European Cup: Botia, the red card which is expensive in La Rochelle, beaten in the final by Toulouse (17-22)

We must face the facts: the final in La Rochelle, beaten this Saturday by Stade Toulouse (17-22) for the title of European champion, undoubtedly switched to this gesture. We play the 28th minute, and the Maritimes make the Toulouse suffer physically, like the solid Australian second row Will Skelton who sends Antoine Dupont waltzing like a doll. In the middle of the pincers, the rear of the Rouge et Noir Maxime Médard tries to give air to his partners. And takes a violent pad from three-quarters center Rochelais Levani Botia, whose shoulder hits the jaw of the former international.

Lights off for the rear, which will be released on concussion protocol shortly after, and yellow card initially for the Fijian. But after reviewing the images of the shock on the giant screen of Twickenham, accompanied by the “Ooh” of a large part of the 10,000 spectators, the English referee Luke Pearce decides to increase the penalty. He gives him a red card. Apart from the ten minutes of the temporary exclusion of Toulouse Rynhardt Elstadt (32nd), La Rochelle spent the rest of the match outnumbered.

“It’s an important moment of the game. The impact of the red card was difficult to manage, but the players knew what to do next, says coach Jono Gibbes. Being in the game for so long shows the resilience of this group. “But fourteen against fifteen, La Rochelle ended up cracking on one of Toulouse’s highlights, in the middle of the second period. And will doubtless wonder for a long time how could have turned this final (22-17) with his colossus, shot down after his expulsion.

” There is nothing to say “

“I saw what he was in, slips Jono Gibbes. It’s super difficult to take a red card in the final, but there is nothing to say. Everyone respects him and fought for him afterwards. “Next to the New Zealand manager at a press conference, Grégory Alldritt is marked, but refuses to charge his partner when asked what turned this match. “Two or three details,” launches the third line. We still fail right next to it, even though we have spent a lot of energy to get there. We are competitors, we play to win. Sorry for the language, but it sucks. “What we are entitled to feel after a final lost in a shorthand.