Semi-final Stade Toulousain – La Rochelle: “I already have difficulty breathing, so if on top of that I have to be hampered by a helmet…” smiles Dorian Aldegheri

Semi-final Stade Toulousain – La Rochelle: “I already have difficulty breathing, so if on top of that I have to be hampered by a helmet…” smiles Dorian Aldegheri
Semi-final Stade Toulousain – La Rochelle: “I already have difficulty breathing, so if on top of that I have to be hampered by a helmet…” smiles Dorian Aldegheri

the essential
Aldegheri’s helmet, the expulsions of Atonio and Wardi, Baille’s injury, the choice of Ainu’u instead of Merkler: the pillars caused discussion in this semi-final.

Every staff fears an incident in a final phase match. Friday night, it almost happened in the warm-up when Richie Arnold’s elbow found Dorian Aldegheri’s skull. This time, the Australian second row will not be suspended but we came very close to the tile. The Toulouse right pillar first chose to play with a helmet but in the first scrum, the protection hampered Dorian Aldegheri. The helmet then headed towards the sidelines. Explanations from the person concerned: “It was a bit of a hassle. They had to put a helmet on me to prevent it from bleeding but I took it off after two minutes. I said to myself, I’m already having trouble breathing, so if on top of that, I have to be hampered by a helmet…”

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Yes, but after the first melee, the blood is flowing: “It’s the referee who decides to send me out. I come back with nine staples and I put the helmet back on because I’m getting yelled at by Ugo. Afterwards I managed with the physiotherapists, I took it off in the scrum and when I had a little time I put it back on. This disturbed me a little, it was difficult because I was already a little shaken from the shock but afterward it was fine. »

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Afterwards, morale took a hit with the injury of Cyril Baile: “It’s annoying because he’s a very good friend. At first I didn’t know he was left on the ground. When I see it, it makes my stomach churn. When you see a friend on the ground, it tears you up. We said to ourselves “we’re doing it for him, we’re hanging in there”. Everyone huddled together.
Afterwards, it was also David Ainu’u’s score which had already come into play temporarily while Dorian Aldegheri had the staples installed. Particularly in this scrum which dominates the La Rochelle scrum and provokes Wardi’s irritation. We then saw the American international shout his joy. He whose name had been written on the sheet while Joël Merkler seemed to be the favorite.

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For the final, we could well find David Ainu’u on the scoresheet but also the Spanish international. Cyril Baille’s injury indeed redistributes the cards. David Ainu’u could slide to the left replacing Rodrigue Neti and Joël Merkler take number 23, behind Dorian Aldegheri.

In any case, it is still an opportunity to show the homogeneity of the group according to Ugo Mola: “I think we used 14 front row this year. So I want to tell you that there will be a beautiful 1, a beautiful 3, a beautiful 17 and a beautiful 23. They will be there. Listen, I think that one of the turning points of the match was perhaps around the 60th minute when La Rochelle took a scrum on a penalty and those who were supposed to be substitutes took up the challenge. It certainly put us in a good position. David Ainu’u, Joel Merkler, these are young players trained at the club and those we hoped for at the start of the season, namely Cyril Baille and Nepo Laulala, will be in the stand. But that’s how it is, that’s the life of a group. Honestly, we are very lucky. The club has been training many, many pillars for years. Since 2017, apart from the jokers, we have only looked for Charlie Faumuina and Nepo Laulala. Everything else comes from our training so there is a lot of work done in his time by William Servat, Thierry Savio who is our scrum doctor at the club and Virgile Lacombe. We tell them, listen, it’s time. At some point, you’re not going to wait to be pushed. It’s time, we have to go! »

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