If the former third line wants to take this classification with a grain of salt, it is above all because his team can do very good things, like completely missing out on his matches. A third of the championship, the Angloys have 24 points (five wins, three losses). Saint-Jean-de-Luz has a similar record. “We haven’t changed from what we knew how to do,” recalls Eric Bonachera, one of the three presidents of the SJLO. Today, we don’t put pressure on ourselves, we play rugby and we compensate for our lack of physical density with a game based on speed. »
Three weekly workouts
In this new division, the two Basque clubs, despite fewer means (financial, suffering), are resisting against a few professional chicken teams and sticking to the three leaders of Auch, Périgueux and Niort. Thus, they prove that they are legitimate in this National 2, even if the AORC did not win their ticket on the ground, since they went on the green carpet. On this subject, Jean-Louis Lahargou, the co-president of Anglet, slips: “The fact of having started on a semi-failure, the last one, may have forced everyone to remobilise. You know, the fear of not being able to measure up stimulates, motivates. »
In Anglet or Saint-Jean-de-Luz, the players remain amateurs, work during the day, and only train three times a week. “Given the versatility of the guys, we can’t force them to come to the stadium every day,” admits Biscay. In both camps, additional and optional weight training sessions have been set up and the SJLO has integrated a weight room into the Blue Flag to allow players to develop. That’s the only change.
If the two teams, faithful to their principles, advocate a rugby movement, they have however encountered several problems, on the front line, since the start of the season. Annoyed by the breakage, Anthony Biscay could not, on several occasions, change his pillars during the match, and it happens, during the week, that the AORC only trains with three or four valid pillars. Not ideal. “It’s a bit the same for all the clubs in the area, notes Lahargou. We don’t have the resources that some teams have in other regions. And it’s not the SJLO that will say the opposite.
For good reason, Saint-Jean experienced, more or less, the same worries, when last month, Lucas Santamaria, Greg Landrodie and Alexandre Lalanne joined the ranks of the infirmary. Moreover, an Argentinian pillar should land on the Basque Coast soon to reinforce the Luzian front line. “When you meet teams like Périgueux or Niort, you see very well that you are not there in terms of physical density. But it’s not only in front, since the guys all produce ten to fifteen kilos. Afterwards, it is certain that in specific positions as a pillar, we will never have four Georgians to play in the championship, ”slips Eric Bonachera.
Basque rugby festival
Once the context is set, what can we expect from this derby? “We hope to get a good result, announces Lahargou. But beyond that, you have to put yourself above the fray. It has to be a great party for amateur rugby. We are in a region where pro rugby vampirizes a lot of things. We must take advantage of these moments to show that amateur rugby exists at a good level, that it puts on a good show with great moments to live around the stadium. »