Rugby Union – Top 14: “It’s our final stages that are starting,” says David Marty, before USAP’s trip to Castres

Sunday, Perpignan goes to Castres (9:05 p.m.) as part of the last day of the Top 14. A match on which the Catalans, in the event of a favorable scenario, can recover 12th place. But it is above all, for the USAP, an appointment which must be used to prepare the future access-match.

At what point do you have to approach this match in Castres with the idea of ​​going for Sunday evening, twelfth place and avoiding a play-off?

This is the trick question. We prepared for this match considering it crucial for both scenarios. There is that of the twelfth place, which remains unlikely since Montpellier must play its Jiff in Pau who knows very well that he is playing his survival. And there is that of a stage for the access-match. In both cases, the idea is to have a good match at Castres, in line with what we did at Lyon and against Toulouse here.

Can you tell yourself that you have to prepare the access match?

We tackled it very early on. We were blamed for it, but now there is a good chance it will happen. On this day, we are dependent on others and I don’t like that. Last year, it was the same with the Brive match in Paris. It’s never good to start a week before an access match with a disappointment. And if we expect too much from the Pau match, we can be disappointed. So we are approaching this meeting in Castres more as a preparatory stage than a match for maintenance.

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Will the experience of last year, where you won the last Top 14 match, before going to Mont-de-Marsan for the access match, be useful to you for this end of the season?

This is the question of dynamics. It’s always better to win. It’s a preparation match, but we have to win. We play every game to win them. Against Castres, we expect, in any case, a positive result in content and in attitudes. Afterwards, I don’t want us to project ourselves onto other people’s scenarios.

It is also necessary to calculate that in the event of an access-match, there will be one day of recovery less than your future opponent. Are you integrating it into the preparation for this match?

Of course. We play away on a Sunday evening at 9 p.m. and we will play the access match again on Saturday at 5 p.m., with in any case a long trip, whether to Grenoble or Oyonnax. It is to be taken into account. And it’s not easy.

You left for a few days on an internship. What brought you?

It was an end-of-season camp, to prepare for our own final stages. Because ultimately, it is indeed our final phases that are starting. They are considered as such. We tried to have even more precision and cohesion. We left after a victory against Toulouse, so it was also a camp in a good mood.

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Going to win at Castres is never easy… They have only lost once at home this season…

No. This is a team that takes very few tries. They are very strong in defense and on the mauls. On the other hand, they are enormously penalized. We will have to be patient and take the points. They also put a lot of pressure on kicking games. We know where we are going and that it is very complicated to go there. This is why the attitude and the content will be as important as the result.

As a player, you have experienced those matches where teams like Castres on Sunday have nothing left to play for. Can there be, in the adversary, a certain form of demobilization?

Yes of course. But there are also players who are going to leave and that generates an emotion with the desire to pay tribute to them. But I really want the focus on us.

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