at the end of a fierce fight, France bows slightly against the invincible English

Once again, the equation proved insoluble for the XV of France women, but the gap is closing. Opposed to the immense favorites of the World Cup, the Blues were unable, on Saturday October 15, to interrupt the relentless series of successes of the England team. Victorious in their twenty-seventh meeting in a row (7-13) – increasing their record, for women as for men –, the Red Roses got the better of the French in the second match of the New Zealand World Cup. Having obtained the defensive bonus point, the Blues do not have to be ashamed of their performance.

“Today, defensively, we played the perfect game. And we make them doubtwelcomed captain Gaëlle Hermet after the meeting, at the microphone of TF1, despite the defeat. “I’m proud of this group, we showed [aux Anglaises] that we were present. It was not the most important match of the competition, and we give them an appointment for the rest. »

After only twelve minutes of play, the French had to do without Laure Sansus, their scrum half. Injured in the knee, the best player of the last Six Nations Tournament, who is playing her last international competition, has given way to Pauline Bourdon. And the physical impact of the rough English did not stop. On a defensive tackle, the third line Romane Ménager received a K.-O. and was in turn forced to leave her place.

Read also: Women’s Rugby World Cup, France-England: Laure Sansus is getting closer to the time of the big start

Opposed to a team sure of its strength – to the point of not attempting penalties at the start of the game – the French applied themselves in defense. “They created a bubble of trustexhibited the second line Madoussou Fall, Friday in The Team. They must tell themselves that they are the queens of the world. » And the Blues did not miss the meeting in terms of aggressiveness, failing to offer themselves many opportunities in attack. Suffering white waves on white waves, the Blues only cracked once in the first period, on an incursion by captain Emily Scarratt, after a work of undermining the Red Roses.

“The last meetings against France ended with very tight scores, so we know it will be very, very difficult”, underlined the same Emily Scarratt in the week. If the English have dominated the world for three years, they know the Blues are firmly determined to abuse their authority over world rugby. And to end their streak of eleven defeats in a row against the Red Roses – the last blue victory dating back to the 2018 Six Nations Tournament.

“It’s a big fight”

“It’s really huge what the girls are producing, it’s a big fight”, welcomed coach Thomas Darracq, at the break, when asked about TF1. And to call his troops, led (0-10) but up to the challenge, to “break free in attack”.

With more than 70% possession, the English could have worsened the mark on many occasions, but their well-oiled mechanics jammed on a rough blue line, like an intractable Marjorie Mayans (24 veneers). Omnipresent in defense – to the point of inserting themselves under an English striker about to score a try twice – the Blues struggled to transpose their energy into attack.

But a quarter of an hour from the siren, the women’s XV of France found the fault on one of its rare attacks. On an inspiration at the foot of Caroline Drouin, Joanna Grisez recovered the ball, slipped between two English women before serving Gaëlle Hermet for the test. Injured at the start of the tournament, the captain of Les Bleues, entered the running after the injury of Romane Ménager, revived the French and the game (7-13, 64e).

Barring a converted try, Les Bleues felt the feat was within reach – the English had never before lost a match in the group stages of the World Cup. In a breathless end to the match, where each team wanted to avoid breaking, the English maintained their lead – leaving the Blues with a deserved defensive bonus point.

Read the interview: Women’s Rugby World Cup: Joanna Grisez wants to “transcribe the energy that we can have at VII”

At the end of an incessant test of strength, England therefore took the best. Once more. “The team that manages to impose its game will win, and we both have the qualities to do so”, warned this week the English captain, Emily Scarratt. If the “final” of this group C went to the Red Roses, the World Cup is still long. “Unfortunately, finishing very close does not win games. So I hope we will meet again soon to really win., concluded the tricolor coach Thomas Darracq, at the microphone of TF1. The two ambitious teams could, indeed, meet again later in the competition.

Defeated for the twelfth time in a row on Saturday by their rivals from across the Channel, the players of the France team have found that putting an end to this long series of defeats is a realistic ambition.

Read also: Women’s Rugby World Cup: the ambitious Blues


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