By Simon Galinier
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He was the man who knocked out the best player in the world on Friday in the semi-finals of the Top 14. Facing Antoine Dupont, the scrum-half from Castres, Santiago Aratadid not suffer in comparison to the grassland of the Allianz Riviera in Nice.
In a South American scrum-half style, the Uruguayan international (25 years old; 45 caps) has not given his part to the dog and has always been ahead of his team, whether on defense or facing a some great tackles. Antoine Dupont or Pierre Fouyssac, but also on attack, because he scored, as a trickster, Castres ’first attempt, at the start of the second period. A strong performance from the Montevideo native, such as his end of season as a cannonball, relegating experienced Rory Kockott to the stands and uniting with Tarn, where he landed in the summer of 2020.
Loïc Jacquet: “Santi is 9 par excellence, he likes to interact with big people”
“He’s a dog, but he’s adorable and very kind. He’s scrum-half par excellence, he talks and shouts all the time, ”explained second-line and future retiree Loïc Jacquet (37), before continuing:
“Santi” doesn’t shout to give orders, but rather, because he likes to interfere with fats. And even if we beat him, he will still come back to charge. It is a bun-i, but it is in life as it is on earth, that is, generous and simple. We loved it and we were happy to have a player like that with us.
A sad and tough scrum-half profile reminiscent of CO legend, Rory Kockott (35), who will hang up his crampons at the end of this season and will have to join the Tarn club staff, in delight of the Top 14 referees he has ridiculed for a long time on the grass. “At the same time, Santi is in a good school, so be careful, if he is given a few more years. with his career ”, explained Loïc Jacquet, double champion in France, with Clermont in 2010 and with Castres in 2018.
“Be careful, he’s not a finished player”, warns David Darricarrère
For his part, the three-quarter coach at Castres Olympique, David Darricarrere, mentions Santiago Arata as a personality who is united in the locker room of Tarn and perfectly conforms to the values of CO. “His relationship with the group and his abundance of strength on the pitch is that everyone is working hard for him and taking care of him”, introduced the technician from Castres, before recalling that the Uruguayan has not yet reached his best level. . “Be careful, he’s not a finished player and he still has a lot of work to do and a lot of room for improvement”, warns Darricarrère, before supporting his point:
He still has to find the balance between entering a hole that can be a fake hole and distributing it flawlessly. We’ve done it, it’s progressing well, but there’s still a lot to learn. After all, he was a handsome boy who carried us a lot, through his enthusiasm and enthusiasm. He already brings his qualities as a puncher, a fighter, but also his accuracy in making decisions.
As a former opening half spent at Mont-de-Marsan, Toulouse, Castres, Narbonne, Lannemezan and Saint-Sever (Landes), David Darricarrère admitted he would have been grateful to have played with Santiago Arata and made a hinge on side of it. “Of course, he’s a player who pushes the ball really hard. He knows how to speed up the game, so you don’t have to leave too many spots, because he’s in a hurry. “The Toulousains, who agreed to a trickster try from Uruguayan in the semi-final, can speak out about it, while Montpellier residents have been warned …
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