Top 14 Orange - Newspaper Review
Boudjellal: Players' 'hatred' drove them on
Ian Moriarty
April 4, 2011
Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal watches his side's victory, Toulon v Stade Francais, Top 14, Stade Felix Mayol, Toulon, France, April 2, 2011
Mourad Boudjellal has claimed a share of responsibility for his side's win over Stade Francais © Getty Images
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Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal believes that his players' 'hatred' of him propelled them towards an emphatic 38-10 win against Stade Francais on Saturday.

The outspoken Toulon boss publicly derided his charges after last week's away loss to Castres and he is confident that his harsh words did the trick.

Boudjellal watched from the sidelines at the Stade Mayol as Jonny Wilkinson and debutant Gavin Henson combined to give the Provencal side a decisive victory.

"If a hate figure is needed let it be me," he told Var Matin. "I wanted to upset them and give them something to rage about in the press. I told myself, 'if I don't vex this bunch, if I don't humiliate them, they'll fall asleep'.

"It doesn't matter because if they can hate me and dump it on the pitch, I'm fine. If they can dump it on the pitch until the end of the season, it doesn't bother me at all. If they become champions of France by hating me, I'll be doing well."

Perpignan boss Jacques Brunel has insisted their top six hopes are still alive despite losing 24-25 to Toulouse on Friday. Brunel told Midi Olympique that the defeat wouldn't have an impact of this weekend's Heineken Cup match against Toulon.

"Until the last match is played, you can't say that we're finished," he claimed. "Nothing is cut and dried. We've picked ourselves other times this season and we're going to do it again. The quarter final of the H Cup against Toulon will be another match, in a different context."

Meanwhile, Biarritz coach Jean-Michel Gonzalez admitted that the club's focus may have drifted a little prematurely towards this weekend's Heineken showdown with Toulouse following their 41-13 hammering at Clermont.

Gonzalez told Sudouest: "We're going to have to ask a few questions. We didn't put any pressure on for this match at Clermont and in the end, we made a mistake.

"To stay in the play-off places, we'll have to give everything against Brive and climb back up. When all the players are there, everyone wins and claims some part in it. But if we do finish in a play-off place, it won't be anything other than sixth."

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