Ronan O'Gara (La Rochelle) after the defeat against Toulouse: "There was no photo"

Ronan O’Gara (La Rochelle) after the defeat against Toulouse: “There was no photo”

Ronan O’Gara, manager of Stade Rochelais, beaten by Toulouse (33-28) “We can’t hide our disappointment. It was a big disappointment (Saturday) night to give a performance like that. The preparation was fine. Everyone came here to win, that was the goal. But we learned a lesson in combativeness and aggressiveness in the rucks. The best team won. There was no photo, congratulations to Toulouse. They were much better than us tonight.

Maybe it was one game too many for us, but for me it’s a weak excuse. The desire was there but not the precision. The tactic was to displace Toulouse but we neglected the fight against them. I raise my hand, this is my fault.

“I have the feeling that in the first half, we were not far from shame”

We lacked precision. We have to hold the ball against Toulouse because we knew that their bench was going to finish stronger and faster, that was certain. The gap between the teams was too big, there was a floor. This is the seventh defeat in a row against them. It’s something we have to accept and find a quick solution, otherwise it will stay the same.

I have the feeling that in the first half, we were not far from shame. And it’s hard to say that because I train champions. For forty minutes, the game produced did not look like us. We were undisciplined and we lacked aggressiveness. Rugby is above all a combat sport, after which there is a bit of strategy. But we did not manage to play as we wanted.

“We are creating something. We suffer together but we also have fun together”

We are a little frustrated and sad. But the biggest memory I have of this season is the relationship between the fans and this team. We are creating something. We suffer together but we also have fun together. This (Saturday) evening, all Rochelais suffered but it’s not the end, it’s another step to be better in the future.

We saw a big (Antoine) Dupont, a magnificent number 9, in great shape. He is capable of killing our team with half an opportunity. And he’s done that two or three times this (Saturday) evening. We had no one close to his level on the pitch. »

Thomas Lavault, second line of Stade Rochelais: “In the first period, each player made his little mistake. In the end, we find ourselves at 21-7 at halftime. There was no photo on the first half. Afterwards, we managed to close the gap a little, but we took back points in stride. It’s complicated against a team of this level.

Against Toulouse, there is not necessarily a game plan, it is the commitment above all. And today, it sinned on the commitment. We can regret that. We have to stop making excuses. Over 80 minutes, when you miss 40, you pay cash.

“Whatever happens, we will retain this group. We were the first to do something in this club. You can’t say it’s been a bad season, that’s for sure.”

They packed, I think they felt we were inside in the first half and they played very well. Their game leaders took the game into their own hands, they kept us under pressure and we didn’t manage to get out of our camp cleanly. We knew they were going to want to put a big rhythm on us, that we would be in a cauldron. On strategy and commitment, we were not good.

Whatever happens, we will remember this group. We were the first to do something in this club. Can’t say it’s been a bad season, that’s for sure. »

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