Defeated in the final of the European Challenge by an attractive team from Bristol (32-19), RC Toulon missed the first big event of the Bernard Lemaître era. But Patrice Collazo wants to believe in a bright future.
Correspondent in Toulon
At the first rays of sun, this Saturday morning, RC Toulon gets up with a hangover. The one which is tenacious, which makes the head buzz and offers some hints at the bottom of the heart. This Friday, in Aix-en-Provence, the Louis Carbonel band missed the opportunity to lift the first small European Cup in the history of the club, after failures in 2010 and 2012.
Defeated by Bristol (32-19), the Toulonnais abandoned the European Challenge, a priority objective at the start of last season, in front of 1000 people committed to their cause. A painful defeat, as the RCT stamped Patrice Collazo wants to emancipate itself from the glorious past to leave its mark. “The disappointment is immense. I am disappointed for them, for the players, exposes, haggard the coach of the RCT at the end of the meeting. Beyond the errors, we know that we have shortcomings, we have put so much energy into it this evening… ”
Small details, big consequences
Certainly, the people of Besagne will not be able to reproach their own for the courage, the will, and the perseverance undertaken during the game. But, it only took 18 seconds of play for Radradra, former Toulonnais (2017-2018), to send Randall to damn. “The start is very bad, we take a try after not even 30 seconds, sighs Étrillard, captain of the RCT. Against a team like Bristol, it’s expensive. ”
Led by ten points (4e), the Rouge et Noir revolted thanks to Louis Carbonel, inspired against the poles (14 points), and to Heem, skilled to finish a counterattack ball in the corner. Miraculously, Toulon tipped over in the lead at the break (16-10) thanks to its resilience and the clumsiness of the “Bears”, who overwhelmed two ready-made tests. “We all have the feeling of having spun the match on the 1reperiod, says Serin. We had a nightmarish start. We missed some very simple things. We defended a lot. But, we knew how to be opportunistic. “
But by dint of pitching, the ship gave way. Blunted by the moving game and the rhythm imposed by the flock of Pat Lam, the residents of Félix-Mayol conceded 13 points in 5 minutes (56e-61e) due to a multitude of errors: a slip from Dakuwaqa and a return poorly captured by Parisse were punished by Sheedy (author of an 8/8 against the poles), a missed touch in 22 meters propelled Malins in the in-goal. “The match may have been played on this key we miss, concedes Collazo. We lob our jumper, we get free, we miss a tackle, we take a try. There was no one in the jump zone and we can’t control him … It’s these mistakes that make the game go round. “
“I believe the foundations are starting to be solid. I can not wait until tomorrow”
Paradox of this season jostled by covid-19, the RCT will have to switch very quickly to the future. In less than a week, the protected Bernard Lemaître will beat the iron with Castres, in Top 14. Impossible to gamble, Collazo knows it. From the final whistle, he remobilized his troops by forming a circle within 22 meters: “It’s the start of something, warns Collazo. There are too many beautiful things for it to stop there. It is not for today. But, it will be soon. Maybe it was a step. I believe the foundations are starting to be solid. I can not wait until tomorrow. “
In the wake of his manager, Baptiste Serin abounded. “The positive is there. Bristol has spread toast for everyone. Tonight there is a lot of frustration. Now there are two competitions ahead of us. We are very confident. We take a little hit on the head. But, we will receive Castres properly. “Anthony Étrillard made an appointment with the supporters of the Rade club:” It’s the start of the season. We must not put our heads in the bucket. You have to be proud of what you have done. We must retain the state of mind. There will be better days for us. There will be other finals. ”