- The XV of France beat Wales (41-28) this Saturday on the 5th day of the Six Nations Tournament.
- This improved success left the Blues the hope of winning the competition, but a few hours later Ireland won in England and logically got their hands on this 2023 Tournament.
- Not a drama for Fabien Galthié's players, happy with the way they bounced back against Scotland, England and Wales after hitting a wall in Dublin in February.
At the Stade de France,
You really can't count on the English. For perhaps the first time in human history, the entire France was behind the arch-enemy on Saturday on the final day of the Six Nations Tournament. After their improved victory against Wales earlier in the afternoon (41-28), the Blues had indeed only to pray for an improbable English success in Ireland, and with more than seven points difference please, to win the competition.
The XV de la Rose led 6-0 and, eyes riveted on our phone, we began to think that why not, on a misunderstanding. But it was obviously too much to ask 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 finished second in this Tournament.
The French believed it too. Finally, this is what they assured us in any case, between self-persuasion and temporary madness. After their 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 dressing 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 to leave, Thomas Ramos, while the first period is underway. The back of the XV of France, who became the best French scorer on an edition of the VI Nations (84 points), knows that in the end, the ranking will not change the fundamental analysis of the Tournament.
"We are happy to win in this way. The last three games have been much more convincing than the first two, notes the Toulouse. We were not at our best at the beginning of the tournament, and we paid dearly in Ireland. We will have to build on what we did in England and on that game, because we did very good things. »
🏉 Meanwhile, in the dressing room of the #XVdeFrance eyes are riveted on the Ireland
👉 👀game Follow the live: https://t.co/SVoiu6ePqb pic.twitter.com/fX9D2algMP
— francetvsport (@francetvsport) March 18, 2023
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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 make the same performance as against us, it's going to be complicated," replied 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 a second place. It's not off to a great start, but fingers crossed. Spare yourself this trouble, Ethan. By the time we respond to reporters, it's 22-9. We can bend.
We prefer that, anyway, to a short English victory that would have made us regret for a long time this try conceded at the very end of the match, while Damian Penaud had just given 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 an innocuous ball sent to the wing 40 meters from his goal. Ramos and Penaud were dropped like children by Rio Dyer, who came to score the fourth Welsh try. It's a bit of a mess, if you will, against a team that barely avoided the wooden spoon by beating Italy last week.
17 wins out of the last 18 games
"Defensively, there are probably things to review but I think we play a complete game, says the pillar Cyril Baille. At the moment, the games are a bit crazy but we had fun on the pitch. It's true that we will still remember the new offensive, with five tries scored, including two on first-hand balls that made us lift ourselves from our seat (Penaud, Fickou). "We had worked a lot on that this week by telling ourselves that we had to adjust ourselves to the timing and our positions. It paid off, Dumortier appreciates. This kind of attack is a good indicator of collective performance because it is the whole team, from the forwards, that allows us to achieve sequences like that. »
This is the image that will remain in the head of the Blues, with this character shown against Scotland, England and Wales to erase the Irish disappointment. "It's still a good tournament," says Baille. We've won 17 of our last 18 games, we forget that a little quickly. We must also tell ourselves that we have a lot of room for improvement. It was well worth the nice fireworks display from the roof of the Stade de France at the final whistle. There was no point in waiting for the English for that.