Good fortune must end up changing sides. How many confrontations in recent years with these Welsh devils, who remain uncertain for a long time, and play nothing in favor of the XV of Leek? A single victory for the Blues over the last nine oppositions, not the least success in Cardiff for ten years and a Grand Slam 2010 long lost in the memories of French rugby, it was far too much, certainly.
The victory of a state of mind
This is in any case what dared to think for a few days these young white-billed XV of France, swearing to make no complex against Welshmen displaying almost four times more selections than them (859 against 254 for holders ). The unconscious even said they were in a hurry to go test their strength of character. Lady! This young generation has guts. And she worked to demonstrate this, Saturday February 22, for this third game of the benchmark VI Nations Tournament. On arrival, a third success in a row in the competition (27-23), the certainty of having crossed a milestone there, and of course, the pride of having been up to expectations this time, after years of vain hope.
“It’s the state of mind that made us win again”, commented Captain Charles Olivon after the meeting. “We play with our heart, with our guts”, added the opening half Romain Ntamack. Effectively. These Blues left on the meadow a crazy energy, showed a defensive aggressiveness of all times, even reduced by twice to 14, a riot of solidarity which this time did not die out at the end of the game. Until the end the Welsh have given up nothing. But until the end the Blues held the shock. What was probably missing until then in the XV of France, feverish or too just physically in the last quarter of an hour.
On the way to a Grand Slam?
No drop in diet this time. The fellows of Fabien Galthié learned from their defensive wanderings against the Italians to tighten the lines. With the exception of winger Teddy Thomas, once again missing out on his match, all the Blues made an impeccable defensive copy, sometimes just bordering on excessive precipitation by attacking the opponent and multiplying the faults which have long allowed the Welsh to stay in the game. But the main thing was there: in this capacity to resist, but not only. The Blues also remained lucid to score three tries, including two opportunists from the rear Anthony Bouthier and Romain Ntamack.
“The players pulled out the match, could congratulate coach Fabien Galthié. It’s hell here, but it’s also magic. And we got what we are looking for: emotions “. And the possibility of dreaming ever higher, with perhaps even, if in the momentum these Blues have Scotland on March 8, a Grand Slam in the crosshairs against Ireland at the Stade de France on March 14. Who would have bet it only three months ago?