ASBH: like against Brive, Béziers can rely on its physical condition to finish matches well

ASBH: like against Brive, Béziers can rely on its physical condition to finish matches well

Face àNevers, le 10 mai dernier, un essai au bout du suspense a permis aux Biterrois de l’emporter. Midi Libre – SYLVIE CAMBON

Comme face à Brive, vendredi dernier, l’ASBH a souvent fini ses matches en boulet de canon cette saison. Un vrai atout, notammment dans ces matches de phases finales.

A dive from Hans Nkinsi into the goal and the deliverance. Samuel Marques transforms and Béziers gets back in front of Brive (33-31), four minutes from the end, after 3 minutes 30 of possession and 85 meters recovered. A final high-flying defensive sequence, ASBH is released and qualified for a Pro D2 semi-final.

To build this success, last Friday, the Biterrois, dominated in conquest, had to rely on one of their strengths: their physical condition. "On the last action, we have guys who do 4-5 rucks in a row without touching the ball and who get up, says Clément Ancely, the captain. Across the way, the guys from Brive were tired and starting to lower their heads."

Also read: VIDEO. ASBH: relive Nkinsi's decisive try, which made the Raoul-Barrière stadium capsize with happiness, against Brive

This strength was however one of the weak points last season, as Pierre Caillet's protégés let meetings slip away in the last moments of their matches. "We know that, often, it turns on the end of the match in a dense championship… We saw him last year", notes the technician.

Carcassonne, Soyaux-Angoulême, Colomiers, Aurillac and Grenoble: during the previous year, the Rouge et Bleu let victory slip away on eight occasions, while they were leading the 70th minute.

"When you want to perform well in rugby, you have to be physically ready. In recent seasons, we had missed things in this area. This season, we prepared accordingly. And we got into the habit of finishing strong at the end of matches", adds Pierre Caillet.

"The “prep” the hardest of my career"

If the defeats after the siren in Nevers (25-22) and against Provence (17-18) tend to prove the opposite, the ASBH has indeed changed its approach when the timer is approaching its end.

"It’s a new state of mind. Without disrespecting those who were there in previous years, we are reaping the fruits of the preparation made this summer, concedes third row Clément Ancely. I experienced the “prep” the hardest of my career: under the sun in Béziers, on the synthetic pitch, without touching the ball too much."

Also read:ASBH: "We are two matches away from paradise", assures Robert Ménard, the mayor of Béziers

Physical preparation overseen by Alexis Mudarra, Mathieu Rigal and Mathieu Halbwachs, under the eye of manager Pierre Caillet. "We brought out old physical preparations from the closet, a little denser, a little harder. We had this desire to be ready", confides the head coach.

The beginnings of this efficiency in “money-time” were seen in mid-September, at the Raoul-Barrière stadium, when Vannes, then undefeated leader, led 17-0 twenty-five minutes from time. After a cannonball end to the match, the Biterrois, thanks to a double from Gabin Lorre, snatched a draw after the siren (20-20).

Also read: ASBH: beaten in scrum, Béziers had to "take in as much playing time as possible" to find the fault against Brive

This season, in Colomiers (19-23), Montauban (34-37) and more recently against Nevers (20-16) and Brive (33-31), Ancely and his teammates showed that ;rsquo;they had become masters of suspense. "At the end of the match, we feel that we still have fuel", explains the captain.

Facing Vannes, Friday evening (9 p.m.), a less dense team than Brive, but which moves the ball more, Béziers knows that it will have to remain at gunpoint until the end to, why not, play a bad trick at the Rabine stadium. And treat yourself to a new wolf ending.

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