“I feel sorry for this group”, says Mons coach Patrick Milhet

“I feel sorry for this group”, says Mons coach Patrick Milhet

Lose it no, but take 50 points, possible. On the match, there is absolutely nothing to say. We came across a very good Bayonne team, we were caught in all areas of the game. We tried to rebel in the scrum but we suffered collisions. I have not found my team, especially on the defensive phases. Today there was a gap division.

Your season was magnificent, the outcome is cruel, even if it’s not over…

It is the law of sport. If we had to redo it…

Lose it no, but take 50 points, possible. On the match, there is absolutely nothing to say. We came across a very good Bayonne team, we were caught in all areas of the game. We tried to rebel in the scrum but we suffered collisions. I have not found my team, especially on the defensive phases. Today there was a gap division.

Your season was magnificent, the outcome is cruel, even if it’s not over…

It is the law of sport. If I had to do it again, I would still go back to the finals. It was a nice poster. We were not up to offering a good match, unlike the Bayonnais. We were first in the regular phase. Four or five years ago we would have been champions. Not today. We may have met, during the season, teams that were missing players. In November, when we beat the Bayonnais at home, they lack a lot of players. I said it after the match: we benefited from certain injuries. However, I had announced that they would be in the last four. They did better: they are champions!

Did inexperience in the final have a role in this match?

Personally, it is the fourth that I live. There are quite a few players who have experienced them too. Stade Montois is used to the final stages, play-offs… We have young players, the Bayonnais too. Today, we didn’t know how to make our frame work with the desired intensity.

Didn’t recognize your team?

No. All this season, we had a defensive aggressiveness, we knew how to stifle the opponent. Today I felt like we were watching them play. Same with the ball: we could have kept it for a quarter of an hour without managing to score. We never put them in danger.

How to explain this lack of aggressiveness during a final?

Maybe the guys figured after beating them twice this year it would be easy. I have trouble understanding it. I will have to talk about it with the executives, see what caused this lack of aggressiveness. In rugby, without aggressiveness, it’s lost, especially in the final phase.

Is it related to the stake of the match?

It’s possible. With hindsight, we will have to see the video, analyze this match, see what went wrong. But perhaps the challenge played on certain small details, such as this commitment directly into touch with Yoann (Laousse-Azpiazu, editor’s note), certain things which mean that when we give marbles to such a complete team, we are quickly in trouble. In the first half, we were penalized nine times, the three of them. Plus yellow in seconds. No, we couldn’t compete.

You were particularly caught in the rucks…

(cuts) Everywhere. We were taken in all sectors. From time to time we had a scrum that worked… But that’s it. Bayonne really wanted to bring the shield back and did.

The Bayonne rear Gaëtan Germain hurt you very badly, especially in the foot.

It’s Gaëtan. He is a player who has this profile. When he was in Brive, it was the same thing. He is used to big matches, whether maintenance or finals, we can rely on him. Great players shine in great moments. Today, we saw a great Gaëtan Germain. But Maqala and Ravouvou and the Bayonne forwards also hurt us a lot.

We must already consider the dam on Sunday, June 12. How to remobilize the troops?

Honestly, we weren’t prepared for it. One more week… I thought I was on vacation tonight (laughs). It will go through recovery tomorrow, before a resumption on Tuesday. It was heartbreaking to make the team today, we had 39 players for 23 places. I think we will rotate, bring energy, freshness for the access match. We are going to prepare.

You talk about freshness, is it physically that you were taken today?

No. The opponent was better. The fatigue of the season has not influenced. We did a lot of turnover. Few players are at their wit’s end. We just have to congratulate the Bayonnais who knew how to take us. Congratulations to them.

We feel disillusioned. Is there still envy before this last match?

Disillusioned no. But I feel sorry for this band. There has really been a chemistry within this team. I would have been happy if it paid off. This is my sixteenth year at Mont-de-Marsan, but the first where I have so many feelings with my players. There was real friendship, love between them. This is what made our strength. Despite the fact that we are the penultimate payroll, they have shown that heart and values ​​can do great things. I feel sorry for them.

This is the worst disappointment of your career?

No, it was rather the Toulouse final (16-15 defeat against Agen in the accession final in 2015, editor’s note), with the transformation missing. There, I was really taken. Tonight, there was no photo.

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