Following Racing's victory over Stade Français in the francilian derby (16-12), last Saturday at the Stade de France, Laurent Labit shares his satisfaction of having won despite the fact that it was a nervous match. Coach of the Ciel et Blanc already focus on the next match in Biarritz, would like to finish this first part of season with a automn transition which will do good to the whole squad.
Laurent, are you feeling satisfied by your players’ performance in this francilian derby ?
Yes obviously, we won it. As we have repeated all week long, it’s a derby, it’s an important match for the club, for the president and supporters but also for the whole region. And tonight we came out victorious. A derby is often a tensed and tight confrontation which isn’t a great game to watch, as our tonight’s match attests it. But satisfaction is present as we have won this match.
Again it was a nervous match, Racing’s last couple of matches were quite high emotionally…
I must admit that we are confronted to intense confrontations since the match versus Grenoble which was very difficult. The following game against Clermont also was very intense; the one against Scarlets last week was an unlucky scenario for us. And tonight was again similar; we should and had the opportunity on many situations of taking a larger advantage on the scoreboard. Unfortunately we didn’t, we then had to wrestle harshly in defense until the whistle was blown.
This success obviously has an impact in the league ranking, is it already time to get focus on the travel to Biarritz? Bottom of the league with only eight points, will it be important to win there?
Yes, it will be an important match like every other in TOP 14 this season. It is a very tight and complicated championship with many qualifying pretenders, many more than there were last season. So we have to take as many points as we can and when you travel to the bottom of the league team, you must consider winning. Though, we will attend to a very tough confrontation because no doubt that Biarritz will let themselves down that quick, particularly at home. We will have to rise up our level of play but above all have the control of the game and have the lucidity to win the match.
Other tough blow would be Laurent Magnaval’s injury…
Once again, we can really say that we are cursed, especially around our scrum-halves. Since the beginning of the season, he is the third one out. We will check on what exactly his injury is about but obviously it is starting to be pretty problematic, particularly. Let’s hope that the Biarritz confrontation will go well, that way we will be able to make the most of those two international weeks.
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Saturday 26th August