Perpignan will evolve next season in Top 14 thanks to its victory over Biarritz (33-14), Saturday June 5, in Montpellier in the final of Pro D2. The Catalan club, seven times champion of France, did honor to its rank after having flown over the regular season. Usap will therefore find the elite two years after leaving it after a nightmarish 2018-2019 season.
Another monument of French rugby, with five Brennus shields, the BO will have a second chance to climb into the elite on the occasion of a jump-off against the 13e of Top 14. It will be next Saturday, at home, either against its great Basque rival, Bayonne, or against Pau, according to the results of the last day of Top 14.
Under a bright sun and in front of a thousand supporters swarmed in the stands of the GGL Stadium, the usual home of Montpellier Hérault Rugby, the Perpignanais achieved as during their semi-final against Oyonnax last weekend a convincing start materialized by a test corner of New Zealand winger George Tisley at the 10e minute.
Sure of their collective strength, more enterprising and superior in conquest, they then patiently increased the score against too undisciplined Biarrots.
A nice bunch of high-sounding names
Thanks in particular to their 21-year-old back Melvyn Jaminet, author of 23 points alone, including an opportunistic try at the end of the match. Revelation of the season in Pro D2 over his crazy raises, his debut on the upper floor will be eagerly awaited next season.
Usap had almost killed all suspense in this final from 52e minute and the try of the Fijian opening half Ben Volavola while the Biarrots were outnumbered following the yellow card scooped by the former All Black Francis Saili. Two internationals among a nice range of high-sounding names lined up on the Montpellier lawn on Saturday, a sign of the ambitions of these two clubs with strong local roots, relegated the same year to the elite’s antechamber, in 2014, after having been at the top in the 2000s.
Perpignan had briefly regained the Top 14 during a nightmarish 2018-2019 season (15 defeats in the first 15 days) from which it will hope to have learned the lessons to maintain itself next year.
Coming from very far in the semi-final against Vannes with a try after the siren, Biarritz, third in the regular season of Pro D2, will have to show something else during the jump-off next weekend.