The attackers from Stade Rochelais, monstrous at the end of the match, were decisive and offered their club their first European title against Leinster.
Special Envoy to Marseille
Ordinary shelling. Demonstration of brute force. During the last ten minutes of the Champions Cup final, the La Rochelle attackers literally crushed the Irish of Leinster, multiplied raids, picks and rides until the blue wall allowed and scored half the scrum that replaced Arthur Retière. “In the end, you saw a determined group that wouldn’t leave the cup to Leinster for anything in the world“, Confided Grégory Alldritt, number 8 in Maritimes and XV in France.
A tactic that had its limits ahead of the Irish goal line for a long time before finally finding a mistake and scoring an attempt at liberation. And Irish manager Ronan O’Gara says, “We have a striker coach who loves live play (his compatriot Donnacha Ryan, editor’s note) and the head coach, who likes to score, tests at random. The attackers decided to keep the ball, but at one point I said, “Let’s go,” we have to try! And it was hard, so it’s amazing for the band.»
From the beginning of the match, the La Rochelle pack announced the color: an extraordinary physical challenge, a showdown in all circumstances, without concessions. Despite repeated indiscipline and a lack of offensive realism, the Maritimes players doubted the province of Dublin. Stunned by the scrum, destabilized by the presence of robust strikers in the La Rochelle offensive line, the Irish stuttered their normally accurate and pragmatic rugby.
“It was a big, big show.” We worked on it this week, we knew that before we looked at Leinster, we had to look at ourselves, that we were at our best individual and collective level. We knew that if we were innocent, we could defeat themInsists Grégory Alldritt. Who presses:Conquest, defense, we dominated them. And then follows the offensive line. When you get out of contact and see the wings 30 feet in front, it’s good for the head. It’s a victory in 23 with the help of a bench. Today everything was together.»
Impressive physical strength
Stade Rochelais definitely knows how to stop a Leinster machine. Already last year, President Merling’s players dealt a blow when they crushed the Dubliners Marcel-Deflandre in the semifinals. With the same recipe: fight, aggression and impressive physical strength. “We heard that Leinster is the favorite and that we will be 40. But we have shown that we can defend ourselves as well.“, Said the international hooker Pierre Bourgarit at the time. Words he could repeat this Saturday.
The “difficult” Charente-Maritime struck again. At the best time by offering the scalp of a very large European. La Rochelle, the fourth French club king of Europe (after Toulouse, Brive and Toulon), can now claim status. Gone is the image of a small club that secured its rise to the Top 14 in 2014.It is said that you cannot learn from your mistakes. We did the oppositeSays Ronan O’Gara, a former Munster idol who used the old methods of his province (sacred in 2006 and 2008) to bend Leinster’s hereditary enemy. Old rivalry.
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