ST ESTEVE XIII Catalans are the 2016 Lord Derby Cup winners after their 33-16 win over Limoux Grizzlies on Saturday.
Former Lezignan Sangliers second rower Pierre Negre scored a double as St Esteve scored five tries to Limoux’s three at Stade Albert Domec, Carcassonne to etch their name onto the Lord Derby Cup for the fourteenth time, and for the first time since 2005.
Beaten finalists in 2015, St Esteve went behind early after Limoux lock Mickael Rouche scored and Mickael Murcia added the extras to claim a 6-0 lead.
Negre found some space in the middle of the Limoux defence thanks to some crafty work from Joan Guasch not long after to level scores.
Moments later the Catalans went down a man for 10 minutes after Roman Navarrete received a yellow card, and Limoux took advantage through Alexis Alberola.
Alberola pushed off one defender to score to put his side ahead 10-6 but it wasn’t long before the Dragons reserve grade team took the team.
Shortly before the half-time break Nabil Djalout pierced through the opposing defensive line to score after some superb work from halfback Stan Robin.
Remy Marginet added the extras to give the Catalans a 12-10 heading into half-time.
Man of the Match Antoni Maria led from the front with his aggressive running and defence helped the Catalans tire the Limoux’s defence.
Pierre Negro took advantage of the jaded Limoux defence to score his second before Maria extended the lead to 24-10.
Thomas Ambert sealed the win with his side’s fifth try while Marginet’s late field goal proved the icing on the cake.
Saint-Esteve XIII Catalan 33 (Pierre Negro 2, Nabil Djalout, Antoni Maria Ambert Thomas tries; Remy Marginet 6 goals; Remy Marginet 1 field goal) def Limoux 16 (Mickael Rouch, Alexis Alberola, Mathieu Mayans tries; Mickael Murcia 2 goals) at Stade Domec, Carcassonne on Sunday.