Sports |  European Rugby Cup: Toulouse, Racing and La Rochelle reach the final

Sports | European Rugby Cup: Toulouse, Racing and La Rochelle reach the final

Toulouse – Like last year, three French clubs are competing in the last four teams of the European Rugby Cup this weekend. Toulouse, the defending champion, will have a lot to do with the Irishman from Leinster to join the final, in Marseille, winner of the fratricide duel between Racing 92 and La Rochelle.

. Leinster Toulouse, the path to the stars

Five European stars on the Irish side of Toulouse, four on the Irish side: Saturday’s match (4:00pm) at Aviva Stadium in Dublin between the two most successful teams on the continent is sparks.

Their paths had already crossed in 2019 at this point in the competition, to a final victory for Leinster (30-12). But the golden generation of Stade Toulousain has since gained maturity and a few awards.

Ugo Mulla, technical director Ugo Mulla, who considers the Irish to be “goldsmiths in ‘organisation and structure’ said: ‘We learned a lot of things that day. Three years later, I think we are not what we used to be and neither is she.”

Clover XV’s main supplier, Leinster, has been impressive since the start of the competition, especially in last week’s quarter in Leicester (23-14), “one of the most beautiful teams in Europe”, a tribute to prostitute and Toulouse captain Julien Marchand.

This week’s European champion survived the physically and mentally demanding face of Monster, winning it after suspense and improbable penalty kicks (4-2, 24-24 extension).

“Toulouse is a really excellent team. So knowing that luck is on their side will give them a little extra, and the feeling that nothing can happen to them,” Aidan, the former third line at Leinster, told AFP. During the 2005-06 season.

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. Racing 92-La Rochelle: 2 rooms and 2 covers

The Franco-French duel on Sunday (4:00 p.m.) between Racingmann, the three-times unfortunate finalist in the competition, and the Maritimes, last year’s European vice-champions, is akin to a giants clash, against two teams with completely contrasting styles and meeting for the first time in the Champions Cup.

On the one hand, the super-strong La Rochelle package (Uini Atonio, Pierre Bourgarit, Grégory Alldritt, Danny Priso, Victor Vito…), on the other hand, the Ile-de-France will-o’-the-wps (Teddy Thomas) , Finn Russell, Nolan Le Garrick, Juan Imhoff, Max Spring…).

This match has been moved to the Bollaert Stadium in Lens due to a concert at the Arena in Nanterre which will be started by All Blacks star Dan Carter, so it promises to be electric, but above all “very aggravating and very undecided” according to Henri Chavanse.

“It will be very difficult, in front of a formidable opponent we know well,” the last confrontation between the two teams in late March ended with a landslide (19-0) victory over Marcel Defleander in the top 14, and the race position is still believed to be 92nd.

“We know they are very strong in the physical challenge, they have a large group of attackers and also strong players behind them,” so we have to “up our level of play,” he warns.

In La Rochelle we are still fighting for a place as the playoffs in the top 14 while Racing 92 is almost certain to be in it, as we call ourselves the ‘outsiders’. For Victor Vito, “We know the Racing 92 players are the favourites.”

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Since the Maritimes have probably only lost one European Cup meeting (out of their last 11 matches), “Sunday’s game will be the most complicated, with a lot of threats in this team, and a tough atmosphere and environment.” New Zealand thinks. The third line.

If the excitement is less than last year, and more tinged with “maturity”, the motivation is still there, as South African winger Raymond Roll asserts: “Playing in the second final in a row would be crazy!”.

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