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Laurent Delboulbes: “Oyonnax are confident”

The Toulon prop, who played for Oyonnax during the 2015-2016 season, attended the pre-game press conference, last Wednesday afternoon. As he knows the team from the Ain department quite well, he knows the game will be a difficult one.

Laurent, Chairman Mourad Boudjellal thinks the away game against Oyonnax will be a turning point in the season. Do you agree with this?

Anyway, there are just six games remaining in the regular season and, when one sees how tight the Top 14 is this year – for the top six or the struggling teams –, it’s clear that everyone needs points. So, it will be a crucial game, for sure. Since the season began, Oyonnax’s efforts have scarcely been rewarded: they’re a very dense team, they did well against Clermont and Bordeaux and they beat Stade Français. For a few weeks, things have rather gone their way and they are confident. So, we’ve been warned and we have to play the way we did against Agen. First, we’re going to respect the Oyonnax team and, then, we’ll try to set up our game plan.

Is the synthetic grass in Oyonnax a major change in terms of playing?

The difference tells in terms of speed. Playing goes 10 or 20 percent faster compared to a normal pitch. The Oyonnax players know how to use it, they’re really at home with it and we’ll have to adapt.

For a few weeks now, the Toulon team has seemed stronger and more confident…

It’s true: there’s a good atmosphere within the team and it’s a very homogeneous one. As soon as you win or earn bonus points at home, your level of confidence is raised. There’s no secret about it! Those things give you confidence, but it’s crunch-time now and we can’t be too complacent either. We just have to prepare for the game as we normally do.

Photo credits: Cyclope Photo.

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