Under pouring rain, game plans and ambitious offensive plays could hardly be established, it was then up to who would penalize the other the most. This evening, Racing Metro 92 has been defeated by Biarritz Olympique 9-6. Ciel et Blanc, with the wind blowing their way ruled the game in first half, but didn't manage to find the right solutions against an opponent who was probably playing its survival to stay in this TOP 14 competition. (Credit : Émilie Manchon).
Last year's match saw Ciel et Blanc winning at the Aguiléra stadium under a winter snowing weather, a success which permitted Racing to make a huge step into those golden championship play-offs. This season, teams challenged each other in Pays Basque, a little earlier during the year. A confrontation that appeared to be the last chance for the men under President Blanco, to stay in this 2013-2014 competition. Another loss, the tenth one would have wrecked all hope of maintaining Biarritz Olympique in TOP 14. Another defeat and Basques would have seen PRO D2 closer than ever, letting them with no more joker left and forced to become invincible for the rest of the season.
So here are the Ciel et Blanc, in the early days of November, on this pouring rain Saturday evening to perform in this Day 11 of TOP14. Despite the intention to create combining plays and many attempts to make impressive ball moves, nothing was profitable for the game to become attractive. Autumn arriving, rugby could not come out successful of this confrontation, confessed Dimitri Yachvili, the Basque fly-half who scored every points for Biarritz this evening. "Those bad conditions arranged us pretty much..."
There is no doubt that this wind was a contributing factor and had its weight on this match. Blowing towards the opponent's in-goal during the first half, it then switched into a precious asset for Biarritz in second-half. Back down to 6-3 before half-time - "Those three condeeded points are all mine, we shouldn't make such mistakes, we could pay it back later... In such conditions of play, we must avoid those mistakes", said Luc Ducalcon - Yachvili and its team-mates perfectly made their move in second half as they took advantage of the scoreboard and boosted their conquest.
Laurent Travers prevented it - "In such conditions, we know that the difference will be made on discipline and out of a hazardous action" - But in the end, Racing fell short as the Benjamin Dambielle penalty attempts did, even though they were perfectly on target, they simply fell short, due to a lack of power and to a heavy wind. "We would have enjoyed a better end..., regrets Antoine Battut out of this match. Conditions were bad, Our opponent's got a bit more luck on this one. I really don't have much more to say. Both squads were hoping for a simple ball bounce to try and play ball. In the end, it really was up to a heads and tales coin toss, a a bloody coin toss..." By those words, the francilian back row probably summarized the match.
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Saturday 26th August