In Day 1 of HCup, Ciel et Blanc won against Clermont (13-9), thanks to a great team spirit. Coach Labit expresses his pride in front of the media in the post-match reactions.
How do you feel after this success?
Many feelings are coming out at that instant, but I would say that pride is what comes first. I’m proud of my players for having reacted over last week’s lost against Grenoble but also for having challenging this team of Clermont which is a top pretender to this 2014 HCup and which doesn’t hide from it, as they clearly announced it this week. Plus, ASM perfectly prepared their match against us by leaving a few important elements of the squad resting for the previous game against Toulon. So I do feel proud because it wasn’t easy for us, after a difficult week after the Grenoble loss. We could have asked ourselves questions on our performances, our game production… but we didn’t, we stayed focus on the coming match, despite all we can hear from the outside of the team. The priority was to show that players wanted to create, to build something together. We saw that on this pitch tonight with a tough team spirit spread all game long. But, I will repeat myself again by saying that the game production wasn’t perfect, there are many aspects of the game that we still have to work on. But what was very interesting tonight was this desire to play as a team, this flagrant team spirit and that proves that this team really is on this same track of improvement. This could become a major asset to work around.
Did you feel revenge in the players’ eyes during this week of preparation?
Of course, we couldn’t manage to do so without that spirit. Players didn’t respect themselves, the staff and supporters on their bad behavior of last week’s match. So we had a good talk to put everything straight followed by tough sessions and I think that we can say that it worked tonight. We found a great energy amongst the Ciel et Blanc against this team of Clermont which created us problems but we never broke up and stood against them until the end, even with one player down. We defended our in-goal line and I think that those two last minutes will be very important for the rest of the season.
Was it crucial to start off with a home success?
Indeed it was crucial to start off with a win in this tough pool, plus to react at home after our defeat here at Colombes the week before. This reaction was very important for another reason, to prove to all our opponents which will travel to Colombes that we made one and only mistake, it won’t happen no more. It won’t be that easy to take points at Yves-du-Manoir, no more.
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Friday 19th August