By Guy Williams, Date: 16/4/13
LEZIGNAN Sangliers are through to the French Federation of Rugby Leagueâ€™s Elite One preliminary finals, but are likely to be without Australian import Nathan Wynn.
The third-placed Sangliers booked a berth in the preliminary finals, to be hosted by Toulouse on April 28, after their 35-28 win over 2011-12 premiers AS Carcassonne on Sunday.
Wynn, who isnâ€™t returning to France for the 2013-14 season, was helped off Stade Moulin in Lezignan for the final time early in the first half with a suspected season ending knee injury.
Despite the loss of their chief playmaker, the Sangliers went into the half-time break leading 22-16 after halfback Anthony Carrere scored back-to-back tries midway through the first half.
Carrere was the difference on the day, with the lightning quick half scoring his third in the 54th minute before knocking over a field goal with 12 minutes remaining to give the Sangliers a match-winning 31-16 lead.
Lezignan now face St Esteve XIII Catalans while Toulouse Olympiqueâ€™s nail-bighting 29-28 win over Avignon on Saturday setup a preliminary final with minor premiers Pia Donkeys.
It was former Newtown Jets halves pairing Johnathon Ford and Mark Kheirallah who proved the difference, with Ford crossing for a double while Kheirallah scored one and played a hand in three of Toulouseâ€™s six tries before slotting a field goal in the dying seconds to clinch the win.
Toulouse now turn their focus towards their fourth round Challenge Cup contest against York next Sunday Prior to the preliminary finals on April 28.