Who will challenge the immense Toulouse favorite in a week in the semi-final in Lille? Verdict this Saturday evening at the end of the jump-off between the rookie Bordeaux-Bègles, who must have waited to be chaperoned by Christophe Urios to live the first final phase of Top 14 of his young history, and Clermont, always placed, rarely a winner . Over the past ten years, the ASM has thus compiled a title (2017), two finals lost (2015, 2019), three saves in the semi-finals (2012, 2013, 2016) and one failure in the jump-off (2014). A consistency at a very high level which makes Clermont “a historic club. But we often failed at the foot of the trophy, ”recognizes the Auvergne opener, Camille Lopez. Proof that experience is not always enough ...
This leaves hope for the Girondins who have been running for a long time after this historic qualification.
“Clermont has the advantage, admits the UBB hooker, Clément Maynadier.
We were always the idiots who arrived in front of the double clapper and we took it in the face every time.
But this year, we gained a lot of experience with the two European semi-finals.
It must be useful to us on Saturday.
"To go further in this final phase, Christophe Urios, with his language as colorful as ever, warned: he wants" a team of starved people ready to eat pebbles "...
Read also: Clermont: good habits to perpetuate in Bordeaux
“We are going to face a team that is used to the end of the seasons at a very high level, with very high level players, who are visibly in good shape now. So yes, it can play, in terms of team experience, continues the manager of the UBB. We don't have many finals matches, the club is young, very young. Ten years is nothing for a rugby club. But we have such a desire to continue. We don't want to stop there. ” With the arrival at his head of Urios in 2019, broken with the exercise and passed to a very small point of sending the incongruous Oyonnax in the semi-final in 2015 (defeat 19-20 in Toulouse) before being crowned with Castres in 2018 through the dams (6th in the regular season), theLaurent Marti's UBB has found the experienced guide who could lead him to the Brennus.
“What I find exciting is that there is experience in our group but also a lot of youth and enthusiasm.
Opposite, his vis-à-vis Franck Azéma, on the start, will do everything to delay the moment of farewell.
"Anything goes when you're in the six, you know it too well," said the man who has been training ASM for a decade.
Experience, you have to know how to use it.
What I find exciting is that there is experience in our group but also a lot of youth and enthusiasm.
It's an interesting mix, there is a good balance.
We see it with the boys who come off the bench and bring us intensity in the game. But we also have to use the experience of the executives, who have played a lot of finals. "
An ASM team that does not lack, moreover, offensive arguments: best attack of the Top 14;
a scorer (Parra) on a cloud for two months (series, in progress, of 33 successful kicks against the poles!);
and a finally recomposed Parra-Lopez hinge ... that "must be derailed", Urios target.
The Auvergne, them, will closely monitor Matthieu Jalibert, twirling this season.
“Obviously I have a feeling.
Obviously I can feel things.
And, of course, I am convinced that we will be able to be up to the task on Saturday night ... "
So can the new kid on the block do it? The UBB wizard believes it. “Obviously I have a feeling, obviously I can feel things. Now, it's a group that I'm discovering, which will also discover the finals of Top 14. These are matches that are very special, even if we have just experienced in the European Cup. So yes, I had harsh words, but they lived up to our ambition. We have a very, very strong ambition and, of course, we need a very, very strong attitude. So I hope we will be able to be up to the task on Saturday night. And of course, I am convinced of it… ”
To achieve this ambition, he did not hesitate to beat the recall. The public is starting to be allowed to return to the stadiums. There will be more than 4,000 Bordelais this Saturday. Who will have to push with all their strength. “5,000 people in a stadium of 34,000 is not a lot. There will also be 800 from Clermont, recalls Christophe Urios. We were sad to play this season without an audience, when it was an incredible year. We would have liked so much to share our epic in the European Cup with our audience. Now we are playing this decisive match, probably one of the greatest matches in UBB history, with a few supporters. I just want to tell them to make a lot of noise. Because Clermont will make a lot of noise. ” Deafening. And stunning.