Raphaël Lakafia: "We want to transform frustration into positive energy"
The RCT flanker attended the pre-game press conference ahead of Toulon vs Trevise, on Thursday, January 11th.
Raphaël, tell us about the aftermath of the game against Brive, when you were beaten by one single point in the dying moments…
The return trip was a hard one, I admit it. But now, we have to switch back to the European Cup. We haven’t got the choice and we mustn’t feel sorry for ourselves. On the contrary, we have to bounce back!
Would you be fuelled by anger and frustration?
It’s true we’ve had to go through many frustrating moments since the season began, but we all want to transform this into positive energy! We’ll have to make appropriate use of it to grab a good result. There are high expectations from Toulon. First, because it’s Toulon and because there are top players in the team. We all want to play beautiful rugby and we’ll succeed! We won’t lose heart, we’re still in the running to win trophies and we mustn’t forget that. We’re aware that people are expecting much from us and everyone will be pleased, believe me! I assure you we’re working very hard for that.
Is it five points or nothing against Benetton Rugby?
Well, I think it’s not necessary to concentrate on the five points to be picked, but on the way we’ll play. We know we need those five points, but we won’t get them through repeating this over and over again. We had good training sessions the whole week. We just have to apply the game plan and, if we do what we worked on correctly, if we don’t make mistakes, I’m sure we’ll get a positive result.
Could you use the first leg as a working base? You had started quite well before having a slump…
We simply know what Benetton Rugby can do. They play good rugby. We only beat them by one point in Treviso, which contradicts the widespread belief that Italian teams have a lower level. This is not the case. Benetton Rugby play well and made things hard for all the teams. We have to take this game seriously, as there are no lower-level teams in the European Cup.