By Simon Galinier
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Finalist of Top 14 and leader of the regular phase last season, the Castres Olympic progressed slowly at the start of the 2022-2023 season. With two dry defeats away from home, against Racing 92 and Bordeaux-Bègles and a success at home against Stade Français, the Tarnais point to a surprising 12e place after 3 days, tied with Bayonne (13e).
before receiving Brivethis Saturday, September 24 (5 p.m.), the Tarn club is in doubt, particularly in terms of discipline, since the CO is the most sanctioned Top 14 team since the start of the seasonwith 43 penalties suffered in 3 games, including 19 last Saturday against UBB, an average of 14 fouls per game. An undisciplined chronicle which did not earn, surprisingly, only 3 yellow cards (Maravat at Racing 92, Chilachava against Stade Français and Benedittis at Bordeaux-Bègles), but which necessarily raises questions.
“We are still wondering how we could collect 30 points against UBB…”
“Our indiscipline clearly weighed on us against Bordeaux-Bègles”, concedes the coach of the Blue and White three-quarters, David Darricarrère. “When you come out of this game, you still wonder how you could collect 30 points, especially since in the 39e minute of play, there is only 6-3 in the score and we are rather in the match… But there are also the 19 penalties conceded and the 17 technical faults which sum up this game well”, notes the Landes technician from the CO , before continuing:
We lost and quickly returned the ball through clumsiness, bad choices or penalties, which meant that we couldn’t follow through with what we wanted to do. All these imperfections prevented us from holding the ball and obviously putting the opponent under pressure and recovering from debuffs, tries or franchises…
“It is clear that our discipline is lacking at the start of the season”, also assumes the scrum half Jeremy Fernandez. “If we manage to settle this sector, we will be able to become competitive again, especially outside, where we make a lot of mistakes that escape us… What’s more, they are often stupid and avoidable mistakes, it’s really a shame. We need that quickly to reduce the chances of the opponent coming into our camp and scoring. »
Understudy of the Uruguayan Santiago Arata for 3 games, the player trained in Mazamet and passed by Aviron Castrais, the other club of the Tarn sub-prefecture, finds it difficult to explain this lack of discipline:
I would say it’s a bit of a relaxation, because we know that we should never make so many mistakes. I think we slack off mentally at times and that’s what hurts us. On the contrary, physically, I think we’re pretty good, from the 1st to the 80th minute, and I don’t have the impression that there’s a drop in speed that makes us adopt all these faults.
“Players must be 200% connected when they enter the field”
Despite a shorter physical preparation than most of the other Top 14 squads, with only 5 weeks of preseason, the finalist of the last French championship does not believe that indiscipline can come from a lack of physical freshness or lucidity in end of the match: “Sincerely, I don’t think so”, advances the coach of the three-quarters of the CO, David Darricarrère, before continuing:
Physically, the boys are really good. It’s a problem of… (he cuts off). We don’t have fiber and often we’re still on ADSL. It is necessary to be connected quickly and that the connection is done immediately at 200%. We don’t have the immediacy that we should have. When the players enter the field, they must immediately be 200% connected physically, mentally and tactically.
However, like many professional clubs, Castres Olympique has benefited from the services of a referee since last season in the person of the Gersois Cedric Clave, who officiated in Pro D2. “He comes every Tuesday to work on the disciplinary sector,” says David Darricarrère. “We work on this sector through scenarios that transcribe match situations, particularly in terms of physical freshness, in order to make decisions at the right time when we are a little in the red physically. The boys have to be able to be lucid when they are tired and when they come on. This is something very important in modern rugby and we really have to improve on that. »
“We have to quickly close the door and get back into the mold with the referees”
Captain during the defeat at UBB (33-12), the left pillar experimentation Antoine Tichit (33) regrets all these fatal air pockets which cost his team dearly last Saturday on the lawn of Chaban-Delmas. “We saw that we understand the game until we mentally let go of the 42e at the 48e minute by scooping 6 sanctioned in 6 minutes. We lost the thread of the match and the UBB logically took the score. With more application and mastery, we could have turned the game in our favor”, regrets the Tarn locker room executive who, for his first captaincy in an official match with the CO, could not do anything to change this trend. : “I tried to speak to the referee, but when there are gross faults, it is difficult to temporize with him. And then when you have a series of faults, it’s very difficult to stop the bleeding…”
To his regret, Antoine Tichit also notes that the Castres have entered a sort of vicious circle and that it is difficult to get out of the sights of the referees as soon as the faults accumulate. “Of course… The more you do, the more you have. And especially the more you have a ratio of significant faults, the more the referee of the next match will come with an opinion and an important look at us. You have to close the door quickly and get back in the mold… ” Better discipline and control are expected quickly from the CO side, starting this Saturday, September 24 (5 p.m.) for the reception in Brive. An opponent who is none other than the last French club won on Pierre-Fabre’s lawn untouched for 22 games in the Top 14. It was December 22, 2020 (24-25), but Pierre-Henry Broncan and David Darricarrère had not yet arrived on the Castres bench.
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