Special envoy to Lille,
Special envoy to Lille,
The disillusion was strong. Morale affected. A month ago, the days following the defeat in the Champions Cup final against Stade Toulousain (17-22) were painful. "
The week that followed was very special, quite hard,
" confirms Stade Rochelais captain Romain Sazy. It was necessary to chase away the dark ideas, to repair morale, to regain the desire to return to the fight. “
But the strength of this group is to be vengeful, continues the second row. We all want to achieve great things…
To help get back to the place, the direct qualification, torn on the wire, for the last square, did a lot of good. A few days of rest while Racing, his opponent at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Lille this Friday evening, had to go through the barrage box against the Parisian neighbor of the Stade Français Paris. "
These days off have allowed us to find freshness
", appreciates Sazy. “
This week without a match allowed fatigue to escape,”
Rochelle manager Jono Gibbes.
We refilled our energy and enthusiasm.
The long weekend of rest was good,
confirms Kevin Gourdon.
We were on the line in the heads, it was very hard. There, we came back with a lot of good humor.
We were not offered anything.
We missed a first opportunity against Toulouse.
Often you don't have a second.
There it is.
It's up to us to seize it
A defeat in the semi-finals and the very good season for Stade Rochelais would end in blood sausage.
But a big hangover.
We have grown enormously.
We can no longer be satisfied with arriving in the semi-finals,
warns Captain Sazy.
We want to be champion, that's all.
We don't want to hide behind lack of experience or whatever.
We are all pulling in the same direction.
It is important, now to validate, a lot of things, this season started twelve months ago with a very long physical preparation.
Not the same team as a few months ago
An ambitious and well-founded goal. “
We don't look like the team from a few months ago. Over the course of the season, we have gained momentum. You can feel it on the ground. We have improved our level of play,
”says Romain Sazy, who sees himself as the first La Rochelle captain to lift the legendary piece of wood on Friday, June 25 at the Stade de France. “
We are better equipped in terms of experience, that's for sure,”
adds Jono Gibbes.
In the Champions Cup, the players had the opportunity to face English clubs, the Irish from Leinster, to challenge Toulouse in the final at Twickenham. Some had never known these high level matches. These meetings were sources of confidence, education, progress.And the final disappointment increased their level of determination.
We were not offered anything,
recalls the third-row Kevin Gourdon.
We missed a first opportunity against Toulouse. Often you don't have a second. There it is. It's up to us to seize it.