FIVE-EIGHTH Anthony Carrera made an eye-catching return scoring a hat trick as Lezignan Sangliers advanced through to the FFR XIII Elite 1 semi-finals with a 46-0 win over Palau Broncos.
The win sees Lezignan face Limoux Grizzlies in a knockout semi-final at Foix on Saturday afternoon while St Esteve Catalans’ 22-10 win over Avignon Bisons earned them a spot in the semi-finals against AS Carcassonne in a double header at the venue.
Carrera’s flashy footwork helped the home side open the scoring in the 14th minute and tries to fullback Valentin Ferret (19th minute), Simon Grandjean (23rd minute) and another to Carrera opened up a 20-0 lead in the final home match of the season at Stade Moulin.
It was his teammates’ first match in three weeks, however it was Carrera’s first outing since he injured his knee in Lezignan’s 44-30 loss to Limoux Grizzlies at the same venue on February 28.
Despite being out of action for nearly nine weeks, the former Pia Donkeys half was at his mesmerising best in the second half, scoring his third try in the 63rd minute and creating a number of opportunities for his teammates.
Carrera’s halves partner Grandjean scored first for the home side in the second half after a scrappy opening period in which both sides gave away penalties and turned over possession cheaply.
Thomas Barrau put his name on the score sheet in the 71st minute and hooker Matheiu Liauzan dashed 40 metres a couple of minutes before full-time to score his first Elite 1 try after five seasons in the competition.
Quarter final results
Lézignan Sangliers 46 (A Carrère 3, V Ferret 2, S Grandjean, Barrau, Liauzun tries; C Bouzinac 3 and A Carrère 2 goals) def Palau Broncos 0 at Stade Moulin, Lezignan on Saturday.
St Esteve XIII Catalans 22 def Avignon Bisons 10 at Stade St Ruf, Avignon on Saturday.