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Romain Ntamack: “All happy to have put the French flag at the top” – 6 Nations

The young opener of the XV of France delivered a very high level performance against the Welsh. But the champion of France in Toulouse is careful to stay grounded. “No runaway”.

By our special correspondent in Cardiff

How do you feel after this 10 year long expected Cardiff victory?

Romain Ntamack: It’s incredible, fabulous. I have no other words. For us, the team, and for French rugby, it is very important to have won with style. We felt in the stands a craze from the French supporters who had made the trip to Cardiff. It’s awesome. In a hostile stadium we really heard them. They turned the Millennium off a bit. We felt them behind us, like a 16e man. It really helped us through the tough times.

What is the impact of this success on the sequel?

We do not yet realize the significance of this victory. It is important to us. But also for all French rugby. She does a lot of good. We started looking at the phones with all the messages received, a lot of support. We are all happy with that, to have raised the French flag to the top.

READ ALSO: XV of France: a team was born in Cardiff

It feels like something happened during this match …
Yes. These are matches like that, full of 1time at 80e minute, which make us progress. Inevitably, there were weak moments but that we were able to manage in the best way. We respected our game plan from start to finish. We must now build on what has been good and look at what has been worse. This is how we will progress. But first, let’s savor and go home to rest a little (smiles).

“The buddies made my job easier”

Did your opponents change their eyes on you during the match?

No, not directly. But, when we saw their looks a little lost at the end of the first half when they pounded our line and we got out of it, at 14, without taking points, it really put a blow to them the head. And us, it does us a lot of good. When you see big players bow their heads, it gives more energy …

Tell us about your interception that rocked the meeting…

It’s 50/50, all or nothing. Either it tries for us, or it tries for them. There are still people on the Welsh side so I try it because otherwise there is a try. There is a bit of luck too. It puts our heads out of the water and it pushes them a little more. It hurts their head and it gives us extra energy to stick to the 80e minute.

READ ALSO: The notes of the Blues: Dupont and Ntamack, a hinge in solid gold

You have been named man of the match. How do you welcome this individual distinction?

When a pack advances like this, it hurts the opponent; when behind that it communicates as much, necessarily, in 10, it’s a treat. The buddies made my job easier.

Precisely, we have the impression that it is a team of friends who give everything for the player next door …

The group lives well yes. He is serene. At 42 or 28, everyone works in the same direction. There are disappointed but the guys are there to make the team shine, whether they play or not. When you have the chance to start matches, you want to make others pay for this work. It’s a great group with a great frame of mind. We get along well. And we are creating a good atmosphere in this group. You can feel it over the course of the matches, I think.

We check the boxes one after the other. There is no runaway

As against England, you have scored 100% again. No one can doubt your scoring talent …
I feel better and better. I was not successful against Italy (50%, note) and I still had these failures in mind. I worked hard all week. I tried to ignore it and it smiled at me.

Why did you go out? Were you injured?

I took a hit on the lap belt, nothing serious. But when I straightened up, it pulled me on the abs. I preferred to leave my place to a fresh teammate rather than being a burden for the team in this complicated end of the match.

READ ALSO: Le Roux almost retired internationally

Talking about Grand Slam, is it taboo?

No. But we don’t talk about it. The only word that came back at the end of the match was pleasure. No one has spoken of the Grand Slam. We only focus on the next game. We check the boxes one after the other. There is no runaway. We know we still have a long way to go, a lot of work to do, to be the best. The goal is to win the matches. We will now focus on the one in Scotland, which promises to be difficult and complicated against a team that never gives up. And, if we win there, we will have a final against Ireland in Paris …

Words gathered in mixed zone


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