“It’s huge, I have no words”, exhaled the third row from La Rochelle, Grégory Alldritt at the end of the meeting, in a deafening atmosphere. The liberation from the tens of thousands of naval spectators present in the stands has not subsided. Because this Saturday, May 28, La Rochelle has just won her first major title: the Champions Cup against Leinster, which has all placed among the favorites.
It doesn’t matter, Rochelais, last year’s unfortunate finalists against Toulouse, intended to break this curse, which always stumbled down the last step (European Challenge 2019, Top 14 and Champions Cup 2021). In the face of the Irish of Leinster and their army of internationals, they were promised lightning. It must be said that Johnny Sexton’s teammates had four crowns of European champions for themselves and dominated the 2022 Champions Cup in a way that no team before them had succeeded.
La Rochelle lost two finals last year, maybe she was hungrier than we were.Leinster manager Leo Cullen
at a post-match press conference
Suffice it to say that the challenge was as huge as the frustration that has accumulated in recent seasons when it failed so close to the goal. Rochelais talked about her desire for revenge all season. Especially in the last week of training. “We’ve been thinking all week that everyone has to find time and ask themselves if they really want it. Gregory Alldritt abounded. That 23 of the group think well of the injured, absent, outside the group. In the end, you saw a determined group that would leave the cup to Leinster for nothing in the world. “, Grégory Alldritt, eyes still red, confirmed at a news conference. “We didn’t want to experience the feeling when others are raising the cup in front of us again. “followed by the second series of Romain Sazy.
Rochelais’s taste turned into unrelenting solidarity on the spot. The Maritimes were aware that any ball left to the Irish would be dangerous, so they kept it as warm as possible (61% possession), thanks to generous attackers in attack and defense. “This match, we’ll win it ahead “, said the hero of the struggle, the author of the liberating essay, Arthur Retière. Before the meeting, their former coach Patrice Collazo described this attack of the attackers as crucial as well.
We had to look at ourselves to be at our best individual and collective level. We knew that if we had no remorse, we could defeat them. It’s like season. Conquest, defense, we dominated them.Grégory Alldritt, third line of La Rochelle and XV of France
at a post-match press conference
A performance that Ronan O’Gary’s players could not have shown in these proportions without the fury of fans who would be as eager to win as they were. Every match, every scratch, every scrum was furiously accompanied in the stands. If all the players tried to find words to explain this white-threaded scenario, they all found their verb to emphasize the importance of the public. “We bring this trophy back to our fans and it almost deserves it more than we do. They never let us down. When you see the Velodrome tonight, what more could you want? In the last sequence, when we find ourselves ahead of our turn, I can assure you that he will take a lot. “continued Grégory Alldritt.
After more than two minutes of intense pounding of the attackers into the line, Arthur Retière found a mistake by stretching his arm. The stadium exploded, sometimes it rained beer. A few minutes later, the players fell into each other’s arms and Romain Sazy could finally say, “We are now European champions. It’s huge for the club, for its progress. You had to go through that. We have conjured up destiny. ” The meeting in the Old Port of La Rochelle, where the players hand over the trophy on Sunday, should definitely confirm the matter.