|A bridge at Avignon. I took this many years ago when visiting.|
In the 2008/09 season, Avignon joined the Elite One
Toulouse Olympique left this year to play in England and RC Albi withdrew due to financial reasons. With the introduction of SO Avignon that reduced the number of sides to ten.
League: The Limoux Grizzlies took out the league title with 51 points, ahead of SM Pia with 47. FC Lézignan with 46 points came third and AS Carcassonne fourth on 45. RC Saint-Gaudens Bears came last with 24 points.
Finals: First up SM Pia was overrun by FC Lézignan 50-12 and AS Carcassonne did the same to RC Carpentras XIII by winning 62-4. The following week, FC Lézignan secured a finals berth when it came out the victors 20-18 over the more fancied Limoux Grizzlies. The sudden death match had AS Carcassonne prevailing over SM Oia 25-18.
In the preliminary final Limoux easily dispatched AS Carcassonne with a 41-16 scoreline. The grand final was played at Carcassonne with over 11,000 there in attendance. FC Lézignan played league winners Limoux, taking a high scoring match 40-32.
Lord Derby Cup: In the quarts de finale, second division side RC Baho XIII ran out of lives in going down gallantly to AS Carcassonne won 20-58. The Limoux Grizzlies pipped UTC 28-26 while SM Pia was too good for Villeneuve XIII 28-14. In the fourth match FC Lézignan defeated SO Avignon 32-24.
The demi-finales put FC Lézignan up against AS Carcassonne, the latter prevailing 24-16. Meanwhile Lmioux took the other finals spot with a victory over SM Pia 26-10.
The Finale was finally something for AS Carcassonne to cheer about as they won a tight game 18-16 over more fancied Limoux 18-16. 6,600 came to Albi to watch the final.
Summary: The Limoux Grizzlies (52 points) were the most successful side, winning the league and making the cup final. FC Lézignan were next (48) with a finals title. AS Carcassonne weren't far behind, courtesy of their cup final victory. SM Pia didn't win anything but with 39 points, they were competitive in all competitions.
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For the 2007/08 season, please click here.
For the 2009/10 season, please click here.