Rugby Union – Top 14: USAP finds Stade Français where all the trouble started…

USAP hosts historic foe Stade Français at Aimé-Giral on Saturday at 5 p.m. In the first game, the Catalans lost heavily (52-3) and the results of this meeting are felt even today. They don’t have a choice for this return match, they have to win to avoid sinking…

Stade Jean-Bouin, Paris, Saturday 8 October. The beginning of trouble for the USAP. On this sixth day of the Top 14, the Catalans come to the capital after two interesting successes at home (Toulon and Castres). If the personnel decided to rotate a little to keep a few executives, on paper the team is far from unworthy. In contrast, Paris is not doing so well. The start of the season has not been great (2 wins and three losses as USAP) and above all, the players through the press during the week, the arrival, next season, after the World Cup, Laurent Labit and Karim Ghezal, should have the effect of pushing a squad that is still under contract towards the exit . Everything is in place for the Catalans, who are still angry about the scenario at the end of the 2021-2022 season (Stad Français suffered a heavy defeat at home to Brive on the last day, allowing the Correziens to save themselves and send. ‘USAP in access-match) , move.

Yes, but here, everything is not always so simple. At the beginning of autumn, Stade Français was released in the capital. Against a poor Perpignan, the Parisians won 52-3, scoring eight tries and inflicting the biggest defeat in Perpignan’s history. After the meeting, they answered the words of the Catalan “enemy” at the end of the last season on the field, and also announced that they want to defend their coach. Since then, on the morning of this 16th, they have not stopped advancing to the point of existencee The day of the Top 14, the second in the ranking…

Two matches to recover

This first game against Stade Français for USAP is not insignificant. This meeting was not a defeat like the others. Far from it. Because losing in this way against the “historical” enemy caused the anger of some elders and, at the same time and above all, some Catalan supporters. They had a field day on social media that greatly destabilized the team, which struggled to recover. Kim hasn’t even recovered from it. Following this match, USAP lost two important matches: at home against Clermont and at the very end of the game in Bayonne. Two must-win matches and points that are sorely lacking in the standings today.

In November, after the end of the first block of 10 matches, Patrick Arlettaz answered the question in the affirmative, facing the wrath of social media and some supporters who believed the club was underdeveloped. Whether or not the reactions given after this meeting have a sporting effect. “Yes. It took us a long time to recover. I don’t have a social network. I don’t look. I don’t do all that. You all know my relationship with the players, I love them, I curse them. They go to such networks to look for compliments and at the same time I curse them when I see them touching criticism at the height of the post-Stade Français situation .they got hit twice, the first was because they had a bad game and they deserved to be criticized… But I have no respect for people who criticize harshly on condition of anonymity, we touched my players and we fought like crazy to recover.a wanted a crazy energy from us, the staff and the leaders to get the nails back. Yes, I think that’s why we lost points.”

A rebellion or a wall

The recent defeats are clearly not directly related to the defeat against Stade Français in October and its aftermath. USAP have won twice at home (against Lyon and Bordeaux) since then, after a difficult phase, but the points abandoned after the trip to Paris are few and far between these days. And when it comes time to welcome the Parisians and therefore come full circle, the Catalans will meet their fate this Saturday. Either they rebel and turn a page that’s been open for too long, or they sink in and approach the Pro D2 a little more ruthlessly.

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