Agen is scary again

The SU Agen manager wanted to see his group become “killer” during their meetings. With four wins in five trips, it is clear that he has won his bet.

Agen was aiming for twelve points on this second block. He already has fourteen in three games. In eight days, the SUA has exported five times, for four victories. And only one small defeat in Montauban (26-25). In short, Jeff Fonteneau’s guys can no longer hide: yes, when playing Agen, the opponents are asking themselves questions again. How to play this impassive team in defense and particularly disciplined? How to avoid that it punishes as of the first error? How to get around this massive pack?

Behaviors that change

The president of Sporting Union Agenais wanted “see how this team was able to travel” during the first two blocks. He was served. As full-back Mathieu Lamoulie confirms: “Agen played last year not to lose. This season, Agen is playing to win.” And that changes everything.

At the origin of this transformation? Bernard Goutta. It’s very clear, the Catalan has transformed this group. Well helped, it must be said, by his assistants, Dave Ryan and Manny Edmonds. Without forgetting Ludovic Loustau, the physical trainer, and others.

In training, it shows: the manager commands respect. But the most impressive thing is the transformation of behavior. This group, reinforced by experienced players, prepares for war every weekend. This is what Goutta wanted when he arrived. He told us: “We will have to find respect. And we will find it by going hunting everywhere.”

However, it was not won. A month ago, the Agenais were heading for a difficult start to the season with two defeats at home during the first block. Never, to everyone’s surprise, did this group panic. This was also the main subject of our questions during our discussions with the staff and the players at that time: why did Agen seem so sure of himself, when he was not winning?

A month later, the players gave the answer on the pitch.

Valves to reassure Armandie

So the trigger, where does it come from? Vincent Farré’s partners had to regain confidence. It’s done. At the start of the exercise, Bernard Goutta repeated that this confidence would come by doing simple things in training. No one believed him. Yet that is what happened. Also, in his speech, the former third line transcended his group. By his charisma, as some Top 14 managers can do. But also by the nature of his words. The Catalan is very attached to this “family” spirit that he instills in his players.

This emotional side has in any case allowed Sporting to weld together. And now to make great performances on the ground. But here it is: if Agen has shown what he is capable of away from Armandie, he is about to receive Vannes, third in the standings, who will want to stop a series of four straight victories. In its new lair, with its new status, the SUA will pass quite a test of character. The opportunity to confirm to all the Pro D2 that this season, he is once again part of the scarecrows of the championship.

Agen is scary again