Rugby: The completely crazy season of FC Grenoble, Montpellier's future opponent in the Top 14 access match

Rugby: The completely crazy season of FC Grenoble, Montpellier's future opponent in the Top 14 access match

Blanc Mappaz jouera son dernier match à Grenoble face au MHR. MAXPPP – Bruno Perrel

Le FC Grenoble, club qui compte sur la scène du rugby français, a vécu une saison extraordinaire entre sanctions, mise en retrait du manager et folle remontée au classement. Récit.

The life of a sports club is full of ups and downs. FC Grenoble can attest to this. The Isère club which lost the last two Pro D2 finals (3-14 against Oyonnax and 9-16 against Vannes) has experienced many adventures over the last 12 months.

First of all, the summer of 2023 was hot in Isère. A few days after the setback in the Top 14 access match against Perpignan at the Stade des Alpes (19-33), the FCG learned that it was administratively relegated to the National for financial reasons. Finally drafted, he suffered a withdrawal of six points in the ranking, which had the consequence of seeing the team of president Patrick Goffi occupy the last place in Pro D2 during the first four days.

A revolt inside the locker room

While his players were fighting to climb back up the rankings, the Alpins were sanctioned in December with six new penalty points. A blow that plunged them back into the depths of the rankings and thus removed any chance of qualifying for the final stages. A month later, to start 2024 on a good note, Grenoble recovered four points on appeal.

But, on February 15, the day of the match against Brive (40-29), pushed by the revolt of a large part of the locker room, the leaders decided to withdraw Grenoble manager Aubin Hueber. “This internal revolt of the players is the pivotal moment of the season, believes Michel, a fervent supporter of FC Grenoble. Since that day, the team has rolled over the championship. Having seen all the matches, there is no doubt that Grenoble was by far the best team in Pro D2."

Nadau : "Wonderful and exhausting"

The players, behind their captain Steve Blanc Mappaz, completed a crazy comeback marked by nine wins in the last 11 matches of the regular season. On its momentum, Grenoble crushed Dax at home in the quarter-final (58-10) then created the feat of beating Aix-en-Provence (22-23) to reach its second final in a row in second division.

"We went through all the stages on an emotional level, breathes Nicolas Nadau, coach of the Grenoble backs for three seasons. It’was both wonderful and exhausting . We are experiencing a human-based season that shows the strength of this group. When men unite, the results are there."

Finally beaten in the Pro D2 final after a failed match against Vannes last Saturday (9-16), the FCG now awaits Montpellier at the Stade des Alpes (Sunday 6 p.m.) before the ;rsquo;free spirit and absolutely nothing left to lose.

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