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European Cup: "We have what it takes to do it" ... Racing 92 ready to take on an impossible mission


The Ile-de-France club must win against Harlequins this Sunday (4:15 p.m.) at Paris La Défense Arena, then in Dublin against Leinster on the same day.

At first glance, the task seems out of reach.

Beating the Harlequins this Sunday (4:15 p.m.) at Paris La Défense Arena is still happening.

Racing is capable of it.

He can even hope, with a few favorable rebounds on his synthetic turf, to garner improved success.

But that will not be enough for him to qualify for the round of 16 of this Champions Cup which has become his priority objective.

He will have to, the following Saturday, win in Dublin in Ireland on the lands of Leinster, which has martyred everyone since the start of the season and crunched the Ciel et Blancs (10-42) on their relocated ground in Le Havre, on December 10 at the opening of the competition.

A whole different pair of sleeves.

“Leinster players are men like the others, retorts Gaël Fickou, the Ile-de-France captain.

They are not superhuman.

In a match, you can beat anyone.

That's why I believe in it and why I will believe in it until the end.

But for that, you have to start by winning against the Harlequins.

The hope of an impossible feat against the Irish will therefore be forged in a convincing success in front of the English, winners of the Racingmen (14-10) on December 18 on their London lawn soaked by the deluge.

“The conditions will be completely different this time, notes Dimitri Szarzewski, the defense coach.

There, we expect a large volume of play. We will have to be careful not to fall into a rugby hooray.


"Not everything is to be thrown away"

So much for the intentions.

They are clear.

Actions, on the other hand, are much more difficult to discern.

What is this Racing 2022-2023 capable of, the last season of the Travers era before the takeover by Stuart Lancaster, the former coach of the XV de la Rose, currently coach of Leinster?

Beaten against the Irish in the European Cup therefore, but also in the Top 14 on December 24 in its La Défense room by its rival Stade Français (48-10), supreme humiliation, Racing has since limited the damage by championship.

A draw at Castres (26-26), a narrow defeat at Montpellier (17-12)… Nothing infamous, nothing famous either.

“Not everything is to be thrown away, adds Gaël Fickou.

We had a good week.

We were studious.

We will try to show another image of us.

Could something have changed with the Ciel et Blancs?

“No, we had also prepared very well for our match against Leinster, specifies Dimitri Szarzewski.

We had lacked discipline during the game but I found that the magnitude of the score did not reflect the game.

We do not always control the circumstances.

We have a competitive team, and although it may seem that qualifying will be difficult to achieve, we have what it takes to do so.


The teams

Racing 92: Gelant - Taofifenua, Saili, Fickou (cap.), Imhoff - (o) Russell, (m) Le Garrec - Chouzenoux, Baudonne, Diallo - Palu, Woki - Gomez Sa, Chat, Gogichashvili.


: Through.

Harlequins: David - Murley, Marchant, Esterhuizen, Morris - (o) Smith, (m) Care - Evans, Dombrandt (cap.), Wallace - Herbst, Lewies - Louw, Head, Marler.


: Matson.

Source: leparis

All sports articles on 2023-01-15

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