Six Nations tournament: an emotional XV of France

” Unbelievable ! “ Hot, he keeps repeating, Fabien Galthié. The coach of the XV of France can not find other words to describe what his players have just made him experience, this Saturday, March 20 to mark a milestone at the Stade de France. So he remains breathless, at the microphone of France 2, and repeats it again: “This scenario is incredible. Unbelievable ! “. With a newfound energy, a pride undoubtedly too tickled, an unexpected lucidity, the Blues actually went to seek an improbable, insane victory, on a test snatched in the last seconds from the Welsh suddenly all dazed. Who could believe such a reversal of the situation?

Red dragons all on fire

There are matches that are impossible to lose. There are others that are impossible to win. This France-Wales seems for a long time to belong to this second category. Even if the first twenty minutes of the game augur a common level of excellence, the two teams surrendering blow for blow (two tries each), it appears quickly enough that the debates will not necessarily remain balanced. Flaming red dragons indeed light fires everywhere on the blue ramparts, creating breaches with insane regularity.

→ ANALYSIS. Rugby: despite the defeat against England, nothing is lost for the XV of France

One wave after another, they approach the tricolor in-goal, and the punishment seems inevitable. The Blues certainly arrive at half-time with a score of parity (17-17), but by retreating most often, and deprived of balls. Difficult to express oneself in these conditions. On resumption, these Welsh devils resume their assaults with the same ardor, rolling the blue defense, this same defense which seemed so aggressive and solid in previous meetings, but which there must suffer until necessarily breaking. At 30-20 per hour of play, the case seems over.

Especially since the Blues first take a yellow card (to the pillar Mohamed Haouas), thus forced to play 14. Worse: nine minutes later, when they have just scored the try of the resurgent hope, they must cash the refusal of the referee and the sanction for a dangerous clearing at the start of the action of Paul Willemse, punished by a red card. Double trouble, and morale in the socks. To recover from such a stroke of fate? The Blues were hardly used to it in recent years. But these Blues seem decidedly of a different caliber.

On the wire

The last ten minutes are therefore completely implausible. The Blues do not abdicate. Quite the contrary. They’re putting the pressure on. And the Welsh, until then very in control furious, suddenly lose their nerves. In turn, they take a yellow card, then another. They are playing 13. It is time: the French captain Charles Ollivon sounds the charge and succeeds in testing, re-inflating the sails of the France boat that was seen running aground. There are three minutes left, and that would be too good. It becomes. The Blues do not get carried away, do not mess up, and the back Brice Dulin after a long movement crosses the line. General issuance.

The Welsh are leaving Paris without their Grand Slam. To win this 2021 Tournament, the Blues must still win Friday March 26 against Scotland, by obtaining the offensive bonus, and by winning with more than 20 points in advance to overtake the Welsh.

Nothing is done. But the Blues hold their reference match after this whirlwind against the Welsh. They know it and fully intended Saturday night to savor it fully. “I am overcome with happiness. It’s a pool of happiness ”, Fabien Galthié let go again in a post-match press conference. “We left everything on the ground, summarized Charles Ollivon, it allows emotions like that “. Strong, very strong.


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