The hunting table is now complete: the French team led by Fabien Galthié has beaten all the major nations of rugby union. Saturday, November 12 in Marseille, in a sold-out Vélodrome stadium, the Blues snatched a prestigious victory (30-26) against the South Africans, reigning world champions.
From Ireland to England, via New Zealand, no nation can resist these French people, who in just one year fell from the nine other members of the World Top 10. Not even the Springboks, therefore, yet their pet peeves. A team they had not beaten since November 9, 2009, a series of seven games without success.
Above all, by offering themselves the South Africans, Fabien Galthié’s men have remained undefeated since November 6, 2021. Twelve wins in a row. Enough to make the VX of France one of the big favorites for the World Cup, which will take place from September 8 to October 28, 2023, at home.
Concussions and cartons
This Saturday, the tricolor captain Antoine Dupont and his teammates expected a tough meeting, but probably not as much commitment from their opponents. From the 12e minute, Pieter-Steph du Toit melted on the Rochelais Jonathan Danty, receiving in stride the first red card of the game, synonymous with definitive expulsion. The French quarter-center, he had to go out on concussion protocol. Four other players will meet the same fate during the match.
Still in the first period, Toulouse full-back Thomas Ramos showed stable and precise footing, scoring three penalties and converting Cyril Baille’s try (22e). Imitated, shortly after by the South African Cheslin Kolbe after the test of his captain, Siya Kolisi (30e).
At the break, the Blues led 16 to 10. But shortly after returning from the locker room, things went wrong. Antoine Dupont was in turn guilty of a nasty exit – aerial this time – on Cheslin Kolbe, in the heart of the French 22 meters. The English referee Wayne Barnes waited to watch the images before sanctioning him with a red card.
The two teams returned to the same level and the Blues cornered without their scrum half, the Springboks took the opportunity to chain the offensives until taking the advantage on a try from Kurt-Lee Arendse, transformed by Faf de Klerk (53e).
In a stifling end to the game, Thomas Ramos and his foot kept the French afloat, supported by an excellent French defense. The South Africans, reduced to thirteen after the yellow card of Deon Fourie (70e), ended up folding.
The try of the pillar Sipili Falatea in the last minutes of the game (74e) will allow the XV of France to regain the ascendancy. Despite the challenges of the Boks, it will be validated and the Blues will win on the wire, as was the case last week against Australia.
The third and last match of the autumn tour will oppose, on November 20, the troops of Fabien Galthié against the XV of Japan, in Toulouse. In the event of another victory, the tricolors will end their year 2022 undefeated. A feat worthy of them.
The XV of Italy beats Australia… for the first time in its history
It is a feat and not the least. This Saturday, November 12, in Florence, the Italian rugby team got the better of Australia after a test match as rhythmic as it was undecided: 28-27. Unheard of for the Azzurri, in 19 confrontations between the two teams. The Italians made the difference thanks to three tries from Pierre Bruno (18e) and Ange Capuozzo (25e64e). Led throughout the game, the Wallabies could have won on the wire if Ben Donaldson, barely entering the game, had converted the try scored by Neville in the 81e minute. “It’s an incredible victory, there are no words to describe it”, exulted hooker Gianmarco Lucchesi on the Sky channel. Kieran Crowley’s men confirm their progress since their seminal success against Wales in March, at the end of the Six Nations Tournament.