Racing certainly did well to extend it for the rest of the season. Captain of the evening, Francis Saili showed the way for his team to seek victory at the very end of the match against Lyon (22-20). In the absence of Gael Fickou (on the bench) and Henry Chavancy, the New Zealand center served as a launcher for numerous Racingmens attacks this Saturday evening. If he was not directly decisive, he crossed several times to put his team ahead. Just in his actions he represented a constant danger for the Lyon defense and also served as a perfect decoy on Tabuavou's try. Even with Josua Tuisova's injury, the center position at Racing is not a source of concern.
Defeated again this evening, LOU is in 8th place in the championship this Saturday evening. But with players like Couilloud and Niniashvili, the ambitions are logical. Author of the first try, the scrum half once again produced a top performance. Not to mention his quality in the running game, he shone by using his kicking game with clean outings and used his intelligence to find several dangerous touches. As for the Georgian LOU rearguard, he continues his momentum from last season and asserts himself as the main danger of the Lyon rearguard after the departure of Tuisova. Capable of making the difference on his own, he is the cause of the majority of his team's mismatches this evening. Unfortunately it will not have paid off this evening but it is only a postponement.
The Lyonnais had done everything well. Effective in attack and defense, solid in conquest and more than serious in defense, Fabien Gengenbacher's men seemed destined to win on the Racing field. Yet in 15 minutes all these certainties were gone. Two possessions lost in the 22 meters of Ile-de-France, a solid scrum throughout the match but penalized in the last part of the match (75') and penalties which accumulated just before the siren: the LOU ended up giving in. Congratulations to the Racingmen or fault of the Lyonnais?
At the end of the 2023 World Cup, criticism of referees is undoubtedly more numerous than ever. Head vs. head is one of the situations that generates this criticism. Sometimes red card, sometimes yellow, a simple penalty or even nothing. The situations are all different and so is the referee’s interpretation. This evening again, Mignot's tackle reviewed on video might have led to another decision with another referee. Copiously whistled by the spectators of Paris La Defense Arena, we will prove Mr. Gasnier right for this evening. But to put an end to or at least limit this incessant criticism it would undoubtedly be necessary to ensure that these situations are no longer judged by personal interpretation. But it’s rugby and we won’t change it.