Between a public, at times shy, called to come and support Lou galore, and a team capable of the best as well as the less good ones who have not yet given their full goal, Lyonnais as a whole will have to to force their nature to open the doors to the finale.
Will the excitement felt for a few weeks become a bubbling and overflowing energy? Against Glasgow on Saturday, the stands at Matmut Stadium Gerland were far from full. But many present made up for the empty seats and made noise for two, even for three or four.
” We felt the ten thousand people behind us and I thank them, whispered Pierre Mignoni. But if we are twenty thousand, it can get even better! I appeal to the whole Lyon region. We need everyone to go to Marseille and win this Europa Cup! »
Will the expected support be there? All that Lou hopes. And the profits, just like his manager, Pierre Mignoni, arrived in 2015, after a new relegation to the Pro D2. Without predicting Lou’s future fate in the Top 14, pushing the doors to a final will already be a first achievement before returning to the harbor.
Lyonnais should avoid several pitfalls. The first, unlikely, will be to be happy to have arrived there. He has for him experience with two Top 14 semifinals, in 2018 and 2019, beaten by Montpellier and Clermont respectively, on scores each time without appeal (14-40, 13-33). ” We know it was a success at the time to reach the semi-finals, remembers Baptiste Couiloud. But there are wounds deep inside us. We had set ourselves the goal of playing this kind of matches. It’s done for now. At home, we have to win. »
Leave nothing easy to the opponent
To achieve this, they will have to take care of their biggest enemy: themselves. Lyonnais, capable of the best and the worst, will have to give the best of themselves this time, dig deep into themselves to transcend themselves and strike a formation that will not give them anything easy. The challenge is at least as rugby as psychological. ” This team needs to understand that they have not reached their limits and set up barriers on their ownexplains the former scrum-half. Be careful, I’m not saying the opposite team is not good. Our limits must be exceeded. Players have to get a little out of the box, really believing in themselves. They have the potential to do amazing things. But between hot and cold, there is sometimes too much difference. The players create discomfort for themselves. We are not precise on bases, on our rugby, on simple things that we put ourselves in danger of. »
If certain errors have been hidden, certain errors have been compensated for, the increase in adversity, with, for example, an excellent opponent in contact, will no longer be acceptable. The question is not so much whether Lou wins tomorrow – we do not have a crystal ball – but rather to make sure he does not give the ball away to be hit, his worst mistake.
” I will not present wasps, Saracens or Toulon, continues the coach. We are able to be at that level, but we are also able to shoot ourselves in the foot. » This was the case on Saturday against Glasgow, against whom he was close to corrections. Will he be able a week later to erase certain imperfections, close rows and not leave anything easy to his opponent? It is left to hope that he will be able to learn, and that quickly. ” We face a team that is used to the top European level, that is used to playing at the top of the table, remembers Baptiste Couiloud. Historically, the wasps are very good in the European Cup. »
But the story of Lou, as Lyonnais likes to repeat it since the start of the European adventure, is written with each match. It remains to be seen that the last word will not be written tomorrow afternoon.