the favorites and the claws of our special correspondent

DECRYPTAGE – The return of the public, a very leggy Fickou, but also the crippling errors of the Parisians and a transparent Laumape. Find out what caught the attention of our journalist at the Jean-Bouin stadium for the Ile-de-France derby.


Jean-Bouin finally vibrates

A year and a half without a match, then behind closed doors. A lifeless stadium. Players fidgeting in silence. And, finally, deliverance. Nearly 14,000 spectators who shout, the Titis de l’Ovalie and the Virage des Dieux who answer each other by banging hard on their bass drums. Jean-Bouin vibrates. At last. And enthusiasm for everything, including the choreographies of the cheerleaders accompanied by four cheerleaders, parity obliges or the arrival of the ball held at arm’s length by a rider standing on two black horses. A nod to the years of Max Guazzini, the historic president of Stade Français Paris, obviously present in the stands. Over the minutes, and the soaring score of the Racingmen, the pace will be struck by the large handful of sky-and-white supporters, delighted to start the season with a success for the rival.

The Parisian melee dominates … in vain

This is the only sector where the Stade Français has held high in Racing. Like this series of five scrimmages won in a row in the 22 meters of Ile-de-France which resulted in the yellow card of Colombe, who had just come into play to try to solidify the sky-and-white building. But on the last, Yoann Maestri pulls away to go flatten in force. Try refused for a forward on the ground of the second-line Parisian … In the 50th minute, new show of force of the pack of the pink soldiers. Rewarded only with three points from the artificer Joris Segonds.

Fickou without qualms

The Parisian supporters saw in the attribution of the captaincy to their former center, left with the rival last April when the season was in full swing, as a provocation. Hence the string of whistles at the announcement of his name. A spite that did not weigh on Gaël Fickou. Who, from the 6e minute, tears up the Parisian defense to show the way to his teammates. With its short support, the center of the XV of France has regularly put the Parisian defense to death. At the 57e minute, it is under a new shower of boos that Fickou presents himself for a penalty of more than 50 meters. He will miss it just by having slipped when hitting it.


Laumape didn’t demolish anything

The duel between Fickou and former All Blacks center Ngani Laumape was eagerly awaited. It did not take place as the New Zealander was discreet for his official debut in the Paris jersey. A big tackle on Chat (13e) but a percussion on Machenaud, which does not move and even makes it bounce back. Laumape seemed a little lost in the Parisian organization. And too careful. He was little involved in hand, regularly contenting himself with a simple role of torchbearer. At the 42e minute, he challenges the defense of Racing twice in the same action. Without succeeding in making her move back. We will have to wait to see the “wrecking ball” in operation …

The costly offerings of Francoz and Maestri

Racing dominates, multiplies the raids but the Parisian defense does not break. With a desperate return, Naivalu throws in touch Imhoff who would flatten in a corner. Test saved, touch for Stade Français. The long throw is for Charles Francoz, who, alone at the landing, makes an incredible forward. The sanction falls. Scrum for Racing and test in strength of Chat (21e). Six minutes later, while the Pink Soldiers left to attack the Ile-de-France camp, Yoann Maestri, tackled, attempted an improbable offload. The ball, thrown into the void, is recovered by Tanga. Two lightning relays from Vakatawa and Imhoff to send Donovan Taofifenua to the test. Two errors which cost 14 points and allow Racing to soar to the score (6-20).

The Stade Français starts badly

The Parisians had announced wanting to avenge the 21-38 cashed in a barrage three months ago. ” We still got it through our throats », Sekou Macalou told Le Figaro. It missed. The punishment is (almost) as severe (21-36). And, like last season, Stade Français has started its season badly. The blow to morale promises to be substantial. A defeat without the slightest possible challenge against the rival for a derby lost at home, that’s a lot of entry … The pink soldiers are already under pressure.


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