Planet Rugby

Agen win relegation battle

15th April 2011 21:51

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Agen s wing Brice Dulin 2011

Staying up: Agen wing Brice Dulin

Agen assured themselves of a place in the top flight of French rugby next season with a hard-fought 29-19 victory over La Rochelle on Friday.

The result also means that relegation is near-unavoidable for La Rochelle.

In a ding-dong battle that went right down to the wire, Agen secured victory in the very last minute when Sylvère Tian broke clear for a counter-attacking try.

With the La Rochelle pack camped on the Agen line an pushing for the penalty try that would hand them a Top 14 lifeline, Tian latched onto a loose ball before bursting clear, hacking ahead twice before scoring and effectively ending La Rochelle's stay in the top flight after a single season.

It was a heartbreaking night all-round for the hosts who also saw the TMO refuse two tries.

Agen led 13-12 at half-time thanks to a try from Tongan lock Lisiate Fa'aoso before La Rochelle replied in the second period through kiwi loose forward Piula Faasalele

If Brive pick up a losing bonus point in Biarritz on Saturday, La Rochelle will officially be relegated.

The scorers

For La Rochelle:
Try: Faasalele
Con: Goosen
Pens: Goosen 4

For Agen:
Tries: Fa'aoso, Tian
Cons: Barnard 2
Pens: Barnard 5

Yellow cards: Machenaud (Agen); Senekal (Agen); Grobler (La Rochelle)

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