The defeat of Bordeaux-Bègles against La Rochelle (24-13) Saturday in the semi-finals of the Top 14 marks "the end of a cycle" for the Gironde club, according to Frédéric Charrier who spoke at a press conference. The 45-year-old will join at Clermont, with the other co-coach Julien Laïrle, their former manager Christophe Urios.
What feeling prevails after this third consecutive semi-final loss?
We are disappointed, especially in the first half, where we take too many points easily and we let the Rochelais win us the score (21-3). I think we had the means to get back into the game in the second half, but we started too far. We didn't manage to get out of our camp cleanly. We let them too easily take the score and not doubt. This is where we have regrets. They are double European champions. We are not the only ones to be powerless in front of La Rochelle. But I think there was an opportunity for us. I think they weren't in their best day."
Given the difficult times your team has experienced this season, is it still a satisfaction to have reached the last four again?
The satisfaction was to finish in all six (of the regular phase). Now we have a team with high-level players, we are all competitors. When you are part of the six teams that will fight for the Shield of Brennus, you want to play your card thoroughly. We didn't get to the semi-finals three times in a row by chance. I think this year the team had enough maturity compared to previous seasons to be able to really explain themselves for the final victory. But we still spent a season under pressure, we lacked confidence in ourselves. I'm not going to go back to the context, but obviously it plays a role. When at the end of the season you need everyone to be full of confidence for the final goal, which is to win the title, maybe it's missing. More confidence, more serenity in the team, in the club, might have allowed us to go a little further."
It was your last game at UBB before joining Christophe Urios, who was sacked in November. How do you live it?
«It's the end of an adventure. We started this project four years ago. I would obviously have liked to finish it with Christophe. I have a thought for him tonight. I think we could perhaps have gone further with him. It is the end of a cycle. When we arrived, the club had never qualified (for the finals). Our goal was to change category, to be part of the clubs that matter. Over the last three years, we have been one of the top four teams in the league. And it's not easy in this championship to get into the last square. So there's satisfaction with that. Now another project will arrive in Bordeaux."