LIVE – The RCT plays for a place in the Top 14 semi-final, in Mayol, against La Rochelle

LIVE – The RCT plays for a place in the Top 14 semi-final, in Mayol, against La Rochelle
LIVE – The RCT plays for a place in the Top 14 semi-final, in Mayol, against La Rochelle

Mayol will ignite this Saturday evening. It is at home, in front of a lively red and black crowd, that the RCT (4th) will try to secure a place in the Top 14 semi-final, against La Rochelle (5th). The meeting between the Toulonnais who are returning to the final stages of the championship after six years of absence, and the Rochelais, still in search of their first Brennus, promises to be the shock of these dams.

It will first be a physical fight with two big packs forwards, studded with internationals, in front of a white-hot audience of connoisseurs who hope that the RCT will revive its former prestige. We remind you: four French championship titles, the last in 2014, exactly ten years ago. Too long for these Toulon supporters: “OWe are impatient, enthusiastic, we saw how quickly the stadium tickets sold out (…) no one can beat us at home!“The 16,000 seats at the Mayol stadium should in fact all be occupied.

“You have to concentrate on playing on the field” – Pierre Mignoni, RCT coach

An atmosphere in Toulon which inevitably resonates with the players. A lot of pressure, a lot of waiting recognizes Teddy Baubigny, the captain of the RCT: “Whether through social networks, messages or in our daily lives, we see that people are stimulated and impatient to come (…) we want to get on the field and play the best match possible for these reasons“.

A pressure that will have to be relieved at kick-off, for coach Pierre Mignoni: “It’s not a championship week after which there will be another match. There is only a match if you win. But we have to concentrate on the job to be done on the pitch and not everything that is happening around it. You cannot be a spectator of the event, not an actor and very present because opposite there will be a team who will be there“.

Against La Rochelle, it’s going to be a big physical battle, a battle on the ground too“, also recognized the Var scrum half Baptiste Serin. “I think it’s going to be tough in terms of combat, it’s a team that thrives on that so we’ll have to be ready“.

La Rochelle, which has qualified for the final phase five times in the last six seasons, only has the Top 14 to make up for its premature exit in the Champions Cup, where the club was double title holder. Ronan O’Gara’s men are therefore under pressure.

Last January, the two teams met in Mayol and the meeting went in favor of the RCT (25 to 23). The lily of the valley club even won the defensive bonus.

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