Returned to its best level, the second line of Racing retraces Dante’s clash against the South Africans at the Stade Vélodrome.
This match against the Springboks he was particularly involved in many shocks and injuries …
Cameron Woki: We knew it was going to be a busy match, we were prepared. The South Africans wanted to physically challenge us. We know their game: a direct, physical game. We had to respond. What we told each other during the week is that we don’t have to respect our body. That it was necessary to put a 100% commitment. We lost some men today (Saturday) who committed and did not cheat. They kept their word. But it’s sad to lose Thibaud (flamingo) who suffered a concussion and Jo who suffered a fracture under the eye. But they kept their word and did their part.
Do we like this kind of big fight?
Yes, we like it, especially when there is suspense, when we are afraid. We go from a game in which we are led to a game in which we drive. There are many different scenarios in this game. We are very pleased especially when we finally win against the world champion team three years ago. (…) We had monsters in front of us. Physically, it was very hard and very dense. I have never experienced such intensity. There have been excesses of intensity on the part of both sides. It was a bit of a war on the pitch.
Have you imagined all these scenarios?
Yes, we work on these scenarios every week. Like these last two minutes where you have the lead, where you have to hold the ball… There are also these scenarios where you are led, where you have to score. These are exercises that help us a lot and that we find in the field.
We feel it this XV of France never doubts…
It is true that we have very few moments of doubt. We have moments in which we are a little inside, like at the end of the first half or the beginning of the second, they are pockets of air that need to be corrected. But in no time do we get stressed. We are sure of our strength, sure we can do something. We were expected in the conquest sector, that was where we had the most questions. But we answered present in contact and scrum. We were confident and satisfied.
“We just want to be ready for the World Cup. Ready to win it “
You have beaten all the great nations of the world now. In terms of trust, what does it represent?
We are now familiar with international matches. We are slowly preparing for the World Cup. There is this match against Japan and then the Six Nations Tournament that will happen. During this tour we have faced teams that we don’t play often. But we know that Ireland and England are solid teams in the Tournament. We will also measure ourselves against them.
You are on a twelve-game winning streak. Is it arriving at the World Cup without losing a goal?
I don’t think it’s a goal. Even if our goal is to win all the games. We just want to get ready for the World Cup. Ready to win it. If we have to win every game to get there, we will. If there are defeats, it will allow us to be better for the World Cup.
On a personal level, we found you at your best level …
I think it was time! (You smile) I’m happy to be able to get back to my level, especially in such an important match. I will try to keep the same level.
Did you have moments of doubt?
No I have not doubted. I knew that this match was important and that I had to be there. But I was well accompanied by my partner, my family, but above all by the players and the staff. I have never lost hope. I know what I am capable of. I just needed some time and a great game. I just hope I keep this level.
“I’ve never seen such a special atmosphere at the Vélodrome”
What do you think of Sekou Macalou’s great performance?
I’ve never doubted Sekou. He is an excellent, versatile player who can play anywhere. He has shown that with the blue shirt he is efficient. We know Sekou in the league, with Stade Français, he is in the Top 14. Today he showed his talent. He is definitely a player who runs faster than our three quarters (You smile). He is an exceptional player.
How did the audience at the Stade Vélodrome push you?
For my part, I have never seen such a special atmosphere. There were also times when we didn’t get along. It was a special match, in a special stadium, with a special atmosphere. It was incredible, the audience pushed. But, regardless of the stadiums we play in, we know that the French public is present and that it is important to us. We know he will push us all the way, like he did on Saturday.
Interview at the Stade Vélodrome