Special Envoy to San Sebastián
- Schedule and results Top 14
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An unexpected victory in Lyon in the play-off
"People were defeatist about us because we hadn't performed very well away this season. But the finals are the story of one day, anything can happen. We are not favourites. We know that the Stade Rochelais is once again coming out of a fantastic European epic. So everyone sees them in the final and France champion. It's up to us to show that we deserve to be there. We will have to play our all-out game. If we look at them, we all know the score: it will be 40 points!"
La Rochelle, UBB's bête noire?
"Everyone knows the qualities of the Rochelais. There are difficult areas of confrontation against them, because they have a huge pack and very strong three-quarters. The zone of confrontation on the rucks will be very important, for me it will be the key to the match. If we can't get the ball out quickly, it will play into the hands of the Maritimes. We are much better when the balls are fast."
We listen a little too much to what we are told: we feel like we do not deserve to be there. You have to believe it!
A psychological advantage for the people of La Rochelle?
"It had been pretty terrible. I remember the last defeat (6-36 at the Matmut Atlantique of Bordeaux, Editor's note). The heads were low, there was a sense of shame. We were stepped on in front of 40,000 people... But we are not afraid to play against them. We want to challenge them and show that we can compete. That's how we approached it this week. If we think about all our defeats, we will take 40 points, I repeat myself... You don't have to have an inferiority complex compared to them."
Third semi-final, finally a final?
"It's always an important thing to play in the semi-finals, we install Bordeaux-Bègles in the French championship. It's a strong message that we send to the other teams in the championship. We learned a lot from the previous semi-finals. Against Toulouse, we were a little too timid (21-24, in 2021). Against Montpellier, we were perhaps a little too sure of ourselves (10-19, in 2022). After these defeats, we were very frustrated. It took us a while to recover, the summers had not been fabulous. We have to take the measure of this match. Sometimes we listen a little too much to what we are told: we feel like we don't deserve to be there. You have to believe it! Even if the song will be very hard this time again."