The contract is fulfilled and with manner. By easily beating the Fijdi (44-0), Saturday October 22 in Wangharei (New Zealand), during its third and last group match, the French team validated its ticket for the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup. . If victory seemed more than affordable for the Blues against a team from Fiji who were new to the World Cup and they were facing for the very first time, it was the offensive bonus obtained during this match which proved to be decisive for the rest of the competition.
Thanks to the seven tries scored during this meeting, coach Thomas Darracq’s players are guaranteed to finish “best second” in the group stage of this World Cup. A status that ensures them, also and above all, not to meet the favorites of the competition, the English or the New Zealanders, and to a lesser extent the Canadians, from the quarter-finals.
Before diving into the rest of the competition, Thomas Darracq will be able to congratulate himself on the management of his workforce in this last group match. A week after the defeat against England (7-13), “a very hard-hitting match, even traumatic for many players”according to the coach, the latter has reshuffled his team with eleven changes in the starting fifteen.
Substitutes at the height
Deprived of Laure Sansus, injured in the cruciate ligaments and forced into an early retirement of a few weeks, and several executives left to rest, the Blue did not seem destabilized against a Fijian team playful, but limited. It only took Marine Ménager eight minutes to score the first try of the match, under the eyes of her twin, Romane, present on the bench.
The first of three tries scored by backs during a largely controlled first period. At 20-0 at the break, thanks to two other tries from Mélissande Llorens (28ᵉ) and Maëlle Filopon (40ᵉ), Thomas Darracq was pleased to see his players “trying things, trusting each other and releasing the balls on the exteriors”. “It’s nice to see them play like that. »
It is precisely on the outside that the Bleues continued to insist on adding four tries in the second period, by Filopon (57ᵉ), Emeline Gros (63ᵉ), Emilie Boulard (72ᵉ) and Célia Domain (80ᵉ). “It was complicated in the first two games, we didn’t manage to put our game in place. But, today, we were able to get rid of the balls, we had fun”explained Jessy Trémoulière, who participated in his first match in this World Cup, at the microphone of TF1 after the meeting.
Les Bleues released the horses
Despite the big victory, his words at half-time and the improvement in the offensive animation, we also saw Thomas Darracq pester on certain situations, perched in the stands with an overview of the field. As against South Africa (40-5), the first match of this World Cup, during which they went for the offensive bonus, the Blues were often undisciplined in the first period before showing inaccuracy on several occasions. on certain situations.
“We still make small hand errors that deprive us of points. We have to erase them, fix these little details that could cost us dearly at the end of the competition.conceded Jessy Trémoulière after the meeting. “It’s a shame, the girls could have scored more points because they deserved it. But, overall, the copy is very satisfactory »assured the coach.
Faced with Fijian players who finished at fourteen after the exclusion at the end of the match of Roela Radiniyavuni (79ᵉ), this revamped French team will therefore never have trembled to win very largely and above all ” pleases “key word of this third match. “I’m proud because we produced the game we wanted to produce”explained Gaëlle Hermet, captain of the France team.
Place now in the quarter-finals, a stage of the competition that the Blue, third in 2014 and 2017, aim to pass. For that, it will be necessary to get rid of the fifth of this group stage (or “second best second”). The identity of France’s future opponent will be known next night with the last matches of this first part of the competition, but Les Bleues already know that they could face Italy, Australia or the United States. United.