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Neath Edge Out Beziers

Neath Edge Out Beziers


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Neath put together a solid performance in the January cold to edge out Beziers 23-18 at the Gnoll.

However the win is little more than a consolation for the Welsh All Blacks.

Thanks to their surprise 38-29 defeat to Amatori & Calvisano in Round 3, they are unable to qualify for the final stages of the tournament.

The defeat also signals the end of Beziers’ European adventure.

The first quarter was all Neath, but a penalty goal to fly-half Lee Jarvis was their only reward for 20 minutes of good attacking rugby. To rub salt into the home side’s wounds, Beziers scored with their first attack.

Scrum-half and captain Pierre Mignoni made a telling break that led to lock Karim Ghezal’s try. Argentinean goal-kicker Gonzalo Quesada added a conversion and a penalty goal, and Neath were suddenly looking at a scoreboard that read 3-10.

Jarvis doubled the home score with his second penalty goal before big lock Andy Newman burrowed over for a try which Jarvis converted to give his side a 13-10 lead at the break that few would argue was undeserved.

Jarvis’ fourth penalty goal extended the lead to 16-10, but Beziers soon hit back with their second try of the game.

A classy back movement put centre Jean-Marc Aue over near the posts, but Quesada was having an uncharacteristically bad night with the boot and failed to kick the extras that would have put his side ahead.

Man-of-the-match Mignoni did it instead, with a clever left-foot dropped goal in the 65th minute set up a tense finale, but Neath finally got the crowd on to their feet with the winning try to burly winger Gareth Morris in the corner. Jarvis’ superb sideline conversion was the icing on the cake.

Neath: Tries – A Newman, G Morris; Pens – L Jarvis 3; Con – L Jarvis 2

Beziers: Tries – K Ghezal, J-M Aue; Pen – G Quesada; Con – G Quesada; DG – P Mignoni. Halftime: Neath 13-10.

Yellow card: F Gommard (Beziers)

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