The main reactions after La Rochelle vs Toulon
Here are the main reactions of the La Rochelle and Toulon staff and players after our men in red and black booked their ticket for the Top 14 final, winning the semi-final against La Rochelle 18-15, at the Stade Orange-Vélodrome.
Richard Cockerill, RCT manager: “Of course, the red card changed the game, but I think it was the right decision. Everything went easier for us afterwards. I’m very satisfied with this victory, but we now have to win the final. I’m also sorry for Patrice [Collazo]. La Rochelle is a very good team: they dominated the regular season and it’s very hard for them.”
Guilhem Guirado, RCT hooker: “We did our best to get through to the final with players who contributed to the legend of the club. Now, we have to spend one last week together to prepare for this final. We know we did a bad job last year. I want to congratulate the team for its spirit, because I can tell you the players who sign for Toulon want to win trophies. And, after such a complicated season, we can still earn one. I’m thinking about La Rochelle, who could have gone up to Paris, but the rules of sport are cruel ones. They are paying for them and I’m thinking about them, as those are difficult moments to cope with.”
Anthony Belleau, RCT fly-half: “It was a difficult game, but we won it, that’s the most important thing. Now, we’re going to enjoy it, but also stay calm and prepare for the final. There are reasons why La Rochelle dominated throughout the season. We could have cracked under the pressure, but we held out. When I scored the drop, things went very quickly and you can’t ask yourself questions in those moments. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Now, we have to keep our heads cool.”
Patrice Collazo, La Rochelle manager: “We almost dominated the entire game, but we lacked the finishing touch. On the 77th minute, for instance, we’re not patient enough, we don’t control the ball and, after a clumsy move, we end up 60 metres into our own side. Are there regrets? Well, after a defeat, there always are – not being fifteen men on the pitch until the end, perhaps. We had put such determination and commitment… A lot of work comes to an abrupt end, but congratulations to Toulon.”