The Ciel et Blancs hoped to spend less tumultuous holidays.
The historic beating on their beautiful synthetic turf at Paris La Défense Arena last Saturday during a one-way derby against Stade Français (10-48) decided otherwise.
The anger of President Jacky Lorenzetti, in the locker room, made the New Year's Eve the next day much less joyful.
The days that followed too.
The Ile-de-France residents know that they will not have the right to miss Castres, this Saturday (5 p.m.) during a perilous trip, to a finalist in the last exercise poorly ranked (12th) and in search of points.
Read alsoTop 14: “Until now, everyone has closed their eyes”… why Racing can no longer do it
The week began with group talk therapy sessions at the Plessis-Robinson training center (Hauts-de-Seine).
The leaders gave voice.
Each sought to identify the causes of the repeated underperformance which, in three weeks, ruined the European ambitions of Laurent Travers' players (10-42 defeats against Leinster in Le Havre, and 14-10 against Harlequins in London) and left serious doubts about their potential in the Top 14, despite a rather flattering third place.
Problem, apart from a questioning of the state of mind and discipline, nothing really concrete came out of all these exchanges.
The manager even tried to defuse the emerging crisis by insisting on the rank occupied mid-league.
“Our results are more than positive,” says Travers.
If we continue like this, we will be in the six.
“Racing can, it is true, count on less flamboyant rivals, at the moment, to stay in the front runners, but it will not be in control of its destiny with the shortcomings displayed and its level of play.
“The forwards are shaken a lot”
“Against the Stade Français, he was walked on by warriors, and against Leinster, he was not able to compete, notes Jean-Baptiste Lafond, former winger or international rear of the club.
We may have believed that galactic players, as we defined the three-quarter line, that was enough.
But we see that no.
The departures of elements like Teddy Thomas (La Rochelle), Kurtley Beale (Warathas, Australia) or Virimi Vakatawa (stopped for heart problem) weigh but the forwards are shaken a lot.
It is this last sector that seems to cause the most concern.
The sky and white pack is not bloody enough for high level matches.
And he is about to take a new exam in Castres, where he expects a serious fight.
“When you take 50 points, it stirs and it can allow you to bounce back,” says Lafond.
Can Racing do it?
Castres: Palis – Zeghdar, Botitu, Seguret, Nakosi – (o) Urdapilleta, (m) White – Champion de Crespigny, Delaporte (cap.), Maravat – Staniforth – Hounkpatin, Barlot, Walcker.
Racing 92: Spring – Taofifenua, Saili, Chavancy (cap.), Imhoff – (o) Gibert, (m) Iribaren – Diallo, Baudonne, Lauret – Bresler, Palu – Nyakane, Chat, Gogichashvili.