Top 14: Castres wants to secure its place in the Top 6 this Sunday against Perpignan

the essential
Back to business against Perpignan, this Sunday evening at Pierre-Fabre (9:05 p.m.), the CO can secure its place in the six. If everything seems to be off to a good start, the Tarnais are not showing off.

A cataclysm. This is what it would take for Castres Olympique not to see the final phase of the Top 14. As soon as the calendar was disclosed, everyone watched the last three days of the CO, certainly imbued with envious feelings. Because on paper, Castres would advance as a favorite ahead of Biarritz, Perpignan and Pau. Hypothesis more than valid at this end of the season undecided on all parts of the table.

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The obstacle BO successfully cleared (48-13 in Aguiléra), it is now the USAP that will have to be overcome to continue this march forward, the Tarnais remaining on three consecutive successes in the championship.

Despite a good path mapped out towards qualification, the “Bleu et Blanc” do not prefer to get carried away. Probably more superstition, a matter of not seeing yourself too handsome and then walking into a door in the face, than a lack of confidence.

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At least we hope so. But we have to recognize that this lukewarmness still holds its own. Because, already, the Castres come out of two weeks without having played a single match. If, as three-quarter coach David Darricarrère says, “there is no truth” about the benefit or not of these breaks, the CO often has trouble getting back on the road. This was particularly the case in Brive.

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Prudence, prudence

However, this time, there was no question of a week off, the group remained “under pressure, in a quest for physical, tactical and technical evolution”, indicates the former opener. “We also thought about recovering, reassures Jérémy Fernandez. To think only of this match for three weeks is to risk shooting yourself. We think of something else when we leave rugby. And then, we know very well that this meeting can be a turning point in our end of the season.”

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The Tarn scrum-half underlined the challenge of the day all too well. Perpignan will come to play its maintenance, Castres ensure its place in the top 6. With a victory this evening, the CO will be able to tick off its major objective for the year, and consider the trip to Pau more calmly. Why not snatch a direct semi-final on the final day. However, among the Olympians, we move forward with caution. “It’s not in the club’s DNA to talk about this, says Fernandez. We are capable of anything. To scuttle each other like coming from nowhere. That’s why we are sober on this subject Staying in our game plan is working. So we’ll continue against Perpignan, then Pau and we’ll see where it takes us.”

The Castrais expect in any case to challenge a team which “will not let go of anything from start to finish, which knows how to produce rugby” according to Darricarrère. So the CO will above all have to keep their good recipe which makes them the only club still undefeated at home this season – series of 20 games without defeat in progress, their best sequence since the period February 2013-April 2014. If they succeed , Castres should no longer need to talk about qualification, since he will have it in his pocket.

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The trend: Castres 60% – Perpignan 40%