The spring heat encouraged a walk on Saturday in Rome. And the XV of France did not hesitate to take advantage of Italian hospitality. Large winners of the Squadra Azzura on Saturday (50-10), the Blues have perfectly succeeded in their trip and their entry into the Six Nations Tournament. Beyond the forty-point gap, the biggest difference between the two teams since 2009, here’s what to take away from this easy inaugural success before going to Dublin next Sunday.
Cold and clinical. In the wake of a still very inspired Antoine Dupont, the XV of France methodically engulfed the loopholes left by the Italian defense. Against and thanks to the speed of Teddy Thomas or Gabin Villière, the Blues have struck opponents who have yet had 57% of possession and spent more time than them in the opposing camp.
“In our preparation, we have emphasized the fact that every point counts”, insists the manager of the Blues Raphaël Ibanez. “It is very important not to miss the slightest test opportunity, supports the third line Dylan Cretin, the first Frenchman to enter the Italian in-goal on Saturday. We said to ourselves throughout the match that we shouldn’t let go of this. “
A concentrated defense, but still to be refined
It is the big satisfaction of the day. Even dominated as in the heart of the first period, Fabien Galthié’s men showed enough strength to finally concede only one try. Last year, the Blues took three at the Stade de France against the same opponent, left Saint-Denis with 22 points scored. These largesse had weighed heavily in a Tournament where the French had finished second due to a poorer point average than the English.
“We respected them until the end, it was important. It’s important for the future to win on a gap like that, ”said winger Gabin Villière. “We were able to keep a cool head in the face of their sequences, then come back home and be incisive,” continues Dylan Cretin. Be careful, however, because the Irish will be able to better exploit the intervals sometimes found too easily by the Italians.
A discipline that is improving, but …
This was one of the work axes of the preparation camp in Nice, where the staff brought in the former referee Jérôme Garcès. Expected on the discipline after a complicated fall in this sector, the Blues have been penalized nine times. This is much less than the 16 unfavorable whistles against the Welsh in October, but it is not yet that, especially as the XV of France had already been penalized five times after a little more than 20 minutes of Saturday game.
“We still make too many mistakes for my taste, it gives them balls that they should not have, regrets Dylan Cretin. We have to eliminate that from our game. ”“ It’s always difficult to find the balance between commitment, ferocity and control, believes Fabien Galthié. We believe this point will improve exponentially, little by little, with hard work. »Confirmation of progress hoped for in Dublin on Sunday.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr