REPLAY: Stade Français vs Stade Toulousain – Paris’ Iron Defense, Toulouse’s Failed Tactics… Recap of the Top 14 Classic

The first episode of the confrontations between Parisians and Toulousains, always highly anticipated, took place on Sunday, December 3 at the Jean-Bouin stadium. Stade Français hosted Stade Toulousain (9:05 pm) to conclude the 9th round of the Top 14 rugby tournament. The match was between two teams that were closely ranked: at kick-off, Paris was 6th, Toulouse was 5th; both teams having the same number of points (23).


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Léo Barré: “A lot of pleasure”

Stade Français fullback: “It’s a lot of pleasure to get back to winning after two tough losses, especially the last one against Pau. What was important this week was to regroup and return to our basics, and most importantly to enjoy the game. In the last two matches, we didn’t enjoy ourselves. This time, we really did, with the support of the fans throughout the match. We all delivered, even the players outside of the group. We won this match with a group of 45.”

Karim Ghezzal: “Incredible defense”

Stade Français coach: “It was a beautiful derby, and I hope it sets the tone for the players. We witnessed an unbelievable defense and a very high pace of play. There were sequences of four minutes, with around twenty plays… Some players sustained an intense 70 minutes. We scored tries during attacks on game time. We worked cohesively, offensively, defensively, and performance-wise… I saw a collective effort from the team. It’s a complete match, we want to experience more of that. (…) The European Cup is coming, it’s important to switch focus.”

Cyril Baille: “A lesson”

Stade Toulousain prop: “There’s nothing to say about Stade Français’ performance: they gave us a lesson in efficiency. We need to reflect on our defensive communication. They’re minor details, but they need addressing. We won’t dwell on it. We know where we stand, especially when playing away. We won’t kid ourselves. Our heads are in the right place: we’re playing away, we need to stop thinking that we’re in disarray. It was a tough match, we lacked efficiency… The Champions Cup is coming at the right time for us.”

Ugo Mola: “Stade Français was just better”

Stade Toulousain manager: “I believe we had plenty of opportunities. There’s a turning point, the disallowed try (just before half-time, Editor’s note) that allowed Paris to lead 10-0, even though we were ahead in terms of ball possession and territory. We need to score and our unproductivity has set us back… Paris played very well. There’s no lack of spirit, I have no problem saying that Stade Français was simply better tonight.”

The “bench XXL” option not rewarded

Stade Toulousain’s manager, Ugo Mola, had made no secret of their strategic intentions: they relied on a substantial contribution of fresh blood midway through the game to make a difference. A tactic that didn’t work.

At the end of the match, former French national team manager Marc Lièvremont, speaking on Canal+, expressed his concerns about the return of Stade Toulousain’s star scrum half Antoine Dupont since the World Cup. And his observations are harsh.

The Toulousains lost to Stade Français 27-12 in a match with high intensity. The Parisians dominated with their aggressive defense, preventing the Toulousains from scoring any tries in the first half. In the second half, the Toulousains showed promise, but Barré quickly quashed their hopes.

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