France go off the rails as plan collapses

France had a plan to unsettle New Zealand in their Rugby World Cup quarterfinal on Saturday but it fell apart after just 10 minutes in a 62-13 thrashing at the Millennium Stadium.
Les Bleus were fighting toe to toe with the All Blacks, looking to disrupt their confidence by staying close on the scoreboard, when Frederic Michalak’s clearance kick was charged down and Brodie Retallick scored a try with the French flyhalf sustaining an injury in the process.
From then on, it went south for Les Bleus, who missed another occasion to narrow the gap down to one point when Morgan Parra missed an easy penalty at 10-6.
“In our sport you have to show dignity when you win and when you lose as well,” head coach Philippe Saint-Andre told a news conference after his last match in charge, four years after taking over from Marc Lievremont.
“We knew that to put them in difficulty, we had to make them doubt by staying close on the scoreboard or to put ourselves ahead early on.
“But we conceded this early try and we wasted an opportunity to come back to 10-9. Then when they started to pile up the points it was too difficult.”
The New Zealand backs were just too quick and too powerful for the sorry French, with Noa Nakaitaci and Scott Spedding bouncing off Julian Savea when the All Blacks wing scored a try before halftime.
France, however, were 16 points behind at the break (29-13) and after already overcoming 14 and 13-point deficits against New Zealand, they thought a third World Cup upset was still possible after 2007 and 1999.
“We put them on the back foot at the beginning of the second half but we failed to score,” said captain Thierry Dusautoir.
“Instead we took a yellow card (when Louis Picamoles was sin-binned for punching Richie McCaw) and we conceded tries on counter-attacks.
“This team, when you don’t hold the score, they play even more freely and they try spectacular things.”
As a result, France conceded a total of nine tries, more points than they had ever conceded to New Zealand and a record ninth defeat in a row against the All Blacks.
“Today we tried to put rhythm into the game but they were simply too strong and too fast for us,” said Saint-Andre.
“They are two or three classes above,” added Dusautoir.

One Comments

  1. Come on springboks

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