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from BBC Wales' Edward Bevan with Brian Price
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Ponty's Paul John with BBC Wales' Gareth Charles
"I think we let one slip here"
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Pontypridd coach Richie Collins
"We're disappointed not to have held for at least a draw"
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banner Saturday, 14 October, 2000, 11:59 GMT 12:59 UK
Aucagne kicks Pau to victory
Pau's David Aucagne
David Aucagne kicked all 12 points for Pau
Pau 12-9 Pontypridd

Pau outside-half David Aucagne kicked all 12 of his side's points as rain destroyed any hopes of a running game in southern France.

Pontypridd withstood relentless pressure in the middle 20 minutes of the second-half, but will take heart from courageous defending, which thwarted Pau's try-scoring attempts.

They rallied strongly in the last 10 minutes after Aucagne's decisive 71st minute penalty, but Pau hung on grimly in the Monsoon-like conditions.

Lee Jarvis kicked three penalties for Ponty, but his third just after half-time was the only score from the Sardis Road men in the second-half.

Thankfully, the game was free of the on-the-field violence which had marred Ponty's previous trips to Brive in 1997 and Colomiers earlier this year.

Run riot

Pau clicked into gear after 50 minutes as the game began to open up and they split the Pontypridd defence on a number of occasions.

At one stage they threatened to run riot as fantastic breaks by open-side Abder Agueb and a thirty-yard dash by galloping centre Damien Traille were stopped by desperate Pontypridd defenders just yards from their line.

But some devastating tackles from Pontypridd centres Jonathan Bryant and Sonny Parker began to frustrate the French, who spilled the ball at crucial moments under the force of the impact.

Superb break

Winger Pascal Bomati, who otherwise had an outstanding game, twice spooned brilliant chances to seal the game for the French.

The first came after just 25 minutes of the first-half after a superb break from full-back David Arrieta put him through.

A potentially more costly one came after Traille's break and scuppered Pau's hopes of killing the game off early.

Scythed through

Pontypridd attacked with desperation - indeed attacked in a sustained manner for the first time in the game - following Aucagne's final penalty.

With just two minutes to go replacement centre Jason Lewis scythed through the Pau three-quarters, but ran out of support on the 22 metre line.

Referee Campsall played a staggering six minutes of injury time, but it was not enough for Pontypridd as Pau hung on in the sodden conditions.

Scorers - Pau: Pen: Aucagne 4

Pontypridd: Pen: Jarvis 3


Pau: D Arrieta, P Bomati, J C Cistaqc, D Traille, X Chambres, D Aucagne (capt), P Carbaonneau, M Larrouy, M Del Maso, S Bria, A Charron, A Lagouarde, L Mallier, I Harinordoquy, A Agueb
Replacements: P Etchayallay, J Rey, T Cleda, G Combes, N Bacque, S Guilhem, L Arbo.

Pontypridd: B Davey, L Woodward, S Parker, J Bryant, J Calderley, L Jarvis, P John (capt), C Loader, F Vunipola, S Cronk, B Cockbain, R Sidloi, D McIntosh, M Owen, R Parks
Replacements: R Neville, C Williams, J Lewis, J Evans, P Graham, W James, M Lloyd.

Referee: B Campsall

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See also:

05 Oct 00 |  Heineken Cup
Ponty steal early march in Europe
12 Oct 00 |  Heineken Cup
John's referee worries
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