Stade Toulousain is marked in the first and last minute of this match. The problem was between the two. How could he lose in Coventry? He was dominant in the scrum, on balls carried, crossed many times and was even in numerical superiority for about forty minutes. Admittedly, the European champion did not deliver his best score, far from it. But how many times has it happened to him to be less dashing to be more pragmatic and win the day? This is the strength of this team: even if they can be taken, they know how to crucify their opponent as soon as they let their guard down. This is called mastery.
On Saturday, the Rouge et Noir were sorely lacking, to the grandmother of manager Ugo Mola: “We had a lot of opportunities but little realism, unlike the Wasps. “Breaker” so much at this level, it’s rare. But we fell into the trap and couldn’t find the right measure.”
The flanker François Cros went in the same direction: “We had opportunities, clear ‘breaks’ but we couldn’t cross the line. It’s infuriating. We can’t scuttle each other on bad passes or loss of the ball in contact. We’re not not enough killers.” A shame for the Toulouse, as it was their first quality at the start of the exercise when, behind a shortened summer preparation, they knew they were less in place offensively and had insisted on the fundamentals with success. Frankly, there are a lot of meetings they have won with three or four times fewer favorable situations than in England.
Mola: “Things bothered me”
Victim of cascading reports for a month (in a period he had targeted), Toulouse feared to lack rhythm. Is the explanation there? “I would like it, replied Mola. But the energy was on the side of the Wasps. I sincerely hope it’s a story of rhythm but there are still things that really bothered me. We will watch with a clear head to avoid getting too annoyed.” Digging a bit, Mola dropped this piece: “I saw a state of mind focused on the game, that’s for sure. But, with each refereeing decision, everyone raised their arms. That’s not us. We have to refocus on the essential and put things back in order.” His men have not always understood why they were not yet rewarded in conquest, but this finger-pointing behavior also comes in a context where players have the impression that everything is turning against them. “There was a lot of frustration but we have to stay in our place and stop refereeing, reframed Cros. Above all, we should stop alienating referees with behavior like that. It doesn’t help us in any way.” The people of Toulouse have no choice but to rediscover this serenity and this lucidity which have succeeded their trademark. Mole to conclude: “It’s often a story of collective dynamics. The best way to put your head back in place is to play rugby and continue. By playing two games in six weeks, we feel that we miss this very important collective bond. We have to find it quickly. After a controlled start to the season from head and shoulders, we are now stammering our rugby. We have to get back to work to avoid being the team that does not don’t have the right rebounds. They’re for the right teams.” Toulouse has proven to be a great one.