Top 14. “Have fun, enjoy” suggests Grégory Alldritt before Toulouse-La Rochelle

Top 14. “Have fun, enjoy” suggests Grégory Alldritt before Toulouse-La Rochelle
Top 14. “Have fun, enjoy” suggests Grégory Alldritt before Toulouse-La Rochelle

La Rochelle captain Grégory Alldritt urges his teammates to “enjoy and have fun” during the Top 14 semi-final against Toulouse on Friday (8:15 p.m.).

And if he has “much respect” for Toulouse, the third line did not “no complex” against the Red and Black.

Considering Toulouse’s season, its No. 1 place, its run in the Champions Cup, is the pressure on your shoulders less? Are you more liberated?

More liberated? I don’t like this term because we have clear objectives. Since the start of the season, we have been telling ourselves internally, we want to win. We failed in the European Cup (elimination in the quarter-finals, editor’s note), we gave 300% in the Top 14. It’s certain that they have more to lose than us, we have more to gain than ‘them. We prepared for this match to win it and I think we have every chance. Over the last few weeks, we have come back well, we had a good performance against Toulon (34-29 victory in the play-off, Editor’s note) but we are all aware that that will not be enough. We have to be under pressure, we have to be afraid of losing and there has to be this enthusiasm. We can’t get to the semi-final and say to ourselves it doesn’t matter if we lose.

You’ve been showing a less predictable face lately. Is this an option for this semi-final?

It’s not necessarily part of the strategy, nor worked on, but it’s part of what we’ve seen in recent months. We had become a somewhat dull team, which didn’t necessarily have a lot of fun, there was a lack of smiles on the pitch. We also left with this in mind, to have fun, to enjoy. We have X factors that are just crazy, we have to avoid putting them too much in a box and let them express themselves more freely. When we see players like UJ (Seuteni), Antoine (Hastoy) take initiatives, they immediately become different players.

What role can your success in the play-off in Toulon play for this semi-final?

It has already allowed us to be there and see some small faults that we have. I am thinking of this indiscipline at the start of the match which put us in difficulty. In conquest, we were well challenged. It’s good that we didn’t have the perfect match last week. We continued to progress, we held meetings to see what was wrong and rectify tomorrow (Friday) evening to be able to produce a match close to the perfect match because to beat Toulouse, we will need that.

READ ALSO. Top 14. No anti-Dupont plan, “a phenomenal player”, assures O’Gara, coach of La Rochelle

Do you have a sort of complex after all your defeats in the final stages against Toulouse? How to fight against this?

There is no complex. I have a lot of respect for Toulouse but last season in the final (29-26 defeat on a try from Romain Ntamack in the 78th minute, Editor’s note), we scuttled the match alone by making bad choices. You have to use the past to move forward, but there’s no point in focusing on that. In the end, we had a difficult season, there were some who were injured, less efficient at times, we were rightly criticized but in the end, we are extremely happy to be in the semi-final and hyper excited to show what we are really worth.

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