Victorious over Wasps (20-18), the Lyonnais will therefore play their first major final of the professional era and it will be in Marseille at the end of May. Having been particularly approximate and imprecise in the finish in the first period, the Rhodaniens then managed to reverse the trend in the wake of their enterprising opener Léo Berdeu, at the origin of a recovery which he ended himself in the English in-goal in the 47th minute, a try he converted to allow his team to lead for the first time (10-8).
Launched on good offensive bases, this semi-final of the European Challenge, disputed under a summer sun in Gerland, nevertheless suffered from a lack of technical rigor, and therefore of continuity. If the Wasps had managed to score in the 24th by their scrum half Robson, infiltrating the closed side behind a carried ball, this zero pass try opened the scoring, but above all testified to the difficulty of multiplying playing time.
Charcosset in force
We can report a decision, or rather an absence of decision, from the Irish referee on a percussion on the arm of the English center Fekitoa on the face of Léo Berdeu (30th) which was worth at least a yellow card. But Murphy’s Law – named after this very lax game director – was favorable to the English. This did not prevent the LOU, once their substitutes entered, from winning with a strong try signed Charcosset (54th) before Léo Berdeu went about it three times to score a second penalty goal (65th) which brought the score to 20-11.
But the English finished at a brisk pace, like Gopperth’s try on the ball carried behind penalty (75th, 20-18) concluding a clear combination which left the Lyonnais perplexed but not sluggish. Indeed, they occupied the English camp in the last moments and thus preserved their short lead, ticket for the final in their pocket against the winner of Toulon-Saracens, scheduled for this Saturday evening in Mayol (9 p.m.).