Salanque Méditerranée Pia XIII
|Full name||Salanque Meditérrannée PIA XIII|
|Competition||National Division 2 (Languedoc-Rousillon Region)|
Salanque Méditerranée Pia XIII often shortened to SM Pia XIII are a French rugby league team from Pia in the Pyrénées-Orientales region of southern France. The club was formed in 1960 and plays in the 4th tier National Division 2 Languedoc-Rousillon regional league. Home games are played at the Stade Daniel-Ambert. The club have won 4 French National Rugby League Championships nowadays called the Elite One Championship and 3 Lord Derby Cups
Founded in 1960 in the Rugby League hotbed of southern France Salanque Mediterranee Pia XIII had a mediocre start to life, indeed for their first three decades of their existence the club only reached one cup final, in 1975 which they won 9-4 against Marseille XIII. By the early nineties the club had established itself as a force. Their next three finals though ended in defeat. Cup losses in 1991 to RC Saint-Gaudens 4-30 and 1995 to AS Saint-Esteve 8-28 coupled with a league final defeat to XIII Catalan 4-6 in season 93/94. Season 95/96 brought them the league title for the first time when they beat AS Saint-Esteve 12-10 in the final. Regular high finishes in the league but no Final appearances were to follow along with two more cup final defeats in 2002 and 2003 against Villeneuve Leopards in both. Then the club won two back to back league and cup doubles. In 2005/06 they beat Lezignan Sangliers in the cup 36-20 and Toulouse Olympique in the league final 21-18 and the following season they beat AS Carcassonne in the cup 30-14 and Lezignan Sagliers in the league 20-16. It was also at this time that the club competed in the English Challenge Cup gaining a victory in 2005 against Keighley Cougars. As defending champions in 2007/08 they reached the league final again but this lost 16-26 to Lezignan Sangliers. There then followed four more final defeats, in the league they lost out to Lezignan Sangliers again in 2009/10 22-33 and to AS Carcassonne 20-26 in 2011/12 despite topping the league that season. Cup defeats were handed out by their nemesis Lezignan Sangliers in 2011, 18-27 and by AS Carcassonne in 2012, 12-14. 2012/13 would represent a brilliant and strange season, they once again topped the league losing just two games and then went on and won their 4th title when they beat Saint-Esteve XIII Catalan in the final 33-26 but after their triumph they announced that the club would be relinquishing their top flight place and would drop down to the bottom tier to continue to play within their means.
Having previously played in the 1995 Regal Trophy where they lost to York Wasps by only 22-24, SM Pia XIII were invited to participate in the 2004 Challenge Cup and were subsequently drawn away to Huddersfield Giants losing 16-50. The following season they were back again and after being drawn at home they registered a fantastic 53-26 victory over Keighley Cougars. In the next round they were beaten at Super League side Leeds Rhinos 0-70. 2006 brought defeat at Whitehaven 0-72 in the 3rd round. As French league champions they entered in 2007 and beat Blackpool Panthers away 42-18 but lost at home to Harlequins 8-64 in the 4th round. In 2008 again as champions after winning at Newcastle Thunder 26-24 they were then beaten at Wigan Warriors 4-74. 2009 was their last appearance to date and it brought defeat at Keighley Cougars 24-30, gaining revenge for their defeat in 2005
The club have always played at the Stade Daniel-Ambert which has a current capacity of 4,500 of which 2,000 are seated in the main stand. The ground also hosts Aussie rules club Perpignan Tigers and Gridiron side Grizzlys de Pia
Baroudeurs de Pia XIII (2000-2013)
The Baroudeurs were the reserve side that were formed in 2000 to aid the first team. They played in the French bottom two tiers and were successful not only in producing players but also in their own right. They reached three successive National Division 1 finals 2004, 2005 and 2006 and won the Coupe Falcou on two occasions 2006 and 2008 and also won the National Division 2 title in 2007/08. When the first team decided to drop down to the 4th tier the Baroudeurs were absorbed into SM Pia XIII
- French Championship (4): 1995-96, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2012-13
- Lord Derby Cup (3): 1975, 2006, 2007
- Biggest Victory: 126-4 against Carpentras in the 2005/2006 season of the Elite Championship.
- Biggest Defeat: 0-72 against Whitehaven in the 2006 Challenge Cup.
- Treize Magazine Various issues 1980-2000