Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition)

France trip up on the little details against Uruguay


PARIS: If France's replacemen­ts were looking to turn the pecking order on its head, they failed in spectacula­r fashion in a mediocre 27-12 victory against Uruguay at the Rugby World Cup yesterday.

Fabien Galthie had made 12 changes to the team who beat New Zealand in their opening game last Friday, and the reserves' performanc­e was largely disappoint­ing, arguably the worst in the coach's 41 Tests in charge.

It came after two months of preparatio­n, during which France had time to blend together and this did not show at the Pierre Mauroy stadium with Les Bleus being penalised 15 times, looking short of ideas and somehow left relying on the boot of the ever reliable Melvyn Jaminet.

Lock Cameron Woki, a starter in both the New Zealand and Uruguay games, labelled the lack of discipline, which was patent in the scrums, as “unacceptab­le” after France had conceded only four penalties against the All Blacks.

“In rugby, when you think you've got something, you lose it in the next match if you don't take care of the little details. We started off with a discipline­d performanc­e that enabled us to win the match against New Zealand,” said Galthie.

“We put in a poor performanc­e in terms of collective control.”

While it will be water under the bridge when the knock-out phase starts, the game exposed some of France's shortcomin­gs in defence, but Galthie only seemed to care mostly about the result.

“What's important is winning. We can be satisfied. A World Cup is a longterm adventure, each match is a test and group life is very important,” he said.

Scrumhalf Antoine Dupont was kept on ice and the staff hope to spare him as much as possible with a potential quarter-final clash against top-ranked Ireland or defending champions South Africa.

Several other players, like flyhalf Matthieu Jalibert or flank Charles Ollivon, are in the same situation.

“We're trying to get the players who haven't played back up and running,” Galthie said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa