Teams are often at their best when they are playing for an idea…

Since June 2020, Team Architecture Ltd has worked alongside Head Coach of Stade Rochelais, Ronan O’Gara, to implement a strategy that continues to focus on creating lasting bonds between the people in the club.

“Before there were five or six pockets of players; now you have genuine buy-in from the group and it’s manifestly evident they play for each other.”

Ronan O’Gara in his Irish Examiner column, 25/6/21

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Team Architecture Ltd has provided ongoing support throughout a historic year for O’Gara and ‘Les Maritimes’.

This work included:

  • Assessing the aims and cohesion of the group;
  • Tailoring a theme specific to the group that sought to unite the whole organisation;
  • Creating and helping to implement a set of core values that would help both on and off the pitch;
  • Designing presentations –aligning core values within the theme- to deliver pre and post game;
  • Providing weekly support to review and implement key messages for on-pitch sessions and upcoming matches;
  • Preparing ‘Mindset’ videos to refresh, review and consolidate information.

Ici, ici, c’est La Rochelle!

Champions Cup

La Rochelle’s consistent league form translated to the European stage in the Champions Cup. Wins away from home against Edinburgh and Gloucester were followed by high scoring games to beat Sale and 4-time winners Leinster at Stade Marcel-Deflandre. Their first final appearance in the competition was eventful as they spent 55 minutes with 14 men and ran a strong Toulouse side close, ultimately losing 17-22.

History-Makers: The team celebrate their emphatic semi-final victory over Leinster in the Champions Cup at Marcel Deflandre.

Top 14

Having only secured promotion to the Top 14 in 2014, Stade Rochelais have enjoyed an unprecedented season. After a gruelling 11 months, they finished 2nd in the league qualifying directly for the semi-finals. A tense battle against Racing 92 was eventually won by les jaunes et noirs, setting up a meeting with 20 time winners, Toulouse in the final.

This was La Rochelle’s first ever Top 14 final in their 123 year history. Unfortunately the wait continues for the club’s first ever Bouclier de Brennus as they lost 18-8.

Les joueurs déçus

To mark what was an unprecedented campaign in the league and European Cup, the team were greeted by thousands of fans and a civic reception upon their return home the day after the Top 14 final. They were also honoured by the city’s mayor who presented team captain Romain Sazy with la médaille de la ville for their historic efforts throughout the year.

La Fierté

The 2021-2022 Season

After what proved to be an extraordinary year, Team Architecture Ltd will continue to work with O’Gara and Stade Rochelais next season, providing support to build even more team cohesion.

Team Architecture Ltd will spend more time ‘on-the-grass’ starting with a visit for pre-season in August 2021.

“Thanks for your support – see you next season!”

Follow Team Architecture Ltd’s journey next season: @SharkTeams (Twitter) @teamarchitecture.dsharkey (Instagram)

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