to worry their opponents and cornered in their camp during almost the entire match, the three-time European champions (2016, 2017, 2019) showed a very pale face, outclassed in all areas of the game. “Fanny » until the 72nd minute, the Londoners ended up saving the honor with two tries scored by winger Alex Lewington (72nd), in the corner, and third-row replacement Tom Willis (79th). Anecdotal tests as the difference in level was abysmal on Saturday afternoon.

At the end of a one-sided first act, Union Bordeaux Bègles led 10 to 0 at the break, thanks in particular to a corner try from opener Matéo Garcia (36th), helped by a performance from his fullback Romain Buros. But the Girondins could have increased the score further without some inaccuracies and four tries rightly refused by Mr. Murphy. From the fifth minute, Louis Bielle-Biarrey lit the first fuse and showed his top speed after a play at the foot of Maxime Lucu but the winger narrowly failed to control the ball to flatten it in the end zone. Behind, Romain Buros is at the conclusion of a nice three-quarter movement (13th) but the referee, after video refereeing, refuses the try for a forward from Damian Penaud at the start of the action. On fire, the three-quarters continue and Louis Bielle-Biarrey, well served by Damian Penaud, flattens in turn (21st) but sees his try refused for a sluggish passage from Romain Buros. Finally, Nicolas Depoortère also went to flatten in the in-goal (30th), but his banderilla was logically refused after a forward when receiving a play at the foot of Maxime Lucu. Approximations without consequences for the UBB, qualified for the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup for the second time in its history.

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