At the end of their defeat, the Racingmen recognized without being asked the domination of the Rochelais. An underperformance which does not however call everything into question, specifies the manager of the Ile-de-France club.
Special envoy to Lille
Laurent Travers, Racing 92 manager : “When you lose in the semi-final it’s a failure. If you have ambitions, and Racing has them, we have only one desire: to be champions. We cannot afford to say ” we are in the semi-final, that’s enough ”. We are therefore disappointed. We cannot be satisfied with that, it is insufficient. But we came across better than us. We failed to receive high balls, failed in melee, failed in too many sectors. The tempo comes first from the front pack. When you play while moving forward, it’s easier than when you are moving backwards. We must not escape. We got caught up in the fight. Point. And the Rochelais deserve their victory. We might have had a little less gasoline in the engine (after the dam against Stade Français, Editor’s note), but it’s also linked to the ability of Stade Rochelais to hit where it hurts. If we miss it, I have my share of responsibility. I remain very proud of my players. Last week, we were seen as champions; there it would be necessary to throw everyone? No !”
Maxime Machenaud, scrum captain and half of Racing 92 : “The Rochelais have very massive players. There are not two Skelton in the championship. On his own, he destroys a carried ball but that was no surprise. They were superior to us in front and in the ground game. They didn’t play last weekend, that counts. We would have done well without this dam (against the French Stadium). The seasons are very long. There is not one who is not rinsed in the locker room. We are all chewed… ”
Teddy Iribaren, scrum half replacing Racing 92 : “When I came home (at the 48e minute), the damage was already done. The Rochelais make the break before the break and after, it’s the gentle slope. The Rochelais had only to put up a big defensive curtain, which they know very, very well how to do. The performance of the forwards changes everything for a scrum half. When they move forward, it’s very easy to shine; when they retreat, it’s very complicated… I couldn’t find the solutions. I pushed back the deadline by making the pass to 10 which, also without a solution, went to 12, and so on… “