On the lawn of the Principality Stadium in Cardiff where the XV of France had known so many disappointments and where it had not been imposed for ten years, the lap of honor of the French had a jubilant flavor and suddenly washed away the honor of a rooster too often trampled lately. Three games and three victories, including two against the dominant nations of the northern hemisphere (England and Wales), the French, whether they like it or not, now apply for the final victory in the Six Nations Tournament, a happiness fleeing them since 2010.

We promised hell and much worse to these little French people who accused the balance of a deficit of experience normally crippling, but this generation fed by coach Fabien Galthié and his staff definitely does not do things like the others. Just before the break, in a defensive sequence that carries the paw of the English Shaun Edwards who arrived in the fall at the bedside of the French to instill in them the basics of his rush-defense, Captain Charles Ollivon’s teammates disgusted the Welsh and managed to lower the decibels in a tone under the closed roof of this temple of the oval balloon.

“We knew we made them doubt”

“It was an incredible match, a superb advertisement for rugby,” said the defensive official, adding that he hadn’t celebrated success too much out of respect for the old selection he still trained. last October. “When we saw their gaze at halftime, we knew we were making them doubt,” said rear Anthony Bouthier, author of his first international test for his third cap. The Welsh did not know the Montpellier who lives “a dream” in his own words, they discovered it at their expense.

“It’s a group that was born. Of course, a team, but, as Charles Ollivon says, we are working at 42 in the week, “wanted to remind coach Fabien Galthié, aware that in the coming days we will have to fight the euphoria born in the wake of exploits of Ntamack and his comrades.

Gaël Fickou and his teammates have just beaten the Welsh in Cardiff. They can savor this victory./AFP/Anne-Christine POUJOULAT
Gaël Fickou and his teammates have just beaten the Welsh in Cardiff. They can savor this victory./AFP/Anne-Christine POUJOULAT

Inevitably, we come to talk about a Grand Slam. “Today (Saturday), we are so happy, we want to take advantage of the present moment, tempers the coach right away. The players are so exhausted, they have given so much… We are advancing in stages. There we crossed the stage of this match. Now, make way for recovery, the pleasure of spending time together, playing the match between us in an offbeat way … I think it’s called the third half, right? The night in Cardiff therefore promised to be blue. French rugby had been waiting for this for so long.

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