No ignition delay.
Stade Rochelais got off to a perfect start with three early successes, against Montpellier (26-22), Lyon (21-23) and then against Perpignan (43-8).
The Maritimes, in the wake of their first European title won last May, are showing obvious control and efficiency.
Last week, even though they were shaken up in the rucks, they managed to get the better of Usap.
Fixtures and Top 14 results
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What Guillaume Vilaceca, the coach of Perpignan had recognized:
“We were dominating in the rucks sector.
We had worked on that.
Afterwards, we may have put a little more heart into the work compared to the people of Rochelle who perhaps did not want to exhaust themselves in this..."
This Sunday, Ronan O'Gara's men will have to (suspended six weeks for disrespecting officials in the victory over LOU) show another face in this sector.
“In the rucks, we put less investment because we lose speed of play,
recognized the second-line La Rochelle Rémi Picquette.
It sucks because we are in place, and it makes us thwart..."
“The momentum continues”
Despite this, all the lights are green: the results, the way and recruits who have acclimatized well.
“The start of the championship is interesting.
Three games, three wins, we hope it will continue
,” continues Rémi Picquette.
Same satisfaction from the side of Gurthro Steenkamp, the coach of the La Rochelle scrum:
“The dynamic continues.
It's better than last year, but it's the work of a whole group.
We need everyone to take a step forward.”
The Auvergnats, connected to alternating current, are themselves on their guard.
As explained on the ASM website Jules Plisson, formerly of La Rochelle, who will experience his first tenure this Sunday with Clermont, his new team.
“They are undefeated this season, and have settled for several years among the very big teams in this championship,
insisted the international opener.
They arrive full of confidence, it will be a very strong match, at 9 p.m. on a Sunday evening….
Frankly, it's the kind of matches that all players like to play!
“La Rochelle is a defense team”
Another former Rochelais, the Clermont manager Jono Gibbes knows perfectly well what awaits his troops:
“La Rochelle is a defense team.
They build their matches by imposing a lot of pressure on their opponents with a conquest and a very well organized organization.
The New Zealand technician also knows that he plays big against his former team: La Rochelle has never won at the Marcel-Michelin stadium.
So that would work...