the essential At the end of a match of an exceptional level and a crazy intensity, the Blues dominated the All Blacks (40 – 24) and officially became a great world nation again.
But before aiming for the top of the hierarchy, it was still necessary to successfully pass each step. Since the 6 Nations Tournament 80, the Blues have progressed but above all are seducing. It was now time to make the promises come true, to make the wildest hopes and dreams come true. A title ? It is certainly honorary after three victories in as many fall outings, but oh so precious. And there was so much more … When it comes to becoming the best, you have to beat those who are considered to be. In this sport, they are called the All Blacks and presented themselves at the Stade de France. Then, as much to admit, it was a long time since the French players had not had enough to look them straight in the eye as was the case in Saint-Denis.
The tricolor furia
This Saturday, the Blues knew they were strong, very strong. Stronger than their (yet) formidable adversaries. And they only needed three short minutes to make it clear to 80 000 privileged spectators seated (well, not often…) in the stands . Incredible pressure on the New Zealand attackers, a touch five meters from the in-goal, a first maul carried and Peato Mauvaka’s fourth try in November! Most impressive, it was almost the authority with which the partners of “Captain Dupont” put the All Blacks in their place (modest before the break this Saturday) thereafter. Because in champions, they reacted to return to 7-6 after ten minutes of play.
Because also, led largely at the end of the first period, they forgot a penalty twenty-two meters in front to prefer a penalty. Failure. Yes because, in the meantime, the “Tout Noirs” (dressed in all white for the occasion) had suffered the terrible French fury, materialized by a full vista test by Romain Ntamack (14 e) and another from the inevitable Mauvaka (32 e). When Galthié had presented him, ahead of this tour, as the ideal finisher, he certainly did not believe he was saying so well…
A stadium in a trance
The problem ? It is that, even when they do not appear in a big night, the Blacks remain the Blacks. Go and explain how, in two stages, three movements and as many magic tricks, this team – in agony before joining the locker room – found itself only two lengths from the XV of France per hour of play. Three tries by Jordie Barrett, Rieko Ioane and Ardie Savea, then there they are again. To all those who thought – and rightly so – that the Blues were too superior to foresee the slightest suspense, this selection reminded us why it is so unclassifiable …
But, this Saturday, it is France, in any case this new golden generation, which had decided to engrave its mark in stone. A faultless Jaminet at the foot, an exceptional recovery from Ntamack from his in-goal to finish igniting a stadium in a trance, then a decisive interception of Penaud for the fourth try (67 e), and the Blues flew away. Definitively. The Galthié era has clearly shifted into another dimension. The history of this group is running, until the World Cup 2023. When you have to meet in the opening match, at the Stade de France, the All Blacks of course.
The technical sheet
In Saint-Denis (Stade de France) – MT: 24 -6; 80 000 spectators; referee: Mr. Barnes (England)
Winners: 4E Mauvaka (3, 32)) , Ntamack (12), Crestfallen (67); 4T, 4P (26, 55, 63, 80 + 1) Jaminet
Defeated: 3rd J. Barrett (47), R. Ioane (49), A. Savea (59); 2T (51, 55), 2P (7, 000) J. Barrett
Score evolution: 7-0, 7-3, 7-6, 14 – 6, 17 – 6, 24 – 6 / 24 – 11, 24 – 17, 26 – 18, 27 – 25, 30 – 25, 32 – 25
FRANCE : Jaminet; Penaud, Fickou, Danty, Villière (o) Ntamack (Jalibert, 67), (m) Dupont (cap., M. Lucu , 76); Jelonch (Woki, 61 then Cretin, 71), Alldritt (Jelonch, 61), Cros; Willemse (R. Taofifenua, 47), Woki (Flament, 61); Atonio (Bamba, 47), Mauvaka (Barlot, 59), Yawns (Big, 49)
NEW ZEALAND: J. Barrett; Jordan (Havili, 52), R. Ioane, Tupaea, Bridge (o) Mo’unga (D. McKenzie, 68), (m) A. Smith (Weber, 60); Cane, A. Savea, A. Ioane (Frizell, 60); Whithelock (cap., Vaa’i, 65), Retallick; Laulala (Tuungafasi, 48), Coles (Taukei’aho, 48) Moody (Bower, 47)
Excluded. tempo. : TO. Savea (61, anti-game)
The score of the match: 16 / 20
The men of the match: Peato MAUVAKA and Romain NTAMACK (France)