Victory and that’s it. There was no great score or spectacle at Pierre Mauroy but the XV of France provided the essentials by beating Uruguay (27-12), second success in two matches at the start of the World Cup. Faced with valiant South Americans who showed their limits, the team reorganized by Fabien Galthié dominated without ever deploying its game. The game was more marked by the whistles of Mr. O’Keeffe than by the blows. flashes of the tricolors.
The Blues were not afraid, but it was not far away. The numerous changes logically made by Fabien Galthié against the 17th nation in the world have never really found their mark. Especially since the Uruguayans, like New Zealand last week, surprised the Blues again at the start of the game. Winger Nicolas Freitas (6th) scored the first try of the match with a marvelous pass to the foot of his opener.
Almost an hour to get started
Five minutes later, the XV of France reacted head-on with Antoine Hastoy (11th) who came to forcefully flatten after a sequence of French domination and one of the multiple scrums of the evening. Undecided sector at Pierre Mauroy, the melee saw French and Uruguayans being penalized in turn. More generally, the 15 tricolors showed rare indisciplinarity against aggressive and valiant South Americans. Enough to cut the rhythm in a match which never really got going.
Thanks to the help of Melvyn Jaminet and Hastoy’s try, the locals were able to take the lead again at half-time (13-5), deprived of Romain Taofifenua for 10 minutes after his yellow card (27th). Waiting for a reaction, the French left on the same sullen bases in the second act, before finally setting Lille a little on fire. The entry of the finishers did good, materialized in particular by the try of Peato Mauvaka (55th), in reaction to the flight of Baltazar Amaya two minutes before (53rd).
The last ten minutes finally allowed the French XV to deploy these offensive fundamentals, from which Louis Bielle Biarrey benefited, at the conclusion of very good work from Antoine Hastoy (72nd). The Blues could even have forgotten this evening of fight and frustrating mistakes if the crazy and happy race of Sekou Macalou (77th) had not ultimately been canceled by the referee. Instead, Fabien Galthié’s men must settle for a four-point victory with a still comfortable score. But there was room to do better, and win points for an additional team which played its luck… without convincing.