What the players and staff said after Racing 92 vs. Toulon
Here are the main declarations after the Racing 92 vs. Toulon game, on Day 5 of the Top 14, which our men in red and black lost 41-30.
Diego Dominguez, RCT manager: “Racing 92 played well. We’re going to analyse this defeat, but everything is far from being negative. We’ll keep on working. We particularly lacked the finishing touch! When we had possession of the ball, we did interesting things, we were going through the phases nicely, but we lacked the finishing touch when we put Racing under pressure. As for Racing, they succeeded in all their attempts! They were more efficient than us. We also lacked speed and physical condition. Our players couldn’t up the tempo. We were successful in gaining possession, the forwards played well but, I repeat it, we lacked the finishing touch. The players did not get discouraged, another positive thing, and we succeeded in scoring two other tries at the end of the game.”
Guilhem Guirado, RCT captain and hooker: “The Racing 92 backline played really well in their own half. As I told the referee, they were smart: they delayed every ball release. We had opportunities to grab the ball but, every time, release was delayed. We couldn’t score in the first half, except after the siren blew. We have to underline Racing’s ability to score when they had possession. We knew we were playing against the wind, we knew it would be difficult: the three tries came the same way. We’re good at keeping the ball, but we played the penalties in their own half and, thanks to Carter’s kicks, they were soon back in our half. I told the boys scoring before half-time was important, because we had weathered the storm. The beginning of the second half was the most disappointing phase: we were playing well and should have added more points before they scored a try. We kept the ball for five minutes, we really had to score and, because of this, they put the pressure on us. Dulin initiated a move and, afterwards, they broke through our defence. We have to congratulate our team-mates who played the last moments of the game: they were intent on reducing the gap and finishing on a higher note.”
Maxime Machenaud, Racing 92 scrum-half: “We wanted to bounce back from our poor performance in Clermont, last week. And, today, we avenged the insult. Last week-end, we were throttled left, right and centre. But we showed that, when we add what it takes, we can do great things. It’s now up to us to keep the commitment needed to play high-level games continually.”
Laurent Labit, Racing 92 co-manager: “Personally, as the forwards coach, I’m really satisfied after such a victory against Toulon, as we scored six tries. But Ronan O’Gara, in charge of the backline, is probably less satisfied, as they scored three. Eventually, the end of the game leaves a bitter taste. Already, at the end of the first half, we had put Toulon back into the game. We’ve not quite reached our level at the end of last season. I don’t think it has to do with the players’ fitness, it’s rather mental. We can be put under pressure but, in this case, it was rather a lack of concentration, because we had a comfortable lead. We still have to play a full 80 minutes without any blip. After five games, we’re satisfied with the number of points we earned, but we still want more. We play well at home, but we still haven’t taken a single point in two away games. This is not normal. We’re going to play two away games in Castres and Brive and we’ll be looking for points to keep on doing progress.”
Sources: after-game interview zone, www.lequipe.fr