The players of the French national rugby team were undoubtedly devastated after their loss against South Africa (28-29) in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup, on Sunday, October 15th at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis.
François Cros, a flanker for the French national rugby team, expressed his sadness and disappointment with the result of the match. He described the scenario as cruel and mentioned that he couldn’t find the right words to express his feelings. He acknowledged that it was a shame for the team, the group, the event, and the fans who support them. He emphasized that it was a very tough evening. Despite giving their all throughout the match and putting in the necessary effort, they unfortunately conceded points too easily. The most challenging part was the final action where they made significant efforts but were not rewarded. Overall, he described the situation as cruel.
However, we can find whatever explanations we want, it’s over and the adventure ends here for us. It’s a shame for this team that deserved to go further. It’s the competition of a lifetime, a World Cup in France, we won’t replay it and it’s unfortunate to finish like this.
Matthieu Jalibert, the fly-half of the French national team (on TF1): « It’s difficult to know what to say. There was definitely an opportunity, it was a beautiful rugby match between two strong teams that fought back and forth. We had moments in the second half where we could have scored and taken the lead, but we couldn’t do it. We also have to congratulate the Boks who, in a challenging situation, resisted our attacks and scored when they could. So today there is a lot of disappointment and frustration. »
« When we see the atmosphere that there was again, yes, we are disappointed. What makes us the saddest is that tonight, we were not able to make them proud and happy. We can try to find some positivity by saying that there are quite a few young players, a great generation, but the truth is that today, we failed in the quarter-finals of our World Cup and it will be hard to accept. »
Afrique du Sud
Eben Etzebeth, the second row of South Africa, said: « It was a brutal match. In the very first minutes, they scored and then we scored and so on. It was a close game! I obviously feel relieved. The French must be heartbroken, so we have them in our thoughts. We will celebrate tonight and then prepare for the semi-final against England. It will be a huge match. (On his temporary exclusion) Unfortunate. I really didn’t want to receive a yellow card in such an intense game. I just wanted to give everything I had, it was a tremendous collective effort. »
Jacques Nienaber, the coach of South Africa (on ITV), expressed his excitement about playing against the French team in Paris. He acknowledged the challenge they faced and commended his team for their perseverance. The dynamics of the game changed significantly, but having experienced players helped them stay calm and come out on top. Nienaber expects future matches to be just as close, as seen with the narrow point difference in today’s game and the Fijian comeback in the match against England. He emphasized that this is what makes knockout rugby in the World Cup so unpredictable and intense.
Siya Kolisi, captain and flanker of South Africa (on TF1): « We really gave everything to win. It was really special because, to be honest, it’s one of the best French teams we’ve seen. The heart, the courage in their game, and the people behind them, their supporters, we could see that it was very special. Even when other teams were playing, we could hear the crowd singing the Marseillaise… Their coaches had also prepared for four years. So we really gave everything today and looked for opportunities. The French can be very proud. Their team is young, they will be able to bounce back. »