Top 14 – USAP: Ewan Bertheau’s promises

Promoted to captain in his first game in the Top 14, the Girondins third line has fulfilled its mission. Ewan Bertheau brings interesting prospects to his team. Finally some good news for the USAP.

You had to dare! Entrusting the role of line leader to a 21-year-old young prospect, for whom it was the first term in the Top 14, was a bit of a crazy gamble. Tempted, and successful, by the USAP squad, in La Rochelle, one of the tenors of the championship as well. Ewan Bertheau (21 years old), for his first appearance with the Catalan shirt, has fulfilled the expectations of his coaches. The first two performances of the Catalan lineup this season were below the expectations of David Marty and his assistants due to the play of the forwards, Guillaume Vilaceca and Perry Freshwater.

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In failure, the touch of the USAP had contributed to the failures in Pau (16-14) and against Brive (6-17). Too many balloons left on the way, too much wasted ammunition gave reason to fear the worst before moving on to the land of La Rochelle, which had become very inhospitable for a few seasons. We had to react. The Bertheau option was an alternative. The withdrawal of Damien Chouly, the injuries of Will Witty and Kélian Galletier, two recruits who were supposed to strengthen the aerial sector of Perpignan, left little choice for the Catalan coaches. “I’m happy for Ewanassures Vilacéca. I spent three years with me at the Espoirs. Seeing a young person you helped grow is satisfying. Ewan is a hard worker. He is diligent, serious. During the whole week, he worked well, took notes, gained momentum and in the games he was present. It’s a great satisfaction.”

Bertheau: “knowing how to take advantage of your opportunity”

David Marty, too, did not hide his happiness to see Bertheau in the lead. “Ewan, I recruited him, he was supposed to play for Crabos at UBBsays the USAP coach. It had come to my attention during the interpulls* and I had brought it to USAP. All week, with Guillaume (Vilaceca), they prepared the strategy for the La Rochelle match. The construction of the fingerboard is like that of a match. You have to start with caution, gain confidence before trying more difficult things.”

The result, two first pitches into the front blocks, just to secure the first catches, reassured a lineup plagued with doubt from the start of the Top 14. In the end, USAP lost just one ball in the pitching . Mission accomplished for Catalan throwers and jumpers. “We wanted to have one more optionMarty continues. We knew Ewan was one. In the end, it’s a satisfaction.” Guillaume Vilaceca is not surprised. “We knew that Ewan has been interested in the field of touch since he arrived in Perpignan. Our only question was whether he was able to reproduce in the Top 14 what he achieved in Pro D2…” The answer is yes. It offers an additional option in the fingerboard sector, intensifying the competition. It remains to be seen if Ewan Bertheau’s experience will be renewed quickly? “We will seeMarty replies. Ewan counts as one. It’s an option… And the season will be long.” “This Top 14 is a real marathonadds Vilaceca. It is important to be able to inject new blood. Your air profile authorizes you to apply for this exercise. Surely we won’t ask Posolo (Tuilagi) jump… When you have a strong point you have to work on it. It can erase a physical deficit and accentuate its presence in a certain position”.

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It was not all negative in La Rochelle. Ewan Bertheau’s breakout is a satisfaction the USAP staff wants to rest on. As for the man in question, who had played two Challenge Cup games last year, he had these foreboding words before facing the Welshmen in Newport: “When the opportunity comes to play professionally, you have to take it. You may not be 36…” Bertheau was ready.

* The interpools are a competition that brings together the national under-16 and under-18 elite every year.

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