To see the happy faces on a video shot in the locker room of the Stade de France half an hour after the final whistle, the XV of France is satisfied with his second place in the Six Nations Tournament following his success against to Ireland (35-27). Beer in hand for some, they manifested a collective joy in the locker room that French rugby had not known for a long time, since 2011 perhaps.
The joy was not exuberant either, as if the players measured how far they had come in barely a year of living together with Fabien Galthié’s staff and what remains to be done to return to the top of world rugby.
“We are very happy. A year ago, we would never have imagined playing a final of the Six Nations Tournament, ”admitted Gregory Alldritt, third row, an impassable wall on Saturday at the Stade de France and appointed man of the match.
“It is satisfaction that dominates. It is better to grow in victories than in defeats ”, underlines the Toulouse pillar Cyril Baille in an allusion to the failings of French rugby which tended in recent years to be content with setbacks to get closer to the high level.
“We are satisfied, agrees the coach Fabien Galthié, because we have just followed with a convincing victory against Ireland with the offensive bonus. It’s a team that had beaten us eight times in the last nine meetings. We are also satisfied because we finish first tied with England, with 18 points. But we are a little disappointed because, on the goal average, we are second. “
“We do not take ourselves for others”, welcomes Cyril Baille
Charles Ollivon, the captain of the Blues, feeds some regrets, but draws a positive assessment. “There are reasons to hope of course! Even if at the end there is a little mixed feeling (Editor’s note: to be second), the positive and the joy are far superior. I think we grow up, we win, there are both at the same time … Honestly, we also have fun on the pitch. There have been nine tries in two matches (including those against the Welsh). It is true that we take pleasure. “
The future is precisely the horizon to which all players now turn their gaze. “What made our strength from the start is that we do not take ourselves for others,” announces modest Cyril Baille who promises to “get back to work to go and win a title”. “The momentum is there and we intend to keep it going,” adds Ollivon, the Tournament’s top try-scorer with four goals.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr