At the Stade de France,
You really can’t count on the English. For the first time, no doubt, in the history of humanity, the whole of France was behind the sworn enemy, this Saturday, during the last day of the Six Nations Tournament. After their improved victory against Wales a little earlier in the afternoon (41-28), the Blues only had to pray for an improbable English success in Ireland, and with more than seven points difference please, to win the competition.
The XV of the Rose led 6-0 and, eyes glued to our phone, we started to think that why not, on a misunderstanding. But that was obviously asking too much of a team that had taken seven tries and 53 points in the teeth seven days earlier. Ireland recovered quickly before taking off, irretrievably, to win (29-16) and achieve the Grand Slam. The XV of France therefore finished second in this Tournament.
The French believed in it too. Well, that’s what they assured us anyway, between self-perception and temporary madness. After their somewhat crazy success and a little lap of honor to greet the public and enjoy these last moments of communion before the World Cup, they gathered in the locker room to follow the match. It suited us average for the mixed zone, but hey, we would have done the same in their place. First out is Thomas Ramos as the Ireland-England first half gets under way. The back of the XV of France, who has become the best tricolor scorer on an edition of the VI Nations (84 points), knows that in the end, the classification will not change the substantive analysis of the Tournament.
“We are happy to win this way. The last three games have been much more convincing than the first two, notes the Toulousain. We weren’t at our best level at the start of the Tournament, and we paid dearly for it in Ireland. We will have to build on what we did in England and on that match, because we did some very good things. »
Ethan Dumortier points the tip of his nose a few minutes later. It’s 10-9 for Ireland at that point. Really, do you think we can count on the English? “If they do the same performance as against us, it will be complicated, replies the winger with a smile. We knew after Ireland that we would no longer have the cards in hand. We did our best at the end of the Tournament, we just have to hope that luck is with us, otherwise we will have to settle for second place. It’s not off to a great start, but we’re crossing our fingers. Save yourself the trouble, Ethan. The time to respond to journalists, it’s 22-9. We can bend.
We prefer that, anyway, to a narrow English victory which would have made us regret for a while this try conceded at the very end of the match, when Damian Penaud had just given some slack to the Blues. On the dismissal, with only twenty seconds left to play before the siren, the XV of France found a way to be pierced on a harmless ball sent to the wing 40 meters from its start. aim. Ramos and Penaud were dropped off like children by Rio Dyer, who came to register the fourth Welsh try. It’s a bit of a mess, if you can afford it, against a team that barely avoided the wooden spoon by beating Italy last week.
17 wins in the last 18 games
“On the defensive level, there are undoubtedly things to review but I think that we are doing a complete match, notes the pillar Cyril Baille. At the moment, the matches are a little crazy but we had fun on the pitch. “It’s true that we will still remember the new offensive orgy more, with five tries scored, including two on balls in first hand which made us get up from our seat (Penaud, Fickou). “We had worked on it a lot this week, telling ourselves that we had to settle on the timing and our positions. It paid off, appreciates Dumortier. This kind of attack is a good indicator of collective performance because it is the whole team, from the forwards, which allows us to carry out sequences like that. »
This is the image that will remain in the minds of the Blues, with this character shown against Scotland, England and Wales to erase the Irish disappointment. “It remains a good tournament, supports Baille. We have won 17 of our last 18 games, we forget that a little quickly. We also have to tell ourselves that we have a lot of room for improvement. This was well worth the pretty fireworks set off from the roof of the Stade de France at the final whistle. There was no point in waiting for the English for that.