The “red-black” coach did not hide his satisfaction with Stade Toulousain’s improved success against Ulster (48-24) in Belfast on Saturday, January 13, their third in three Champions Cup days.
15 points in three games, seven more tries: We think you are a happy manager…
Yes, for now we will say that progress at the accounting level is clearly positive, because it is difficult to do better. But we still have a small margin in many industries. A good number of our forwards allow us to quickly outscore Ulster. From the moment we took it, we knew they would have to play a little, expose themselves, and we responded from behind a few times. The overall strategy from 55 to 60 is pretty consistent. Afterwards, there is inevitably a relaxation, which is logical but a bit embarrassing because we need to do a little better with the quality of the team we finished. But it still remains very positive. I remember scoring 38 points on my first visit as stadium coach (0-38 in 2015, Editor’s note), so I would remind this team that we will not shy away from the joy of being able to score 48 points. has shown important performances in recent weeks. I think we evaluated the game correctly and forced them to play rugby that suited us better than them.
How do you evaluate your conquest and the balls you dominated?
It’s a big job for big men. They have been wanting to take part in this industry for a few weeks. We’ll have to rehash this and the ones to come next week. It’s still a good thing we have this string attached to our bow.
Have you made peace with the synthetic field?
Things haven’t always gone well for us at the Stade Français, things are a little better at the closed Racing stadium, but these are grounds we don’t really appreciate. This certainly changes a bit in terms of the rugby profession and kicking. You see sometimes there are situations where the risk of taking tests is a bit funny, so we’re happy to be honest. In Ireland, they are 48 points clear of a team that is firmly No. 2 behind Leinster. Therefore, once again it is satisfactory, despite some flaws that need to be quickly erased.
21 tries in three matches says a lot about the club’s determination in this competition…
We, you know, we may be determined, we are not on the field. So the guys who need to be determined are the ones who play. In this case, they have been determined to achieve good performances for some time. The situation was the same in the championship and we feel that the strength of the entire squad has increased. There is emulation happening in quite a few positions. We, unlike many big teams, don’t really have a typical team and we try to keep that emulation, that versatility, which is our strength, even though once again it’s the boys who tip the scales and we’re aware of that. from him. However, we try to maintain this ability to play in different recordings. What makes me very happy about this evening is that the work the forwards did this evening gives us another option in matches that will be a little more difficult to play.
And now your fate is in your hands before hosting Bath next Sunday…
Yes, we just wanted to be confident. It’s still a special formula. You need to prepare for four different matches with opposition that can evolve depending on fitness and injuries, so you need to be able to score points when you have the opportunity. This is what has been done for three matches in the Champions Cup and I hope we do not experience some strays in the middle of the second half. We will be attacking Bath, a team struggling to achieve full success, meaning four wins. The bonus points later are not anecdotal, but rather incidental. But the important thing was to achieve three victories and give us the opportunity to take our destiny into our hands.
Do your players manage to surprise you?
Do not be surprised, because I train them and thank God I have eyes in front of the holes every day. What I’m about to tell you will surprise you: they have many, many, many margins, and that’s what’s surprising. I want them to realize that their level has not been reached yet. Not for fun or doing the Coué method. I just see that with a little bit of practice from time to time on things that are a little bit fundamental, inevitably a little bit less practice than others, I believe we can still do much better in our intention, in our rugby. our sensitivity. We put the ball at our feet in our first three or four shots so there’s a lot of margin. Even if one more breakthrough happens and I get to coach some outstanding players.
What is the latest situation regarding the injured?
Dorian (Aldegheri), it’s a blow to the top of his kneecap so the half-time break in the cold didn’t help him and Alex (Rumat) much, it’s a blow. He felt his knee sagging a bit, we’ll wait to check. Santiago Chocobares returned with a negative concussion protocol and there was a possibility that he could return, but we chose not to take the risk because there was no point in doing so with two minutes left.