The notes of the Blues after France – Ireland (17-38): Paul Willemse incorrigible, Maxime Lucu upside down

Thomas Ramos: 3.5

The Toulouse full-back had a pass intercepted in the 4th minute, which indirectly led to Ireland opening the score. His 75% (3 out of 4) against the poles is correct, but the one miss hurts (opportunity to pick up at -4 flight). Unable to stop Bundee Aki in his tracks (it’s certainly a challenge) on the first try, eaten by Caelan Doris in a ruck while the Blues timidly initiated a highlight, Ramos had a bad evening.

  • In short : A meeting started on the wrong note and the situation never turned around.

Damian Penaud: 4

He scored his 36th international try this Friday at the Vélodrome, witness to his ability to be a constant threat, but Penaud does not have much else to take away positively from his meeting. He was imprecise when receiving a candle in the 13th minute, without consequence. Rebelote in the 59th, this time with a ball won by the Irish, who took off shortly after. He made a breakthrough at the end of the match.
  • In short : A test that does not weigh heavily.

Gaël Fickou: 3.5

He seemed hesitant on each shot, or almost, within a three-quarter line which did not exude osmosis. Fickou, “dad of the backs” (86 caps), has often ensured conservation, despite these delays. The 29-year-old center did not put in a poor performance but he did not put the XV du Trèfle in difficulty once.

  • In short : Neutral. Too much, like for several weeks.

Fickou indestructible… for how long?

Jonathan Danty: 3

Involved in the second Irish try, missing a tackle due to a bad reading, Danty then symbolized the helplessness of Fabien Galthié’s players in the face of the green waves. What’s more, he didn’t have his usual influence in the rucks and didn’t make any difference with the ball under his arm either. The Rochelais is the author of a big push as a makeshift flanker during the second act, counterbalanced by an imprecise pass for Ramos which leads to an unproductive maul.

  • In short : A hugely missed match.

Louis Bielle-Biarrey replaced him in the 64th minute. He dropped several balls but also showed valuable energy.

Yoram Moefana: 4

Moefana brought a little life into the French game thanks to his tone – on one of his rare balls – in the second period. For the rest, it was in the monotonous tone of the blue draft. He moved to the center at the entrance of “LBB”, effectively supporting him a few minutes later.

  • In short : Perhaps the least “bad” behind, on the French side.

Matthieu Jalibert: 5

An inspiration from the 2nd minute of play could foreshadow an exhilarating match from him. Forget. The first act often turned into rugby ping-pong. He and Ramos then suffered, notably against James Lowe. On the other hand, he energized the game on a few occasions and reminded us that he could be a maestro. The timing of his high pass to Penaud – sent to queen – is perfect.

  • In short : More comfortable playing with his hands than with his feet, he did well.

Matthieu Jalibert (France), ball in hand, against Ireland – 02/02/2024

Credit: Getty Images

Maxime Lucu: 3

He was blocked by a kick in the 20th minute, behind a maul that was nevertheless conquering. At the start of the match, he seemed very slow. The rest was a little better, but he sometimes changed his mind about the meaning of the game, putting his teammates at odds. Even when he led better, the lack of spark that characterized his initiatives was glaring.

  • In short : A performance which reminds, indirectly, to what extent Antoine Dupont is a different player.

Nolann Le Garrec experienced his first selection in the 64th minute, taking over.

Charles Ollivon: 4.5

A remarkably captured offensive candle… but that’s almost all. He was present in the fight but without much influence. On the sidelines, too, he did not fly through the debates as the public could have hoped. Without being off the mark, Ollivon was too ordinary in relation to his standing.

  • In short : It has already been much more sparkling.

Paul Boudehent came on in his place in the 64th minute.


Grégory Alldritt during France – Ireland | 02/02/2024

Credit: Imago

Gregory Alldritt: 5

The captain of the XV du Coq for this Tournament was good in his role as a mover. He gained inches almost continuously. But at the heart of this shipwreck (17-38), it took much more than that to be a major player in the evening. In terms of leadership, the ambient noise has a negative impact on its balance sheet.

  • In short : The wearer of the armband knew how not to sink, without avoiding the inevitable.

François Cros: 5

In defense, he always impresses with his ground coverage. In attack, his contribution was correct in the alignment. Cros is a man in the shadows who did not disappoint in the grayness of Marseille. A bad reading of the Irish dismissal, in the 54th minute, was a black spot on his copy.

  • In short : His activity is precious. Far from being decisive, in such a context.

Replaced in the 64th minute by Cameron Wokistirring but not sharp.

Paul Willemse: not rated

He left the field for good after half an hour of play, after receiving two cards for hitting opponents in the face. His indiscipline – especially so crudely repeated – was terribly penalizing.


The red card addressed to Paul Willemse during France-Ireland

Credit: Getty Images

Paul Gabrillagues: 5

Light on a clearing at the start of the match, little used in touch, the Parisian second row did not however seem lost, more than four years after his last selection. Gabrillagues even scored one of the two French tries, with opportunism on the edge of a ruck. He does not represent the future of the position, but we have seen worse interims.

  • In short : He fought well.

Replaced in the 64th minute by the attraction Posolo Tuilagi (19 years old, first cape), who has sometimes transformed his opponents into pins but still needs to take care of his releases.

Uini Atonio: 6

He gained the upper hand over his direct opponent in melee, even seven against eight. A precious percussion on Penaud’s try, always the same impression of monstrous power with each contact: Atonio was good this Friday in Marseille, at the opening of the Tournament. Beaten in defense on the third Irish try, he came back into positive evidence a few moments later.

  • In short : The cancellation of his international retirement is good news for Galthié and his staff.

He gives way to Dorian Aldegheri in the 54th minute.

Peato Mauvaka: 5

A missed tackle at a time when France was gaining momentum during the first period. He wasn’t regal with his throws either. But with a caramel here and an acceleration there, Mauvaka remained very useful. The electric tricolor hooker quickly plays a penalty which leads to the (hoped for) revolt try, just before the break. The waste in his playing is partly offset by the enthusiasm he instills in the whole group.

  • In short : He has a communicative gas, but his floor can still go up a notch.

Replaced in the 54th minute by his Toulouse teammate, Julien Marchand.

Cyril Baille: 5.5

In addition to his dexterity, a sacred bonus offensively, he has advanced as a ball carrier. In the scrum, it went well for him. Baille was scratched by a ball on the ground – faults shared with his support – but above all managed to respond to the challenge of the Irish pack, although they were often numerically superior.

  • In short : It is a reference to the position of left pillar.

Substituted in the 54th minute by Reda Wardi, who immediately contributed to a good scrum. The Toulouse player made his return in the 71st minute, following an injury to the Rochelais player.


The break test for Dan Sheehan, under the eyes of overwhelmed Blues (France-Ireland)

Credit: Getty Images

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