Fabien Simondet avait demandé à ses joueuses de “prendre des risques”. Midi Libre – SYLVIE CAMBON
This Saturday, February 10, in Nantes, the Béziers Angels put in a huge performance. They won against the leader, undefeated for 21 matches.
October 28, 2023. It was the date of the last defeat of the Nantes Neptunes before this weekend. You even had to go back to last April to find any trace of Nantes' last defeat in their lair of Mangin-Beaulieu. This shows the level of performance achieved by the Béziers Angels, this Saturday evening in Pays de la Loire.
Despite their three defeats in a week, and the 21 consecutive victories of their evening opponents, the Angels approached the match with confidence. "We had certainly lost three games in one week, but there was no panic either, explains Angels coach Fabien Simondet. There were two defeats in the European Cup against a big team and one, somewhat unfortunate, in the championship. Above all, there was a lot of fatigue after this long trip to Poland."
Three weeks ago, the Biterroises lost against Nantes in the Coupe de France (3-0), but they therefore had a base on which to build. The coach's instructions were therefore clear at the start of the match: “I told the players that we had to take risks, try things. It wasn't a big deal to lose in Nantes."
A strategy which paid off for the Angels who were able to make the difference in key moments, unlike the last clash between the two teams. Particularly at the end of the second set, won by the Biterroises on the wire, the turning point for the Angels coach.
"Take maximum points"
While they only have one competition left to play, Fabien Simondet's players will want to score as many points as possible to grab places in the rankings. And prepare as best as possible for the end-of-season play-offs: "We must try to get the best possible ranking in order to be able to have home advantage. We have the possibility, with our two games behind, to go for third or even second place. It's up to us to take as many points as possible from the last seven."
It starts this Saturday in Paris, with the dauphin. A meeting that the Angels will approach with the same confidence as against Nantes. "We know that we are capable of winning against any team, says Fabien Simondet. But as we are a young team, we also get through it sometimes. It's up to us to be more regular to claim a better ranking."