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FRENCH TEARS FOR YOUNG ROVERS.

ROVERS capped a miserable week with an unexpected defeat to French club Limoux in their opening Treize Tournoi game.

The loss followed their Grand Final defeat and the subsequent departure of coach Steve Simms.

Stand-in coach Kevin Hobbs had six of the players unavailable through injury and was forced into handing debuts to four Academy players in a side with an average age of just 21.

The big aggressive Limoux pack out-muscled the Rovers six with Australian prop Andrew Lonegan outstanding, and second row Christopher Puso powering over for two tries.

Former St George centre Laurence Raleigh constantly created problems out wide, and despite the efforts of Richard Slater and Richard Chapman, Rovers were forced on to the back foot and played the majority of the first 40 in their own half.

Neil Lowe crossed to give Rovers hope, but Raleigh's try extended the Limoux lead to 12-4.

It needed a big effort from Rovers after the restart but, spurred on by an enthusiastic crowd, Limoux's defence hurried them into mistakes, and when Lowe's speculative overhead pass was intercepted by Puso for his second, the game was effectively over.

Danny Baker crossed for a consolation and Richard Chapman added the goal for a final score of 19-10.

High-flying Lancashire Lynx rescued British pride with a 40-24 win over St Esteve.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Oct 4, 1998
Words:220
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