France’s XV: Defence, Blues leading the way

Intractable, hermetic, united: a wall erected by the Blues in defense on Friday evening in Cardiff gave them a crucial victory against Wales in the Six Nations tournament, during an uncertain match to the end.

Intractable, hermetic, united: a wall erected by the Blues in defense on Friday evening in Cardiff gave them a crucial victory against Wales in the Six Nations tournament, during an uncertain match to the end.

France’s XV made the match’s only attempt in the 9th minute by Anthony Gelonche and secured the rest of his points in front of the poles thanks to Melvin Jaminate, with the final penalty being successful in the 47th minute (final score 13–9).

The Welsh scored three penalties in the first period through the boot of his chiseled opener Dan Bigger.

So nothing. No points scored for more than 30 minutes. Not a drop despite an effort from Romain Nutmac in the 66th minute. For the first time since the arrival in charge of Fabian Galthy, the Blues have not made a single attempt. The last performance in this field comes before the 2019 World Cup in Japan during the group’s success against the United States (33–9).

However, it was expected that the Leak XV scored more than half (51%) of their points in the last twenty minutes since the start of the competition.

But on Friday evening, against the Iron Curtain of the Blues, the Welsh, despite several offenses in the second period, failed several times, drawing a blank.

Josh Navidi is caught by Gregory Aldritt and Romain Nutmac during a Wales-France tournament match in Cardiff on March 11, 2022.

Geoff Caddick – AFP

Result: Test not registered for Wayne Pivac’s team. In the tournament, Cardiff Stadium had not experienced such sterility from its national team for 13 years.

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“It was important for us, with a four-point lead, not to let go of the defense and not expose ourselves. In terms of character, it was great. We had a great defense tonight, it won us over here. allows,” said French third-rower François Croce after the match.

“The team didn’t give up, although we were really in trouble three-quarters of the time. We showed we were strong in defense,” Nutamack said.

– Grand Slam in sight –

The numbers are there: The Blues made 122 tackles against 117 for their opponents, and missed only 9 (14 for the Welsh).

Iron discipline (8 penalties conceded on Friday evening) and defensive strategy: this is the secret of the Blues of the Galthy era, thanks to the oh-so-important contribution of Englishman Sean Edwards, coach of the region.

With its principle of “rush defence” (aggression and rapid climb towards the opponent in the attacking position), Wales have won four titles in the tournament, including three Grand Slams in key (2008, 2012 and 2019).

Geoff Caddick – AFP

So of course, the match wasn’t as “pretty” to look at as the last three Blues garnered victory, during which thirteen attempts were made. But after this narrow success, the French may not know that they are only one win away from their first Grand Slam since 2010.

– “Cold Blooded” –

“The important thing is to win is definitely different, we agree, but the fourth game is the hardest”, admitted Fabian Galthy, who could not digest his two second places at the tournament in 2020 and 2021.

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“We were able to stick to our strategy, we didn’t lose our temper and that was the key thing to be able to win”, summarized Antoine DuPont, one of the symbols of this team in the spirit of victory, Hyper-focused on one objective: winning the Grand Slam, then the 2023 World Cup at home.

“It’s from now that we can talk about it, it’s going to be on everyone’s lips this week but we have to focus on winning this game against England, and we all know what that will lead to.” ,” They said. added.

It will be time to taste later.

Laure Bremont / Cardiff (United Kingdom) (AFP) / © 2022 AFP . By

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