the drop, precious remedy of the XV of France

It was thanks to a drop Camille Lopez that the Blues have won (23-21) against Argentina, for their debut in the World.

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At the end of the match against Argentina, on Saturday, Camille Lopez celebrates the victory of the France team. BEHROUZ MEHRI / AFP

We had never experienced such an atmosphere in a subway train of Tokyo. It must be said that this was our second trip, but still. On the ground, French fans seated one behind the other, swinging from front to rear, who offer the other passengers to be carried from arm to arm; two Japanese and one Irish accept the "paquito" under applause. Then, between two childish refrains ("Brother Jacques" and "On the bridge of Avignon"), this song of Toulouse: "And where are they, and where are the Clermontois? "

And where are the Clermontois? It was to forget the drop of victory, a few hours earlier! This decisive kick without which France would not narrowly beat Argentina (23-21), for its debut in this World Cup, Saturday, September 21!

In fact, the Blues owe their success to the gesture of Clermont Camille Lopez. Successful kick, like that of February against the Welsh. A precious gesture: the XV of France had not succeeded in World Cup since that of François Trinh-Duc, during a quarter-final won against England, in … 2011. Gesture all the more appreciable that Camille Lopez was just entering the game.

Saturday afternoon, he only crossed the pitch in the 68th minute. His first ball? A throw-in, just after a penalty that had allowed the Argentine to return to the score (21-20). His second? This successful drop-goal, that of the French victory, eleven minutes from the end.

Read also Rugby World Cup 2019: a successful start, but complicated, for the XV of France

"It was like ten thousand"

Camille Lopez with his coach Jacques Brunel, Saturday, September 21, in Tokyo.
Camille Lopez with his coach Jacques Brunel, Saturday, September 21, in Tokyo. FRANCK FIFE / AFP

In action, release the ball, bounce it to the ground, then kick it to send it over the posts. If it is successful, it is three more points (as for a penalty typed when stopped). The principle is simple to describe, much less to execute. Even less late in the game, when the pressure of an opponent and that of the stopwatch threaten you all at once.

"The beauty of the drop, we do not care," Lopez assures, modest, after the match. We insist anyway. Tell him. "It's been a while since we were running behind the ball, we did not have too many possessions, we were a little under pressure. "

The opener was successful in his shot in the 22 meters Argentine, in ideal position to receive the pass of Antoine Dupont. "In this area, I think about it, I think it's a good time to organize it. Some (Appearance) told me, "It was 10 miles down the road you wanted to drop." "

After the shooting, a few seconds of floating for the shooter and the balloon. The first speaks of the second: "I try to apply myself to go high enough, not to be opposed. When I see him go high, I tell myself that he will never succeed. " Understand: behind the poles. " It took a while to get there. " But he went there. Ric-rac. "Whether it is ten meters above or ten centimeters, the important thing is that it has passed. "

Camille Lopez insists: "It's the work of a whole team. (…) I put this drop, but the first period is that it allows us to go for this game. " Twenty points of enrollment for France in the first period, only three in a second. His.

Novice World Cup, the Clermont could again play on October 2, against the United States, and four days later, against Tonga. Before facing the toughest opponent in this group C, England, who owes a drop to his 2003 world title (and the only one in the entire Northern Hemisphere). A cold-blooded gesture by Jonny Wilkinson, who already predicts for 2019 a World Cup "The most open in history".

Wesley Fofana package

The center of the XV of France Wesley Fofana, injured with a thigh, forfeited the end of the World Cup, announced Saturday the French Rugby Federation. He is replaced by Pierre-Louis Barassi, called for the first time in blue. Fofana (31 years, 48 ​​caps) had forfeited the first game of the Blues on Saturday against Argentina (23-21), after being touched against Italy in the last warm-up match on August 30. This package precipitates the end of international career of Fofana, who said that this World would be his last adventure in selection, if he participated.


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