A PAIR of former Limoux Grizzlies players are willing their former club on but believe the club’s family-like atmosphere won’t be enough to help them overcome a host of injuries and a youthful St Esteve XIII Catalans side in the 2016 Lord Derby Cup final.
AS Carcassonne backs Haydn Peacock and Luke Towers insist Limoux’s place in the final is warranted but believe St Esteve will be too strong in Saturday afternoon’s final at Carcassonne’s Stade Domec.
Towers and Peacock have spent time at the Grizzlies during their stay in France, and have seen plenty of Limoux during the 2015-16 FFR XIII Elite 1 season.
Carcassonne and Limoux have met four times during the season with Carcassonne winning two of the four matches, and the two clubs shared the points with a 36-36 draw in Round 10.
After the season Limoux has had I definitely think they deserve the win. – Luke Towers
Limoux head into the final without front rowers Maxime Herold (pectoral injury) and Valentin Yesa (suspension) while second rower Sione Masima is battling a calf injury.
“All the injuries that Limoux have encountered in recent weeks will make it even tougher on them,” Towers said.
“I know a lot of the Limoux players are coming into this game not 100% which will be a big disadvantage for them.
“But after the season Limoux has had I definitely think they deserve the win.”
Peacock spent the 2013-14 FFR XIII Elite 1 season with the Grizzlies before joining Carcassonne ahead of the 2014-15 seasons and said the club environment would hold them in good stead.
“There’s something special about the family like atmosphere at Limoux,” he said.
“They’ve got this close-knit culture. I’ve played there so I know what it’s like. They are a family. They’re not even close to the best team on paper but they stick to their game plan and compete for each other.”
Peacock and Towers picked St Esteve as narrow winners due to their physical forward pack, and the extra motivation after losing last year’s Cup final, but insisted their youth could work against them.
“After losing the final last year they will obviously want to right that wrong,” Peacock said.
“For St Esteve, it’s their physicality. Every time you play them you know you will be extra sore the next day.
“But they are young and with youth comes inconsistency and immature footy. You just never know how they are going to turn up on the day.”
Towers added: “Playing St Esteve away this season was one of the hardest games of the year and what stood out was their enthusiasm to do whatever it takes to win.
“Once they get a roll on they are very hard to stop. They have been playing as a team which will be a massive advantage for them.”
Lord Derby Cup predictions
- Haydn Peacock: St Esteve 26 Limoux 16
- Luke Towers: St Esteve 32 Limoux 22