a XV of France fallen from its pedestal

The disappointment of the French after their defeat in Scotland.
The disappointment of the French after their defeat in Scotland. ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT / AFP

A new chapter in the recent history of the XV of France was opening. Flamboyant in the role of outsiders, Fabien Galthié's players had to put on their favorite costumes for the first time. On Sunday, March 8, under the Murrayfield sun, they were debunked from their new status and were unworthy of aspiring to the Grand Slam, well helped by high-spirited Scots. As a brutal reminder of reality, the players of the XV du Chardon imposed themselves against very pale Blues (28-17).

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"It's always harder to hunt than to be hunted", predicted Gaël Fickou last week. Especially when trouble, them, fly in a squadron. In half a time, the Blues had to deal with – in order – the injury to the warm-up of one of their impact players favorite, the hooker replacing Camille Chat, a yellow card, the final exit of their opener, Romain Ntamack, following a concussion and a red card in the pillar Mohamed Haouas. Outside, their stuff was badly shipped.

However, the Blues were warned and insisted not to see themselves more beautiful than they were. "It's a danger, warned Fabien Galthié before the meeting. We are Latins, we have already had this type of experience. " So "Assistant like the others" Jacques Brunel, the same Galthié had angered in August after the French had let slip a large lead to bow in a Scotland-France in preparation for the World Cup. It probably will not console the coach of the Blues but, Sunday, his men did not give in to this addiction. And for good reason, in Edinburgh, they never led.

Nor have they won the second half of this Six Nations Tournament so far. "We were prepared in the same way, even better", noted Galthié, the dark mine. But having to assume the heavy favorite costume, in which these big fellows suddenly floated. And hearing the words "Grand Slam" rustle up to their Marcoussis "bubble", a first in ten years of famine. "We were not talking about the Grand Slam, because we should not break our teeth here, maintained the young Dylan Cretin. We knew we shouldn't fall into their trap, but we fell into it. "

An indiscipline to erase

Murrayfield may have surrounded himself with a double rainbow at the end of the match, but this symbol did not smile on the French. On the contrary, it whistles the end of the state of grace of this new team. Here, Fabien Galthié and his team lost. And after two and a half months in levitation, the return to earth is brutal.


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