After a short night, Racing 92 president Jacky Lorenzetti began to digest the Top 14 semi-final lost against La Rochelle (19-6) on Friday night in Lille. The manager confirms his head coach Laurent Travers and recognizes the superiority of his weekend opponent. The strong man of the Ile-de-France club, inevitably disappointed, evokes a collective responsibility.
Jacky Lorenzetti, what state of mind are you in after this defeat?
We must first congratulate the Rochelais who delivered a good game. There was no photo. We have been dominated in all areas of the game. It is like our two seasons: ours in sawtooth, and theirs at the forefront with a somewhat sovereign posture on their matches. Bravo to the Rochelais. I wish Vincent (Merling) and his teams to go as far as possible.
For us, it is a disappointment. It hurts the head. The night was short and painful. But we are standing and we have already left for the 2021-2022 season with ambitions. We must not be forgotten. It is a defeat that comes from afar. We have struggled to be sovereign. We have to think with the staff. Laurent (Travers) is the irremovable head coach and director of rugby for Racing. I have complete confidence in him. But, together, we have to think, analyze where we have failed in terms of player and staff, to understand why we have not succeeded in expressing the enormous potential of Racing. we will get down to it on Monday.
Laurent Travers is therefore not threatened?
Removable! This does not prevent us from working together. I am not for complicated solutions. I trust a man called Laurent Travers. He is one of the best, if not the best, coaches in France and who has human qualities that I like a lot.
I work with the relationships of the heart which are important. Maybe it weighs in on our negative decisions sometimes, maybe people think kindness is weakness, they’re wrong. Laurent, he’s not just a coach, he’s a heart and a man, and that’s what I like.
What did you say to your players after the game?
I wanted to speak in the locker room yesterday. I was the only one to speak. You have to know how to be the president of victories but also the president of defeats after this poor performance. We must also be humble, third in the Top 14 is not nothing. For many seasons, we have also been the only club to play the final stages without stopping, three times vice-European champions and a title of champion of France in 2016. This year, we played the final stages again.
It is not bad either but it is true that it is disappointing. We had to end the season to put things in place and get back to work on Monday. We could have fun playing “it’s your fault, you’re responsible”, but the responsibility is collective. But on Friday, the players really played with courage. They paid with their bodies with three players on the grid. I have a thought for them. They will quickly recover and we will be full of ambitions next season.
We have called your back lines a lot in the press as “Galactics”, yet they did not shine on Friday night …
The Galactics is a word from journalists, but we can not say the opposite about the quality of our workforce that many envy us, even if on Friday they did not respond, like our forwards. It deserves better. We will work to find solutions and remove gray areas.
“Can’t afford an Itoje”
Up front, wouldn’t you need to reinforce yourself, especially in the second line or look for a reinforcement?
Up front, we can improve. We can do better. That’s clear. We played the youth card. Did we do it outrageously? I do not believe. The great satisfaction is the training center that works by the fire of God. It is one of the best in France. On the scoresheet, we had nine players from the training center on Friday. It’s not nothing. It is a real strategy and it is happiness. The counterpart is also experiences. The young people are still a little tender. It is up to us to correct the situation and find a balance. I trust Laurent and the staff to find a solution. The English are right on one point: “no scrum, no win” (no scrum, no victory, note).
But with what reinforcements?
We are constrained by the salary cap. The competition is very open, it’s great. But we don’t want to cheat. All the Top 14 clubs are in line with the NRL, that is to say that we accept this salary cap and we play the game. We do not have much margin. We are looking at a few second lines but we clearly cannot afford an Itoje …
The name of Palois Baptise Pesenti has been circulating in Le Plessis-Robinson in particular for a few weeks …
(Thinks) I’m not the recruiter, joker.