l’essentiel Le quart de finale de ce dimanche (21h) entre la France et l’Afrique du Sud est l’occasion pour des anciens internationaux français de revenir sur la défaite face aux Springboks en demi-finale du Mondial 1995. La douleur est toujours présente.
On June 17, 1995, South Africa eliminated France in the semi-finals of the World Cup with a score of 19-15, after a fierce battle and under challenging conditions. This Sunday, October 15, the emotion was still intact for Philippe Saint-André, the captain at that time, who reflected on this match in the Grandes Gueules du Sport on RMC.
Why did activists pour oil in front of the French Rugby Federation headquarters during the France-South Africa match?
« I cannot reword »
« It is very difficult for me. For twenty-eight years, I never said it was a scandal, » admits the former coach of the French XV, who will narrate, with a lot of emotion, the pre-match: « During the match preparation, the referee gathers the captains and coaches and tells us: ‘I think the match will not take place, it is not possible to play a rugby match due to the weather conditions.’ It is important to know that this is the third World Cup. The South African leaders read a small booklet and realize that if the match does not take place, France will be in the final thanks to fair play because the South Africans had received a red card in the pool phase. You can see the pressure that was put on the referee in the locker room… »
?? L’émotion de Philippe Saint-André, les larmes aux yeux, la gorge nouée, au moment de livrer tous les secrets de la défaite controversée du XV de France face à l’Afrique du Sud, en 1995.
« I couldn’t resist, I had never said it before. I waited for 28 years. It feels good. » pic.twitter.com/9hzhGDXRHp
— Les Grandes Gueules du Sport – RMC (@GGsportRMC) October 15, 2023
Philippe Saint-André, who never mentioned a « scandal », spoke openly on RMC radio and continued to present the facts, this time focusing on the match itself. « The second thing is that we had four disallowed tries, » he continued. « Thirdly, Ruben Kruger, their flanker, scored in the 26th minute. Before he passed away, he wrote a book in which he admits that he never touched down, » he explained. « Furthermore, at the end of the match, we were five meters away from their try line, and they collapsed the scrum five times. Nowadays, with video refereeing, it would have been a penalty try. »
A lire aussi : France-Afrique du Sud : « Cinq à dix fois plus de contrôles positifs que la moyenne… » L’ombre du dopage plane toujours sur les Springboks
The day before, six players (French) were at the Immodium.
An injustice that had previously been shared by French third-row Abdelatif Benazzi. « It is a feeling of injustice that prevails. I think politics took over. This was confirmed during the official dinner after the final where he (the referee of the semi-final, editor’s note) was thanked with a gold watch, » he had revealed in an interview with AFP.
Also read: France-South Africa: why this quarter-final, a titanic duel, will leave a lasting impression in this 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Pierre Berbizier, who had a very negative experience, referred to it as a « scam » and did not hold back his words. « It’s unbelievable that we celebrate Invictus (the film about the 1995 World Cup, editor’s note) in France when we know that it is probably one of the biggest scams in the history of sports, » complained the former coach of the French team. « The day before, about six French players were using Immodium, » he specifies. Since we only lost by four points, the South Africans thought, ‘for the final, it will be the entire New Zealand delegation.’ The day before the final, they went through the entire route multiple times: toilets – rooms. »