Let's be honest: indoor rugby is not bad.
When, in all the other Top 14 stadiums, it's zero degrees outside, when the scorers deal with the swirling wind, when the public, too focused on their frozen fingers, struggles to follow the match... we immediately perceive better the advantages of the Paris La Défense Arena hangar.
In the enclosure of Nanterre, where 15,000 fans gathered on Saturday for the arrival of La Rochelle, there is everything to play rugby whatever the season.
And for some time now, spectators have been entitled to a little extra sweetness in their heated room: slightly crazy match scenarios.
This was still the case on Saturday evening against La Rochelle in the Top 14 (39-36 victory at the last second, 7 tries in all), just like fifteen days before in the Champions Cup against the Harlequins (30-29 victory, 7 tries too ).
The third row Baptiste Chouzenoux agrees: against La Rochelle, “it was a bit crazy match, we took the score each in turn.
First we were overtaken by La Rochelle, they had a 10-12 point lead.
But we were able to come back little by little and take the advantage… before losing it again.
And then there's this finish that rocks on our side, it's nice!
“We had a half-time each, analyzes Laurent Travers.
For the spectators, television viewers and players, it was a good match”.
Probably less for the manager who did not fail to underline the “inaccuracies which cost points” to his team.
As on the two tries of the La Rochelle opener Antoine Hastoy.
In the first period, it was on an interception that he went on trial.
“We tried impossible passes, me first.
We put ourselves in the sauce all by ourselves ”, breathes Chouzenoux.
In the second half, Hastoy crossed the field again when Racing had just taken cover with Klemenczak's second try.
“We had just passed by, and they put a bullshit raise on us!
admits scrum-half Antoine Gibert.
"If I have to take 36 but I score 37..."
These successions of errors quickly inflate the score.
Racing remains among the worst defenses in the Top 14. Before Saturday's 4 tries, the Ciel et Blancs had already taken 4 against Harlequins, and 5 during the Christmas Eve slap against Stade Français (10-48 ).
Opposing teams often feast in the good conditions of Nanterre.
“We had to kill the game, it goes very quickly on this kind of lawn.
We had opportunities, we could have taken more shelter,” Antoine Hastoy raged after the match.
Racing 92 take a lot of tries on their home turf, but seem to have the resources to score a lot too.
Before the heavily lost derby against Stade Français, Paris La Défense Arena had remained impregnable for more than a year.
Agree to go through these bad times and take points… Provided you score some behind.
“As long as I win with one point more than the opponent, I will be closer to qualifying than him, summarizes Laurent Travers.
If I have to take 36 but I score 37, that's fine with me!
» A philosophy that offers festivals of points and suspense to the public of Paris La Défense Arena.