Mathieu Bastareaud: "If we want to grow up as a team…"
The Toulon centre and captain attended the post-game press conference after the narrow victory against Scarlets at the Stade Mayol (21-20) on the opening day of the European Champions Cup, last Sunday.
Mathieu, it was a particularly tight end to the game…
It was, but we made it more complicated than necessary. The opening minutes of the second half are still hurting us. We’re not here. Why? I can’t find any explanation, but I don’t think it’s physical. It’s in our minds. If we don’t understand a game lasts a full 80 minutes, we won’t go very far. We can’t afford 15-minute blips like these. We still won today, but this will not always be the case.
Are you playing at being nervous?
We’re not playing at anything. We all want to avoid such situations, but we need to act instead of talking! Before the start of the second half, we repeat ourselves that the first twenty minutes will be crucial, but we do nothing! I’m a little bit harsh, but one has to be if we want to grow up as a team. The truth is, we didn’t play like a top-level team in the first ten or fifteen minutes of the second half. There’s no excuse for it and we’ll keep on working.
Did the public play an important role towards the end of the game?
Sure! In moments like these, the public’s support is capital, especially in Toulon. Supporters like ours can give us an additional boost. Even Leigh [Halfpenny] first found it strange to be encouraged here. We’re lucky to have supporters like ours and we owe them more. Still, we won a crucial game against a team that could qualify for the next stage. Now, we’re going to Trevise and it’s going to be a tricky game. Everyone says or writes we’re going to take five points there, but we have to show humility and prepare seriously ahead of the game.