Pro D2 : Une finale de bloc à bout de course pour le SU Agen

l’essentielThis third match in 12 days is crucial for SUA. If they win, their objectives would be fully achieved at the end of this first block.

Il y a la perspective comptable, en cas de victoire, des 13 points voire d’une place sur le podium à la fin de ce premier bloc. Mais les Agenais ont plutôt pour objectif de rester invaincus à Armandie avant la venue de Nevers. « C’est une finale de bloc contre un concurrent direct qui nous installerait dans le top 4 pendant la trêve », résume Bernard Goutta.

However, the SUA does not approach this match in the best way, with this being their 3rd outing in 12 days. The last one was on Thursday evening in Rouen. « Fortunately, the club made the effort to have us travel by plane, » says the manager. « It saved us a day of recovery. » « On occasion, we can do it, » says William Demotte. « But it puts the players in danger. »

The World Cup completely disrupted the calendar. To make room for international matches, the Pro D2 games were rescheduled for weekdays. « During the group stage, the World Cup players have six to seven days of rest between each match, » Goutta continues. « We only have five. I’m not saying it will be an excuse for tonight, but I wanted to bring attention to it. And also highlight the excellent work of our medical and physical staff in preventing major injuries for the team. »

Trois joueurs auraient pu postuler demain

Despite everything, the smaller ones are still present. While all the other Pro D2 matches will take place tomorrow, Agen and Nevers have had their confrontation moved forward. « If we played tomorrow like the others, we could have fielded three players (Erbani, Lokotui, Etcheverry), unfortunately they are not fit enough for tonight. » For this match, Bernard Goutta has only selected players who are « 100% ready », prioritizing a team-focused composition.

Because the Agenais are facing a tough challenge. After a difficult start in Vannes, the Bourguignons have gained momentum. They continue to play in their distinctive style. « Their game is well-oiled, with a focus on width. Any positioning mistake is costly against them. Additionally, they have strong ball carriers. And their close-range mauls often result in tries. »

La trêve au chaud

Last year, the SUA did not find the solution against the USON (39-13; 17-21). « With this shortened week, we mainly focused on freshness and tactical work, without our usual high-intensity and opposition sessions, » reveals Bernard Goutta. End of block sprint required.

Contre la très belle équipe nivernaise, le SUA devra puiser dans ses réserves et retrouver la force collective qui lui a permis de faire chuter Brive et Mont-de-Marsan. « Il faut appréhender ce match comme celui de Brive », avance d’ailleurs Thomas Vincent, remis de son souci au mollet.

And, without further ado, a third victory at Armandie would secure a solid position in the leading pack for this first break. Perhaps even on the podium if there are positive results on the other fields. « It’s all the better if we’re talked about less than other teams, » smiled the Agen striker. « It’s not a bad thing to hide behind the favorites. » However, we must not do that tonight against Nevers!

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