Top 14 – Antoine Hastoy (La Rochelle): “At the moment we don’t have to be great, but to collect points”

Antoine Hastoy, who was present at the press conference after the victory of Stade Rochelais against Montpellier (18-10), is happily satisfied with the return to success and staying in the shot for the top 6. form, he admits he was thinking about the attack bonus.

It was a defensive win tonight. We’ve seen you solve, solve and solve again… Did you like it?

(Laughter) What I like is winning. That’s all I want. We missed opportunities. It’s a shame, but we were pretty good defensively. We’re getting a few shots back, so we’ll keep that in mind. A win was needed before this little break. It rewards the work done and releases the frustration from last weekend.

Is the painful victory a blessing in disguise for the future?

Yes. That’s four points. We don’t have to look gorgeous right now. We have to take points and we have to be very good when the big things happen. We have a lot of injuries, but that’s goodwe see young people there, it’s good for the club. Maybe it will be decided on injuries, but in any case the immediate reaction is good, we are happy. We haven’t always been successful, but I think we’ve also created some great things.

How did you react to the announcement of this 7-1 benching of MHR?

Um… Let’s just say that we might have expected a little from Collazo (laughs). No, but it’s not surprising knowing that Simmonds, as we saw tonight, does very well at center. He is fast and strong. Defensively, it’s maybe a bit more difficult because it doesn’t have benchmarks, but that’s not a problem. Reinach can cover almost everywhere, they wanted to play physical but we responded.

Brice Dulin’s try to start this second half looks to be the key moment after the first half ended 6-3…

The start of the second half is crucial. From 40E in the 60sE. Although in my opinion we can kill the match and hope for more with the bonus. We need to know how to kill matches. At 18-3 we need to score another try and then defend our bonus. It’s a shame, but it’s part of our discipline. At the end of the match we can hope for nothing but a win.

Is it hard not to be in the Top 6 after 14 days?

As long as we are there on the last day, I don’t mind! It makes you a little more hungry to be there, it keeps the whole group on their toes. We can’t just settle for winning at home, we have two away games (Lyon, Perpignan). We have to take points. We are behind and the goal is to be in both competitions. We’ll have to get the points back.

What will your schedule be during this holiday week?

Some rest. Then also watch with friends and family.

Do you have any instructions from XV France so you don’t get too far?

No. But I won’t stray too far (laughs)

You seem to be approaching your best…

It’s better. It’s better mentally, it’s better physically, so I’m happy to continue. I feel better and better and hope to climb again. My absence from the Blues list? Of course it stung. Obviously angry. So now I do everything to let people see that I can be there.

How did you react to the Blues’ heavy defeat against Ireland in the opening 6 Nations?

Surprised! Everyone is obviously very disappointed. They will want to redeem themselves in Scotland. It won’t be the best of weeks, but we have to get through it.

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