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Toulon in search of reaction to Castres

By ML

Public here at 23:33

Melvyn Jaminet and his team-mates of the RCT must be recaptured in Castres on Sunday evening (9 p.m.). NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP

For this 15th day of Top 14, the Varois travel to the Tarn on Sunday evening (9 p.m.) to face a Castres team who continue to dream of the final stages.

Since the start of 2024, the RCT has had a more than negative balance sheet. A single victory in the 5 matches played since the start of the year and if we take the previous 5 in the month of December, 3 new defeats add to this already heavy toll. Sunday in Castres, the RCT players hope to (finally) restart the machine but their opponents do not intend to serve as a springboard, quite the contrary.

From a purely accounting point of view, the RCT is still in the game. In the Top 14, they are currently in 5th place with only four small points behind Stade Français and Stade Toulousain, both in the lead (41 points). But if we look a little closer at the content produced by the residents of Mayol, that’s where everything gets complicated. In the Champions Cup, Pierre Mignoni’s players failed to achieve the slightest victory and therefore logically finished in last place in group 3 (2 points, 4 defeats) and since then, almost nothing is going well anymore.

The month of December brought a chill

To start the last month of 2023, the Toulonnais won at Mayol against Pau (36-13) but it was afterwards that the situation took a very bad turn. After two defeats in the Champions Cup against Exeter (18-19) and Northampton (22-19), it was on the lawn of the reigning French champion that the RCT traveled to hope to keep the milestone in the championship. Merciless, the Toulouse team defeated Toulon (25-17) and condemned them to a reaction against the Stade Français. Then against the Parisians, the Reds and Blacks relaunched in the most beautiful way at Mayol (19-5) to end the year in style.

But since then, 2024 has had a lot of trouble getting started. After a setback against the red lantern, Montpellier (27-17), for its last two European Cup posters, the Toulonnais collapsed. Two heavy defeats against Munster (29-18) then against Glasgow at Mayol (29-5) and here the Toulonnais are on the verge of crisis at the end of January. The Toulon manager also returned to these European misadventures at a press conference. HAS” It hurt us because we narrowly lost two matches at the end. At the end, it was a failed competition and it was hard for the team. We then had a series of defeats. Maybe if we had won these first two matches, it could have been different in the minds of the players and in our journey in this competition.” declared Pierre Mignoni.

“We have the impression that it’s the year or never otherwise everything collapses”

Without forgetting to draw positives from this situation : “But we always have to find the positive, we are only going to play one competition and that will allow us to prepare as best as possible for the end of the season. HAS” After a victory against the double reigning champions of La Rochelle (25-23), the Toulonnais were stopped dead in their tracks in their new momentum. Facing UBB in Mayol, the RCT once again fell in front of its supporters (37-32). Before the trip to Castres, Pierre Mignoni did not fail to point out that despite everything, the team continued to progress as planned. “It’s been five years since Toulon qualified so we have the impression that it’s the year or never otherwise everything collapses… Things are being built, I see areas of progress s. Of course the result is to qualify but, before that, there is a mentality to change, habits too. It doesn’t happen overnight. As long as I’m here, things will change.”

The former French international (1997-2007) also highlighted the progress of his team despite recent results. HAS”There are things that this team is doing today that it didn’t do before and I’m sure that, in the medium term, it will do even better things. We have a three-year plan, we know where we are going but I am not a magician. We take risks by moving the lines but it is necessary for the future of this club. If it doesn’t please, it’s the same. I have always operated with a certain rigor. HAS”. Before his team moved to the Tarn, Mignoni was aware of the stakes but he recalled “The pressure that is put on this team. HAS”

A key match for both teams

“I too would like us to be first. If we had won against Bordeaux-Bègles, perhaps we would have. There, I have the impression that we are last… By putting pressure on this team, by ruining it, it’s not positive. Let people continue, let some enjoy themselves, let them enjoy and we will shut up and work. We’ll do the math at the end. Even if some people don’t understand it, I know where we’re going and the people we want to do it with. HAS” In addition, the French internationals of the RCT were not released by the Blues staff for this 15th day of Top 14.

Opposite Castres hopes to take advantage of its opponent’s form to maintain its positive momentum after its big success against Section Paloise last week (44-33). At home this season, the Olympians have only lost 2 matches while Toulon have only won one victory from their 6 away games. With success, the Castres players could therefore move back into the top 6, synonymous with qualification for the final stages, and do not intend to miss this opportunity on Sunday evening (9 p.m.) in a Pierre Fabre stadium ready to vibrate.

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