Rugby union: failed season for RC Nîmes which will have to show “more demands” to reach a milestone

Rugby union: failed season for RC Nîmes which will have to show “more demands” to reach a milestone

Troisièmes de la saison régulière et éliminés en match de barrage, les rugbymen nîmois, cette saison, n’ont pas fait d’étincelles. Midi Libre – ALEXIS BETHUNE

Les quarts de finale de Nationale 2 ont lieu ce week-end. Le RC Nîmes ne fait pas partie de la fête après sa saison manquée. Le point avec le président Steeve Calligaro.

The dates of April 27 and 28 had been selected for a stay in Brittany. Heading for Rennes and a quarter-final of Nationale 2. Car, plane or train, everything had been considered and calculated by the Nîmes staff like some supporters.

Unfortunately, the Rugby Club Nîmois season came to an abrupt end on April 14. Facing the small Basque club of Anglet, without disrespecting the latter. This team, with one of the weakest attacks in Nationale 2 behind La Seyne, was not favored by the predictions before this play-off match in Gard.

Anglet gave a great lesson in solidarity, enthusiasm, game intelligence,

Already happy to be there, they who had fought the previous season to stay in Nationale 2, the Angloys truly gave a lesson in solidarity, enthusiasm and playing intelligence to the Nîmes. ;nbsp;Beated in all sectors, particularly in the first half in the collective dimension, the RCN players only responded in spurts and through individual initiatives, without managing to mask the recurring problems in the continuity of the game, with balls falling too often…

"It’was a match that reflected our entire season, recognizes Nîmes president Steeve Calligaro. We never felt like the team was in place. She has often lacked virtues unlike many of our adversaries. Our lack of aggressiveness, our inaccuracies, our mistakes are unforgivable at this level. But I still admit that I cannot explain this new misstep against Anglet… The days that followed, I was really deep in the cellar…"

Absence of real warriors on the ground

The RCN was far from the ambitions of Top 2 or even more that had been displayed. First in the regular season in 2022-2023, he finished the last year in third place. "It’s less good even if we have progressed, it seems to me, in the forms of play, despite the injuries which prevented us from fielding the same team twice. Above all, we missed tractors, players who know how to take the lead and move the team forward. In short, we sometimes lacked real warriors on the ground,” explains the president of the RCN lucidly, concluding that “all these elements did not allow us to really put our game in place.” .

« I want to have players who don't hide, who don't cheat ! »

Convinced despite everything "of having a good staff and good players, all competent", he is already looking towards the 2024-2025 season which he intends to prepare for with "more requirements". More demands on players, in particular. "All must be aligned on the same objective, namely the rise in Nationale", insists Steeve Calligaro.

This was not the case this season ? "I felt a team with variable geometry. This is why from the start, I will make sure that the players share this objective. That they will be determined to win, to pass on their opponents to hurt and win their collisions. I want to have players who don't hide, who don't cheat!"

Raise cursor to all levels

We will have to raise the cursor at all levels, physical preparation, collective life, number of victories. The club has already decided to "replace match bonuses with victory bonuses" and to focus its recruitment on players with strong temperaments (in the positions of hooker, first and third lines in particular).

Sporting failure, for the president of the RCN, "must not call into question the work carried out for two years. We went from 1.6 to 2.60 M€ budget, from 180 to more than 310 partner companies doing business around rugby. Real successes behind the scenes which must now find their translation on the ground.

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