Toulouse were 'too confident'
Mon, 09 Dec 2013 10:43
Maybe tried a little too hard to make things happen
Guy Noves hasn't had to endure many shocks during his reign as coach of Toulouse, but losing at Stade Ernest Wallon to Connacht is certainly up there.
And now the most successful coach in the history of European club rugby has to pick his side up from their 16-14 home defeat to travel to Galway to do battle with Pat Lam's Connacht giant killers once again in six days time.
Even though the defeat did not knock the four time European Cup champions off the top of the Pool Three table, it did close the gap to little or nothing with Saracens tied with them on 10 points and Connacht one point behind.
Last season was only the fourth time in 18 that Toulouse had failed to qualify for the quarterfinals and they have won four of the six finals they reached. Defeat in Galway could lead to another elimination at the Pool stages - and Noves is well aware of the consequences of another failure.
"This defeat makes our victory against the Saracens at Wembley useless. We are now warned about what can happen next week in Connacht - let's hope that the team that will face Connacht will be a different Stade Toulousain," said Noves.
"I think we may have been a little too confident, especially after having a try opportunity in the first couple of minutes. The boys tried to move the ball around, and maybe we should have used the boot a little more.
"This was obviously not the scenario we were expecting and hoping for. We were going for a victory, not that we underestimated our opponents, but after the first 10 minutes we felt hopeful about getting momentum and being able to score a few tries.
"We missed a few opportunities, dropped a few balls and maybe tried a little too hard to make things happen. Maybe we didn't play the right game against such a team, and then it was too late.
"Time goes by very quickly when things don't go your way. We're not out yet but we will have to reassess a few things.
"I don't think we played a terrible game but, strategically, we may not have adapted to the situation like we should have, especially seeing how Connacht were able to reposition their defensive line on the whole width of the pitch.
"We then lost a lot of possession when we moved the ball left and right. We didn't find the efficiency we usually have and bounced on their line," he explained.
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