After a European transition quite successful, Racing Metro 92 switches back to TOP 14 on Saturday (8.35pm) at the Stade de France against the Parisian neighbor Stade Français. Ciel et Blanc, still on a championship loss against Grenoble, will rely on their last European performances, full of courage and solidarity.
Last year, this same Racing Metro 92 vs Stade Français confrontation was the trigger match of a season which saw the Gonzalo Quesada’s Ciel et Blanc start off a serie of nine consecutive wins to at the end fail in play-offs in Toulouse. Since, the Argentinian coach has cross Paris’ famous “periphérique” road and got replaced by the Laurent’s duet, Labit and Travers. So a bit like last year’s confrontation, the Ciel et Blanc under the rule of Captain Dimitri Szarzewski, former pink player henceforth Racingmen, will need a real trigger match to launch their ambitious season.
This one apparently happened two weeks ago against ASM Clermont-Auvergne, in HCup. Facing the last unfortunate finalist, Racing showed a real team spirit, a solidarity brought by “friends who there for each other and at any time” says Henry Chavancy.
To consolidate this incredible performance of the first European match of the season, Ciel et Blanc reproduced it facing the Scarlets. A draw brought back from Wales and there you have irresistible francilian players ready for this derby. “Of course that we feel this derby, this emulation, confesses Laurent Travers. But we are simply in the continuity of HCup, meaning that we are still confronted to big matches”. As they have always managed to do since their comeback in the French elite championship, when receiving their Parisian neighbor, Racingmen will take the victory over their forever enemy. The region’s supremacy is at stake even if the most important isn’t there. Only the national championship and its play-offs obsess the minds of Racingmen. Against an opponent in progress this season, they will have to beware of those pink players, stay on their good European momentum and convincing performances. Ciel et Blanc are all aware of it and is aiming to do so as its opponent of the Day had the chance of let their key player resting during this two European weeks transition. “They automatically, gain in freshness, but we have the HCup intensity on our side…”
To retrieve success in TOP 14, Racingmen will have to go through a tough wrestle once again. But Racing knows how to, they proved it many times those last few weeks. For sure, francilians are aiming to set their recent European performances onto national fields.
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Saturday 26th August