the favorites and claws of our special correspondent

After the CO’s victory over the Stade Tolousain, find out what caught the attention of our special correspondent in Nice.

At the Allianz Riviera,

FAVORITES

Castres, all but a surprise

We talk less about them. They regularly become eternal Little Thumbs but their regularity at the highest level is impressive. The Castres climbed to the Top 14 final on Friday, all but a surprise. For the first time in their history, they finished first in the regular season with 17 wins in the time trial. No one has done better. Above all, the CO has reappeared as we know it: as a formidable machine in the final phase. With a game plan and a desire to tear down mountains. The Stade Toulousain fell into the trap, caught in the aggression and occupation of the field. We know how they will play and what their strengths are, but it works over and over again. Over the past decade, the CO has been champion in 2013, finalist in 2014, champion in 2018 and finalist again in 2022. And it can legitimately claim to win a sixth title this year. All but a surprise. The strength of the habit.

The great fervor of the supporters of the CO

They were much less. But we almost only heard them. Castres Olympique fans showed impressive enthusiasm on the Allianz Riviera. Impeccable support, despite the complicated first twenty minutes. They were all in the same place at the back of a grandstand in Nice. A blue rectangle shouting, waving flags throughout the match, singing, cheering. From “Here, here, here is Pierre-Fabre” it sounded regular. The battle in the stands was already won, before the players won the battle on the field. During the warm-up, they cheered on the iconic Rory Kockott, who however was not part of the 23-player group. They did not hesitate to break a blue smoke. “Everyone lives for rugby in Castres, we feel that this enthusiasm is gradually increasing. They proved it again tonight for 80 minutes, we felt their support. We are very happy to be able to take them back to Paris »wanted to greet the back of the Tarn Julien Dumora.

ARPA CUPS

An untitled season for the Stadium

It is not this year that we will be entitled to a second episode of the movie “Le Stade”. The Haute-Garonne season ended abruptly on Friday after a logical setback against Castres. After a short tussle with the defender, Ugo Mola finally tucked the ball home. Toulouse trapped in aggression and without a solution. A second time for the Stade Tolousain. A second defeat in the semi-final, after the (violent) loss to Leinster in the Champions Cup. And, therefore, an untitled season for the most successful club in French rugby, which last year remained in a resounding double European Cup-Top 14. One can speak of a failed season for a club accustomed to so much excellence? The issue of journalists inevitably does not like the manager Ugo Mola. “It’s your analysis. When you make two semifinals and it doesn’t go down much, yes, you can say it’s a failure. It’s your interpretation.” Shared by red-and-black supporters? “See you next year. We will test our character to recover after this failed season for some and two semifinals for others.“, continues the manager of Toulouse, bitter.

The guilty indiscipline of Toulouse

Toulouse is usually one of the least penalized teams in the league. That was not the case on Friday in Nice. Puzzled by the constant harassment of the Castres, Antoine Dupont and his teammates made too many mistakes. In the first half alone, Toulouse were penalized seven times and received two yellow cards. Sign of fever. “In general, we are more disciplined. That’s when you have to be disciplined. We failed in this sector “, recognized Ugo Mola. Opposite, the Argentine striker Benjamin Urdapilleta -who finished 4/5 against the posts- has not asked so much to punish the indiscipline of Toulouse. In the key game, this sector often makes a difference.

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