Reactions after the Grenoble-MHR access match: “We pissed off a lot of people with this victory”, “an indescribable relief”, “we avoided damage”

Reactions after the Grenoble-MHR access match: “We pissed off a lot of people with this victory”, “an indescribable relief”, “we avoided damage”

Patrice Collazo était soulagé en conférence de presse. Midi Libre – SYLVIE CAMBON

Après la victoire de Montpellier à Grenoble en access-match de Top 14 (20-18) ce dimanche 16 juin, staffs et joueurs se sont présentés en conférence de presse.

Patrice Collazo (manager de Montpellier) :"We are proud. We pissed off a lot of people with this victory. What we lacked all year, money time, we went to get it this evening. I had a premonition, before the match, I told them that this group will become a team after this match.

Throughout the season we were tough in the last quarter of an hour, today that's what made the difference.

We were impatient in the first half and once Grenoble was in front, we had to go and get this match. Everything came together for Montpellier to fall and finally what we didn't have all season, we got there.

When we saw that we couldn't make it happen, the old demons almost came back. The last match is often the synthesis of our entire season. There is a logic to rugby. You have to “have it” to reverse the trend and say: “Stop, it won't happen today!”

Playing the access match? It's part of the sport, we've been there, others have been there and others will be there. The club is not yet 40 years old, these are necessary passages to restart the thing, to experience things differently.

What's next for me ? When we arrived we were given an objective: to stay up, not to qualify… That's the most important thing. To leave Montpellier in the elite.

I am not for forgetting things, on the contrary I am for anchoring them. This is a good start to rewriting a new chapter."

"It’is worse than a Top 14 final"

Julien Tisseron (Montpellier fullback): "In terms of joy, it was there At two years old, that’s a relief. We didn't jump everywhere, it was a weight that was lifted.

We had difficulty getting out of our camp, that's what failed us. It’s a match you won’t want to relive. We believed in it until the end. Before the match we imagined this scenario, we bet on our bench and our freshness. We started the second half badly because we were put under pressure.

We thought we had done the hardest part by leading in the 20th minute. But they didn't give up, we made hand mistakes, we lost balls in conquest, bad outings… hellip; Everyone wants to see the big guy lose. Everyone wanted to see us lose.

It's worse than a Top 14 final, we avoided the breakage. The last meetings have strengthened us and this evening we come out stronger.

We're a little fed up with this waltz, we want to create something stable, it's up to us to do it for the future. There was the future of a club at stake, we did it and we are very happy."

Lenni Nouchi (third row and captain of Montpellier):“We've had such an intense season that being able to win is an indescribable relief. I didn't want to be the captain who sends Montpellier down, like all the players. I wasn't able to celebrate at the time, it's a relief. I'm going to celebrate tonight, in moderation.

We had to stick to our basics, we said “no fouls and we're not playing at home”. We did it well at the start of the match, and afterwards we barely lost the thread. We had to remobilize and we were able to do it all together.

We suffered all season, so did they. It made us happy, they are waiting for us in front of the bus to sing with us."

Steeve Blanc-Mappaz (third row and captain of Grenoble) : "We give everything, we let go of everything, I wanted it to end on a rise to mark the club. It's hard to finish with two points but I'm proud of the guys.

This match is not a hold-up, the Montpellier players are pragmatic. We didn't know how to kill the match. They didn't come to our camp often but when they did they made us make mistakes and scored points. Even though we put some nice things in place to put them in difficulty.

It's getting harder and harder for the Pro D2 club to win this access match. There's no more surprise effect, the Top 14 clubs are managing to prepare a little more in advance, manage the context of the match better.”

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