(Toronto) Montreal and Toronto. Canadian and Maple Leafs. Sir Pathetic and Drake.
There is a definite and natural rivalry between Quebec and Ontario. On Saturday, at BMO Field in Toronto, another chapter of the rivalry will be written during the East Final between the Montreal Alouettes and Toronto Argonauts.
Since history is already loaded, both camps agree that this match will have special significance.
For Quebecer Christian Mattei, the impact of facing arch-enemies, especially in the context of the playoffs, has never dissipated, even after 14 seasons.
“Growing up in Montreal, there was always a Canadiens and Maple Leafs, and even today that’s a big thing. But just coming to Ontario, whether it’s the Argonauts or other teams, it’s always special. There’s a rivalry between Two counties and I love it.
Even though he arrived in Montreal less than a year ago, Alouettes coach Jason Maas knows how unparalleled the one-on-one meetings are for the team’s fans and players, with the Quebec team at training. He stressed: “We have never been ashamed to say who we represent on the field.”
Since taking over last winter, his mission has been to give fans a reason to be proud of their team. He admits that this type of match represents an ideal opportunity: “We represent the people of Montreal and Quebec. We know that we are in Ontario. There is a real rivalry between Quebec and Ontario. I think that is a good thing because it motivates us. We have never been embarrassed to talk about the pride of playing for Quebec and representing Quebec. »
For Marc-Antoine Decoy and David Côté, this clash against the Argos comes with an inevitable burden.
But not necessarily because Toronto represents the arch enemy.
“It’s still a playoff game. There are so few teams in the East that they all become rivals to some extent. We’re focused on the opponent, in Toronto. The rivalry aspect makes good press, but really, we’re “We just focus.”
The Alouettes will have to really focus, as their opponents are having the best season in their history with a record of 16 wins and two losses, in addition to beating Montreal three times in the same number of games.
“Since I arrived in the league, Toronto has become the best team in the East,” Cote said in a phone interview Thursday. They were always good, they reached the final, and they were better than us. And there’s something about playing against them, because you know you’re so close to them. »
According to the Alouettes player, the desire to beat the Argonauts at all costs is not necessarily driven by the proximity and past between the two cities, but rather by the desire to defeat the better team.
We want to beat them every time we play against them, but every time we miss a little something. This increases competition. Especially since we played them in the East Final two years ago.
David Coote – Alouettes player
Quebec was clear: “There is a rivalry between Toronto and Canada that is very present, but I don’t think it is valid among the Alouettes. »
After all, as former Argos and Alouettes defensive back Adarius Pickett remembers, “At this point in the season, it’s just another opponent.”
Argos is ready
So, no matter what language is used in the boycott or how poutine is prepared, we should expect a trench battle in the CFL final.
The Alouettes have a good defense, but the Argonauts have a good offense.
They do a lot of good things and have a lot of great athletes. Young and old who have been in the league for a long time. […] Although we won all three of our matches, they were close. So you’ll have to arrive prepared.
Chad Kelly, Argonauts’ quarterback
The Alouettes’ offensive unit woke up during the last game against the Tiger-Cats, but the Argonauts’ defense is waiting for them.
” [Cody] Fullback Wynton McManis made it clear that Fajardo can run, that adds another dimension to their attack and we have to respect that. But we will remain ourselves. We will be physical. We will not give any gifts. »
Only one dance remains between the two teams to determine who will go home with their head between their legs. We will see whether the Alouettes’ ship will fly or whether the Argonauts will continue their crusade. In any case, the rivalry will continue.
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