After its draw in Brive last week-end, Racing Metro 92 returns to its Colombes garden filled of Ciel et Blanc for this 15th round of TOP 14 against the Rugby Club Toulonnais on Sunday (9pm). Facing the European champion, which was the first francilian victim in 2013, Racing wants to revive against them to start off year 2014 as it should. (Credit : Julien Poupart // Attitude Rugby).
Around this same winter period last season, Rugby Club Toulonnais was Racing’s opponent for Day 15 of TOP 14. Racing Metro 92, not really in great shape at that time in the national championship, were in the obligation to bring back a success far from Ile-de-France in a stadium, which saw, one by one, all of the other squads leaving Mayol with nothing else than a lot of conceded points, or with a defensive bonus for the best of them. Francilians, far from giving up, had sworn that their season was really starting on this Sunday night of January 6th, a confrontation broadcasted live at 9pm. Could we found similarities with tonight’s meeting which this time will be held “in our Colombes garden” as Laurent Labit would say?
We often say that seasons goes by and looks alike. Again this year, Racing needs a victory while RCT already passed the second gear after a few weeks of doubt, as last week’s success over Montpellier attests it. Again this year, the Ciel et Blanc squad of the Dimitri Szarzewski would like to re-make the feat that was “the trigger match, as the Ciel et Blanc Captain likes to remind everyone with. We would like to win it again but this time at home, in Colombes”. Yves-du-Manoir already fell once this season against Grenoble, “this joker lost at home”, says Szarzewski, mustn’t be reproduced otherwise the top 6 spots will fly away.
For it, Ciel et Blanc will have to show up the same implication seen last week-end against Brive in a tricky confrontation. “It looked much better in Brive, especially in defense. Hopefully, improvement in the offensive area will show up soon, warns Marc Andreu. We are conscious of the situation we are in, we want to win and must carry on working as we do nowadays. Respect comes with victories”. A speech inspired by coach of the three-quarters. « To really notice our positive aspect of those last few days, we need the win. The London and Brive meetings generated positive aspects. We are all convinced that this squad has quality. We are building on team spirit and aggressiveness for it to improve”.
And if we again return on last season’s meeting, those same characteristics built the success in Mayol. “There are implication, desire to do well in this team, reassures the Ciel et Blanc hooker. We are moving forward, we are improving though we would like it to grow quicker. We need more regularity in results and more efficiency in offensive. We know RCT! They are European champions and will travel full of confidence. We know who we will have in front of us tonight. We want to challenge them!” Wouldn’t it be great to retrieve this victory against the first opponent beaten in 2013? Yes, as Andreu and Cie want “to end this year on a good note!” This to start off year 2014 in good conditions, to only keep the good 2013 memories…
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Friday 19th August