Top 14: Racing revives against Stade Français

Top 14: Racing revives against Stade Français

It wasn’t violent. Just a breeze above Parisian rugby. A breath that changed direction and changed the situation before the final sprint of the Top 14. By winning (13-17) on the ground of its neighbor, Stade Français, Racing regained hope in the race for qualification and at the same time instilled doubt in the mind of his rival, yet better ranked.

Boosted, stung to the quick, the Ciel et Blanc entered the part inhabited by an aggressiveness that we no longer knew them over the course of this season stretching like a long transition towards a future, from next July, under the orders of Stuart Lancaster, the English coach of Leinster, the Irish province. As if they had imposed on themselves an ultimate mission, as if they were playing their last card, Laurent Travers’ men threw themselves headlong into Jean-Bouin’s synthetic turf. They did not just have to chase after a qualification that slipped through their fingers or wash away the affront of the humiliation suffered in the first leg against their oldest rival (10-48 at Paris La Défense Arena on December 24 ), they also had to settle accounts with themselves. Hearing yourself decked out in sieve words and submissions ends up awakening pride. “You always have to be humble,” says Ile-de-France manager Laurent Travers. We have only won one match, we are still not among the qualifiers and we are behind Stade Français. But I remember that the players were starving. »

The rebellious Ile-de-France residents have managed to extinguish the Parisian dynamism. Ahead of all the hot spots, motivated as ever, Henry Chavancy and his team quickly took the lead. A solo rider tempered by the exit from the road and the terrain of the second line Veikoso Poloniati. Unable to control his nerves in this rhythmically declining rugby, the Tongan first played with his shoulder in the throat of the 3rd line Romain Briatte (10th), before striking a headline in the face of the Parisian center Jeremy Ward (31st ). Yellow card for the first action, red for the second.

The electricity went up a notch, springing from the field and spreading on the bleachers of a rather well-stocked Jean-Bouin stadium (15,210 spectators). Racing resisted, well helped by the wanderings of a team from the capital in lack of accuracy and which lost its scrum half Morgan Parra too quickly, hit in an ankle (21st). Clumsy in all areas, passes and receptions, the Parisians seemed to be playing with a bar of soap and left too much ammunition on the way to hope to stifle an opponent reduced to 14. “The Racingmen had their backs to the wall, they countered us well by feeding on our mistakes, we were never able to take the game in hand, regrets the Parisian manager Gonzalo Quesada. There is desire but we have felt for a few weeks that we are a little less fluid than before. We need to be at 100% of our potential if we want to win. We missed a huge opportunity to be safe in the standings. This disappointment, after the rouste harvested in Toulon (37-9) on March 4, announces a complicated end to the season. Third in the standings five days from the end, they are not sure of anything. Like Racing besides, which can regain hope when it has returned to a point behind Toulon, sixth and last qualified for the moment.


French Stadium: 1 try from Dakuwaqa (78th), 1 conversion from Barré, 2 penalties from Segonds (12th, 37th)

Racing 92 : 2 tries from Wade (20th), Spring (45th), 2 conversions from Le Garrec (20th, 45th), 1 penalty from Le Garrec (7th)


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