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Champions Cup: UBB does not dream of a new recital against Saracens

“It will be completely different!” At a press conference, UBB manager Yannick Bru constantly warned of the dangers of happy memories.

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Champions Cup: UBB does not dream of a new recital against Saracens

“It will be completely different!” At a press conference, UBB manager Yannick Bru constantly warned of the dangers of happy memories. It must be said that, on January 13, the Gironde club delighted all French rugby fans. Just think. Scoring nine tries (including eight from his back line!) to the arrogant Sarries was enough to pop the champagne. A 55 to 15 triumph which created a sensation. With its galactic three-quarter line, Bordeaux had a feast against the Londoners.

Three months later, the two teams meet again. This time for a playoff game. Without their playing masters, Matthieu Jalibert (knee) and Owen Farrell (hamstring), forfeits. For the rest, this confrontation will look very much like a miniature Crunch with, on one side, Bielle-Biarrey, Moefana, Depoortère, Penaud or Lucu, on the other, the Vunipola brothers, Jamie George, Ben Earl or even Elliot Daly. With, obviously, a ready motivation on the Saracens side between the spanking of January and the narrow defeat of the XV de la Rose in mid-March against the Blues.

Hence, we come back, the warning from Yannick Bru. We should not expect another offensive demonstration from the UBB. “It was a special match, where a lot of things lined up for us. we had had an insolent success. It won’t happen again,” says the Bordeaux manager. Insisting on the eliminatory nature of this round of 16. “The best continues, the weakest goes home. It changes a lot of things in the competitive spirit of certain players, and God knows there are a lot of them at Saracens. Sarries who master the pressure of these high-stakes matches, they who are triple European champions while Bordeaux-Bègles are still chasing a first Champions Cup final.

An objective clearly stated by the people of Bordeaux. “If you look at our semi-finals, there was always frustration, to the point of saying that we couldn't reach a milestone. We've been saying to ourselves for seasons that we want to come back and see if we're progressing, confides Maxime Lucu. We want to play these big matches and make it through to the semi-finals. But on Saturday, we must not ruin everything by losing at home against Saracens. We put in so much effort to get us this round of 16 in Chaban that we want to be paid. And if we pass this style of match, we will be able to say to ourselves that we can compete with everyone…”

Creating a new masterpiece is therefore not the goal. Especially since the Sarries do not arrive in the same mood as before suffering the heaviest defeat in their history in the Champions Cup. “Like the England XV which has regained confidence in itself, Saracens are often the copy of the England XV so I think we will have a completely different team which is in a different physical and mental dynamic and will inevitably have a little anger in the pit of his stomach,” underlines Yannick Bru.

English people also much fresher. When the UBB experienced many difficulties in getting by without its Galactics requisitioned by the XV of France, the club from the suburbs of London did not have its problems with duplicates. Only four matches played (3 victories, 1 loss) since their disaster at Chaban-Delmas, while the Bordelais have played nine, with a success very different from their thunderous start to the season (6 defeats, 3 victories). Now would be a good time to resume their march forward...

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