Sometimes there is nothing better than a warning setback. Especially at the dawn of a match with relative stakes, played in a soothing context. Scheduled at 9 p.m., on a winter Friday, in a stadium with a gauge as limited as the stakes of this convoluted Challenge Cup, this Brive-Pau not even tele referred to is frankly nothing very alluring.

“The context is a bit complicated, admits half-word Béarnais coach Thomas Domingo. It’s heavy in preparation for us (due to the shortened preparation week, editor’s note), heavy vis-à-vis the health protocols which change very often. It’s heavy for everyone. Except that we are registered in this competition, we have no choice, so we might as well get the most out of it.” Clear enough to better understand the weight of the constraint, on the shoulders of the Béarnais staff.

Still, their group is subject to an obligation to react, vis-à-vis the sad underperformance recorded last week, on the ground of LOU (35-10).

â??It would be complicated to return for the second weekend in a row with 40 points in the luggage,†agrees Thomas Domingo. Even if the context, the environment, the adversary, or the team aligned by the Bearnais will not have much to do with that crushed at Gerland on the last day of Top 14.

Nevertheless Pau is “in a rebound position, assesses the coach of his scrum. We were all more or less impressed by the result of this match against Lyon and by its form. This concerns both the players who were on the field and those who stayed at home. ” All guilty, and therefore responsible for a form of collective redress.

Even if the names of Clément Mondinat and Hubert Texier appear on the match sheet for the first time this season, while Téo Bordenave, Thibaut Hamonou and Alexis Levron have three, four and five respectively at their asset.

Finally, Hugo Auradou (freshly selected among the 45 players selected for the next France U20 camp), Thomas Carol (see opposite), Rayne Barka, Vaea Tutuila Vaea and Thibault Debaes will record their firsts (concerning Auradou and Barka) or second appointments.

So yes, it will still be a question of “growing up”, according to the verb hammered out at will by the Béarnais staff. Which will be even more true this Friday, facing a CAB with a composition much closer to its typical XV, than will be that of Pau. The promise of a “rough, intense and committed” opposition, in the cooler of Amédée-Domenech, urges Thomas Domingo. “Travel during the day, match at 9 p.m. in Corrèze, where I come from, and where I know the climate…” Pau will only have ????à blowing the heat to save yourself from another cold snap.