Top 14 - Newspaper Review
Noves calm despite Toulouse loss
September 13, 2010
Guy Noves is refusing to panic © Getty Images
Toulouse manager Guy Noves was in no mood to panic following his side's 25-20 away loss to Biarritz at the Parc des Sports Aguilera on Saturday.
Noves blamed a poor first-half as the European champions conceded a litany of penalties to make it three away losses in a row, but the veteran coach insisted he was unworried by their form away from the Ernest Wallon.
"It would worry me if we were weak in our areas of strength," he told Midi Olympique. "But in each of the three away defeats, we've taken a losing bonus and pushed the other team quite close. So am I worried? No. Frustrated? Yes."
Toulouse face leaders Bayonne at home this weekend in what could be one of the games of the season for both sides but Noves, perhaps in response to the tone of the previous question, played his side's chances down in a rather tongue-in-cheek kind of way.
"The league leaders are coming, quite simply," he said. "Our goal will be to hang on. Bayonne are full of confidence. We will try to work on our recovery and try to do what we can against the leaders and maybe take a losing bonus point."
Toulon coach Philippe Saint-André believes his charges have finally turned a corner after Saturday's 41-10 hammering of Agen at Stade Mayol. Saint-André, whose team have struggled so far this season and have lost twice at home, told Var Matin he was heartened by the performance.
"There's no relief but I am happy to have taken the five points," he said. "We finally played rugby. The players passed the ball around and took their chances. Of course, not everything was fantastic. We have to be more precise at the breakdown and with those final passes. But it's coming, little by little."
Meanwhile, Bayonne president Francois Salgoity has urged his players and supporters to keep their feet on the ground following their table-topping 18-16 win against Clermont Auvergne on Friday night.
"For me, first place is anecdotal," Salgoity told Sudouest. "After six matches we have 21 points. We're halfway towards staying up [in the Top 14]. We must remain and keep our feet on the ground."