Coupe du monde de rugby 2023 : après leur succès difficile face à l’Uruguay, les Bleus déçus mais pas abattus

The French national rugby team delivered a mixed performance against Uruguay. There’s no need to panic either.

It is true that we enjoy drama. Sometimes we like to exaggerate events a bit. And the more we are told not to make a big deal out of it, the stronger the desire to amplify them becomes. However, it is difficult with this French team to do as much as in the past. For example, Thursday night.

The temptation to criticize the French team after their performance against Uruguay (27-12), the 17th-ranked nation in the world, is strong. However, it is to their credit that Fabien Galthié’s men have consistently shown mastery of their subject for the past four years, so it would be unfair to reprimand them. We’re not that harsh.

So, let’s do an objectively objective analysis. Let’s hear from the players, who are the most affected. « Worried about the performance of this match? No. Frustrated? Yes. We were not happy with ourselves. We need to let it go or put it aside. There is work to be done, which is a good thing, » emphasized Montpellier’s Arthur Vincent at the final whistle.

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« We lacked realism: we put ourselves under a bit of pressure, and that allowed Uruguay to stay in the game. If we had taken advantage of those offensive opportunities, it would have been different. The lack of discipline was the downside of our evening, it put us under pressure. But there were some very positive things: if we had scored, especially in the first half, the match would have been completely different, » Maxime Lucu adds.

« We did not underestimate them, we knew they were very good players. There was a false rhythm, we fell into it. We should have taken control of the game, increased the pace to tire them out, » agrees third row Sekou Macalou, one of the few players who stood out. These are measured testimonies. Each one, in their thoughts, also added: « We have two wins in two matches, that’s the most important thing. »

Une formule efficace, tendant à relativiser une prestation plus que moyenne. Le ton, aussi, est très calme, posé, à l’image du XV de France. Heureusement, Paul Boudehent est venu mettre un peu de fraîcheur, lui et sa gueule de Clark Kent. Alors, Paul, frustré ? « Devine… », lance-t-il dans un sourire en coin.

The player from La Rochelle (with four selections), like his teammates, expected a more open and less messy game. The few positive points (defense on maul?) hide the 21 lost balls, the absence of offensive bonus, the lack of creativity, and the indiscipline. And this, even if the context of the game – large turnover, relative stakes – is an explanatory factor. « It forces us to stay alert, » notes François Cros. Still, beware of the red alert (if we want to add some drama).

La bonne nouvelle : le genou d’Anthony Jelonch a tenu

The first steps of the 27-year-old third row were closely watched. Engaged in a race against time since his anterior cruciate ligament surgery on his left knee on March 6th, all eyes were on Anthony Jelonch’s attitude. The Toulouse player played for 50 minutes with no issues to report. « I feel very good, it was a pleasure to come back, especially with this team. There was some apprehension during the first contacts, but I quickly got back into the swing of things and now I feel liberated. The staff has trusted me from the beginning. I should thank everyone for helping me come back so quickly. I owe them a lot for my rehabilitation. I worked hard but I was well guided, » he savored on Thursday evening.

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