The game: 25-19
At the end of an uncertain meeting until the end, the opening match of the Top 14 very lively and disputed at a good pace on the artificial lawn of La Défense Arena, the Racingmen managed in extremis to win a try. flash initiated by the Benmegal winger and concluded by the center Klemenczak, in the corner, three minutes before the end, thus destroying the hopes of Castres to bring back at least one point from their first trip.
At the end of an observation round which lasted about twenty minutes and saw the Castres improve their territorial domination and a few flashes through the foot of Julien Dumora (3-9), the Racingmen showed their talent. They scored two ambitious tries (26th by Ibrahim Diallo and 32nd by Cedate Gomes Sa), one from an 80m throw and the other from a series of passes. They could have scored a third (40th) just before the break, which they reached slightly ahead (15-12), a short advantage which suited the Castres, in ambush.
In the second half, after an unsuccessful series of Ile-de-France highlights (52nd-55th), the Tarnais grew bolder and, behind a counter-attack, found space with a long jump pass from their young opener Le Brun in which engulfed Filipo Nakosi (56th) to score the try that put his team back in the lead (15-19). A kick from Teddy Iribaren (66th) – despite two failures (51st, 70th) – and a magnificent try in the wake of a raise from his young winger Enzo Benmegal (18) put Racing 92 back in front of the score, before only with a corner transformation, this same Iribaren does not finally deprive the Castres of the defensive bonus.
The number of minutes that the Castres, first in the standings at the end of last season, waited before registering their only try.
The player: the elusive Santiago Arata
Revealed during the 2919 World Cup in Japan as part of the Uruguay team, the Castres scrum-half multiplied the breakthroughs, the large-scale actions, annihilating the Ile-de-France tackles with a hip kick or an acceleration. Inspirer of a Tarn team turned towards the offensive, Santiago Arata (29 years old, 45 selections since 2016) has, by his sharp initiatives, outclassed his two vis-à-vis, Nolann Le Garrec then Teddy Iribaren. But his teammates did not always know how to get in tune.