“The day I went crazy” (3/5): when Contepomi tries the drop …

In a sport where discipline and control of emotions are erected as cardinal virtues, the “lead jumps” are even more legendary, on which the Midi Olympique will return throughout the summer … It was the 29th October 2011. On that day, the Toulouse stadium hosts the French stadium. The Clásico is a bit “shabby” due to the situation of the club in the capital, which is no longer really at the forefront. However, the encounter remained in the annals due to a fun fact of the game. The Parisian opening act Felipe Contepomi, the main actor of the scene, lived a great moment of solitude in the middle of a full stadium and in front of the cameras of Canal +.

“But what are you masturbating to?” Christophe Laussucq is known in rugby circles for his frankness and spontaneity. The language of wood, is not his in “Kiki”. On the contrary. His is that of all truths, without filter or tweezers. This “Classic” rugby day at the Ernest-Wallon stadium in the autumn of 2011, which at the time was the coach of the three-quarter line of the French stadium can not contain his surprise or his convoluted body. . He takes his head in his hands, shouts, turns to whoever wants to look at him, tries to understand … “I think the video I’m on has had more views on YouTube”, he jokes today. And for good reason. One of the biggest misunderstandings in the history of the Top 14 is taking place on the pitch. While the Stade Toulouse is advancing by six points (18-12), the Parisians are forcing themselves close to the opposing test line. It is the last minute of play, the last chance, the highest chance for the capital club to snatch a possible success in the land of their best enemy. Each in turn, Sergio Parisse, David Attoub or Antoine Burban, are repelled as best they can by Yannick Nyanga’s partners. Toulouse fans cry, the stands are incandescent. Pink soldiers believe in feats more than ever. Then the improbable happens.

A huge shock and an unlikely fall

The first goal Felipe Contepomi is placed on the axis and summons his half scrum Jérôme Fillol. The Argentine international, eighty-seven selections with the Pumas, a doctor of orthopedic surgery obtained at the “Royal College of Surgeons” in Dublin, decides to try the descent. His walking accuracy is not a legend. With a furious kick, he sends the ball between the posts and turns towards the Parisian bench with his arm raised in victory … “And there, I see all the boys with their hands on their heads, their eyes dismayedsays what became assistant to Argentine coach Michaël Cheika. I also see “kiki” Laussucq looking at me strangely. I even see Roro (Rodrigo Roncero, Editor’s note) who prefers to turn and sit on the bench, his arms dangling. Obviously, I immediately understand that I did something stupid. I had a horrible feeling inside me. » Suddenly, the adrenaline is low. His face freezes. He slows down and his gaze wanders toward his bombs. “He really looked like a fool”, laughs today. And add: “Shortly before, Toulouse had just scored. I don’t know why, I was convinced we were only two points away. The worst part is that in my entire career I’ve only scored three or four drops. Not more. I didn’t try it often because it didn’t correspond to my rugby training. I liked the game, attacking the line, even though I made a kick that wasn’t bad. The worst part is that this fall was really disgusting. The ball struggled to climb up. Also, it passes just above the crossbar. I even think he had hit me with his ankle. Really, horrible things. Like what, it’s dangerous to play after getting hit in the head. » And for good reason …

Moments before the match, Felipe Contepomi, a service player with an incomparable grit as only the Argentines are capable of, had suffered a great commotion. “This was really impressive.still remember. I was forced to leave the field to have my skull sewn. I remember that doc (Alexis Savigny) decided to staple me to go faster. I can still hear the noise in my head: clack, clack, clack … I returned to the field with a fortnight of staples and a helmet to try to protect myself. But I think if I had to go through the concussion protocol, I would never get back on the grass in the middle of my partners. But hey, at the time, it was a little old-fashioned. »

An ever-present memory

Evidently, the minutes after the defeat were painful. The feeling of having betrayed his team invaded him, as did remorse. “But frankly, the boys were nice to me, no one blamed me in the locker room. On the contrary, many came to see me to comfort me, to tell me that they did not hold me back. » He sighs, then resumes with a wide smile. “I wanted it so much. The only thing that rotted me a little was my friend Roro (Roncero). I sat down next to him, he said nothing. And then, after a long moment of silence, he looked at me with his dark eyes and said to me: “But are you completely stupid or what?” »» Rest assured, the friendship between the two men has not been altered.

The memory of this comic scene is still very much alive in the mind of the man who evolved for much of his career in the Irish province of Leinster (2003-2009), even before becoming a coach. (2018-2022). “In fact, it is necessarily engraved on me because I can assure you that the scar I have on my skull, I see it every day when I look in the mirror. It’s probably the most important thing I’ve had in my career. And it inevitably reminds me of that moment of shame I experienced. » And even if Contepomi doesn’t look in the mirror, there’s always someone to remind her of the anecdote. When he’s not a French journalist, it’s his Leinster players. ” Is truePhilip. One day at the start of the season I walk into the locker room and see a few players around a phone watching a video and laughing. I can assure you that I understood quickly when they saw me in the room. I let myself get carried away a bit, but nothing bad. » “Honestly, how can you blame such a bright and smart guyJérôme Fillol states that he was in the fight that day. I know a lot of workers who might have passed them on. But then he, it was unthinkable. I never would have thought I would be so scared. » By the way, no matter how insignificant it may seem, the French Stadium had still pocketed the defensive bonus point.

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