Rugby Union – Top 14: after USAP’s victory against Stade Français, Patrick Arlettaz assures that the Catalans played “without fear of doing wrong”

Rugby Union - Top 14: after USAP's victory against Stade Français, Patrick Arlettaz assures that the Catalans played

This Saturday, January 28, USAP won, in Aimé-Grial, 31-24, after a successful performance. Obviously proud of his troops after these last complicated weeks, manager Patrick Arlettaz is delighted to see that this cut has, perhaps, removed some headwinds.

Victory was expected. And the way in which the Catalans have beaten the pawn at the Stade Français only makes it tastier. Patrick Arlettaz, the USAP manager, is delighted to finally see the efforts of his players rewarded with four new points in the bag.

This Saturday evening, we felt that your team was hungry…

That’s true, but that’s not always enough. On the other hand, since the start of the season, no one can blame us for our desire on the pitch. Today, it smiles on us, even if we are not complicated the task at the end of the match with this red card (George Tilsley, at the 68e minute) and that try in the last ten minutes that could have tipped the scales the other way. But it looked good and we taste this kind of performance. During these three weeks of cut, we said it, we could not put more desire, but we lacked a little control from time to time. We’re still missing some, but we’ve managed to score some good tries and we played this match rather well… It’s the last in the championship that beats the second, it’s the smallest budget that beats the biggest. .. After three hectic weeks that didn’t make us more serene, taking a few coaching lessons along the way, it was difficult, but we put on this huge performance without changing staff. You can’t win the second in the championship by being useless and simply with desire, that doesn’t exist.

Gérald Bastide, defense coach, said before the match that it will be necessary, in addition to this desire, to be lucid. Is that what made the difference tonight?

That’s true, but we haven’t been totally lucid either. I have said it several times since the beginning of the year, in our situation, we are obliged to be at 150%. It’s the only way out. But, from time to time, at 150% you screw up and you lack control. But, tonight, it’s a magnificent performance and we’re not going to hide our pleasure.

How do you explain that your players were able to make so many differences against this team which was nevertheless the best defense?

If there’s one thing that the turmoil of the last few weeks has served, it’s that we entered this match with a little less pressure. When you are committed to doing well, when you work a lot, when you put everything you can into the field but all that is called into question… At one point, you tell yourself that we no longer have nothing to lose after all. Let’s do the same thing but being liberated. From time to time, we were a little tense because we were afraid of doing something wrong. But now we don’t ask questions and we act without fear of doing wrong. By always putting so much desire into it!

This test of Piula Faasalele, which starts from a recovery from your 22 meters, is the demonstration that you play more liberated?

We used to do that. You know, episodes of a game are never to be taken out of context. We had a difficult start to the season because we were doing things well, we were leading in the 70e sometimes but it turns against us so, by force, we tense up. But we were used to doing this kind of action, it’s even our game: to be envious by being in the lead. But, as I said, this latest turmoil may have eased our complexion, doing things a little more carefree.

When you lose the last ball just before the siren, has the tension returned?

Not that much because we quickly replaced ourselves. In defense, it did the right thing. For example, on Lester Etien, there is a missed tackle but it comes down to closing the spaces properly. Even on the “pic and go” at the end of the match, when we had the ball, we were not fifteen players on two meters which would have put us in difficulty in the event of loss of ball. Until the end we were able to keep our strategy and lucidity. Of course, we scared ourselves, but these sequences are well played and well defended, without panicking.

On this contentious situation, where the linesman raises the flag, what is your analysis?

In the rule, this is played at the whistle of the main referee. Except that the linesman, by raising the flag, has an influence on all the players who can defend. I don’t necessarily say that because it’s in my favor because, despite this try, we are still ahead in the score. But are we refereeing in a stupid and disciplined way like computers, or are we still leaving a little human in there…

This is proof that, for once, it’s going your way…

Yes, it does from time to time! When you put a lot of desire into it, when you are constantly fighting and putting your heart into it, sometimes being rewarded is a pleasure.