France-Italy: the favorites and coup de claw of our special envoys – XV of France


After the victory of the Blues on the Italians in the preliminary game, discover what caught the attention of our special envoys at the Stade de France.

With David Reyrat


A last success before Japan
The Blues duo Brunel-Galthie will fly to Japan having won their last warm-up match against Italy. One can debate the value of this success on limited Italians. But the essential is there: with two successes in three matches, the result is satisfactory. Certainly, Argentina, the first opponent of the Blues on September 21, will be of a different level. But, at the end of a catastrophic six-nation tournament, punctuated by two pants against England and Ireland, the XV of France has raised the bar. The hard part starts, but we knew it …

Few but supportive
Only 28,000 people made the trip to the Stade de France for the last game of the Blues before the World Cup. Lower affluence for a match of the XV of France in the dionysian enclosure. But the fans who made the trip gave voice and never stopped pushing to cheer for their team. The atmosphere was not gloomy, what could be feared. From memory, it was also the first that there was no brass band or orchestra to sing the pre-match anthems. But, just like what is done in Edinburgh with the Flower of Scotland, the end of La Marseillaise chanted a cappella by the public was particularly moving. So, certainly, there were not many people at the Stade de France, but the atmosphere was there and there. Can we talk about disenchantment for the XV of France? "I do not know. A match at the end of August in Paris is complicated, says Captain Jefferson Poirot. I remember especially that 30,000, they pushed a lot. I thank them and I hope they left happy to have seen enough play. "

" READ ALSO –The notes of the Blues: Picamoles and Lauret show themselves, Guitoune disappoints

Ntamack answers this
Titularized for the first time on the occasion of this third and final preseason game, Romain Ntamack delivered a convincing performance on Friday night. The Toulousain, world champion under 20 years in 2018, was illustrated on the front of the attack, shifting Fofana on the test of Huget and then engaging, diagonally to the foot for Huget, the action that leads to Iturria's test. And, in addition, he was impeccable in his role as scorer, signing a 5 of 6 in his transformations. Good promises for the future, even if it still has to make progress in its management of weak times.


A nightmarish quarter of an hour
It was believed from the outset that the Blues would fall back into their midst and sink against the Transalpine. Fifteen minutes catastrophic, where they concede eight penalties, take two yellow cards and even cash a try. Nothing went and Jacques Brunel's players were entangled in their 22 meters, completely cornered. Before Yoann Huget, a high-class action (a 80-meter solo against a penalty try), they out of this bad mess. At once, the Blues have not sunk. "We tried to regain our composure, to be a little more relaxed. We delayed, we tightened together, says Captain Jefferson Poirot. The management of this long, feeble time has been remarkable. We were able to adapt. A few months ago, I am sure that we would have shattered. "Proof that, on this point, the Tricolores have progressed.

" READ ALSO –Brunel: "It's not me who decides"

The bad choices of Guitoune
The return of Sofiane Guitoune to France, after a remarkable season with Stade Toulousain, is one of the good news this summer. After scoring points despite the loss to Edinburgh, three quarters center of the Blues, capable of lightning and beautiful shots, has spoiled some ammunition at the Stade de France. The biggest is this oversupply poorly negotiated in the 46th minute, while space was wide open in the Italian defense. Fortunately, in the wake, Arthur Iturria scored for the Blues. Sofiane Guitoune is in good shape before the Japanese World Cup, her desire to play is obvious. Just stay better channeling his boundless energy …

These opportunities not to let slip
Certainly, the Blues have scored seven tries. They had already spent five to the Scots in Nice, in the first game of preparation. Progress is there. But, to be choosy, it may be regrettable that Friday they missed two that seemed ready made. Louis Picamoles first saw his boxing ball by an Italian when flatten (53). And then, Sofiane Guitoune escaped a ball at the time of marking another try (56th). The Blues have improved their efficiency in the famous "marquee zone" but, in three weeks, during the World Cup, we must not lose any opportunity. It could cost them a lot more …

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