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CHAMPIONS CUP – LA ROCHELLE : GIBBES DOES NOT WANT TO STOP THERE, BOURGARIT HAPPY TO HAVE SILENCED THE PESSIMISTS

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After La Rochelle’s victory against Leinster, sporting director Jono Gibbes looked ahead to the Champions Cup final against Toulouse. The heel Pierre Bourgarit, for his part, confided his satisfaction after a victory that was not promised to them.

La Rochelle did not let the opportunity pass. Against Leinster, four-time European champions, the Charente club achieved a real feat to qualify for its first Champions Cup final. But, for the Rochelais sporting director Jono Gibbes, « it’s not a big surprise » because of the « quality and intensity » of his team. But the man who will take over from Franck Azéma next season at Clermont is not one to let his players down. « We conceded two tries. It’s a bit frustrating for us, there was some negligence in our defense, » said the New Zealand coach in an interview with Le Figaro. Two tries is frustrating but it’s also due to the quality of the other side. « If he assures that « a won semi-final is good for the group », Jono Gibbes intends to put his team’s feet on the ground. « The most important thing is the next game. We still have a lot of work to do against an opponent with a lot of experience, » he said. This (Sunday) night is historic for the club. It’s cool to win a semifinal, but the story is not over.  »

BOURGARIT: « WE SHOWED THAT WE ALSO HAVE WEAPONS »
On the side of the Stade Rochelais players, there was a desire to silence the commentators who did not give much hope for their skin. There were words during the week saying that we were not favorites, » recalled Pierre Bourgarit in comments collected by Le Figaro. We showed that we also had weapons and that we knew how to defend ourselves. « Despite « the first 20 minutes we were in trouble », the Rocky heel confirmed that « there was no reframing at half-time ». A semi-final during which the players of Jono Gibbes and Ronan O’Gara had a guideline to open wide the doors of Twickenham and the Champions Cup final against Toulouse. We wanted to play a very big game in front of the crowd, » adds Pierre Bourgarit. We had put a lot of focus on that this week, it allowed us to compete. « A plan that went almost without a hitch and that allows them to believe in European glory on May 22.

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