The Usap of Perpignan remains in the French Top 14

Usap remains in the Top 14 for one more year. Those from Perpignan end the season suffering to be among the best. They beat Grenoble 19-33 last night at the Stade des Alpes, in front of 20,000 fans, in the game to maintain their place in the highly regarded professional French rugby league.

The north-Catalans finished the regular season in thirteenth place and faced a ProD2 team. In this case, the Grenobleans were fighting for promotion and faced a team that wanted to keep their place in the Top 14. A highly contested playoff.

The match was decided in the second half. Against all odds, Grenoble led at half-time, 16-11. The harlequin supporters presaged the worst, but Patrick Arlettaz’s team reacted. The Usap became more effective, dominant in the game and the locals could not keep up with the opponent’s attacks. A superiority that stood out in the last half hour, with the northern Catalans suddenly coming out of their lethargy.

“Probably, we have played our worst game of the season,” the Usap coach assured after the game at a press conference, referring to the fact that the team should never have played this playoff. Even so, he was optimistic in front of his fans, ” this team wanted to show that despite the latest results in the league, they deserve a place in this division. In the Top 14.”

The anger was also shared by the captain of those from Perpignan. Mathieu Acebes, despite winning and maintaining the category in the French rugby honor division, was very critical: “It sucked to be there, we shouldn’t have played this game. The fans are happy and it’s good, but it hasn’t been pleasant for us “. Last season the harlequins risked remaining in another playoff, in this case they beat Mont-de-Marsan (16-41). “We haven’t learned anything. Last year we played this game, we had to improve and we stayed in the same place. I hope that next season we will do everything possible to be higher up [en la clasificación]”, added Acebes.

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The Perpignan club was founded in 1902 and has the honor of having up to seven cups in its showcases as the winner of the French rugby championship in the years 1914, 1921, 1925, 1938, 1944, 1955 and 2009, this milestone makes it the seventh club with the best track record in France. The Usap (Unió Esportiva Arlequins de Perpinyà) was uninterrupted in the first division of French rugby from 1911 to 2014, that year it lost the category and was relegated to ProD2. In 2018, he climbed back into the Top 14, but the joy lasted only one year. In 2020, the league was interrupted by the covid-19 pandemic and there was neither promotion nor relegation. Already in 2021 he recovered the place in the highest category to date.

Source: Portada by

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