Six nations tournament, France-Scotland: Blues want to bounce back after Irish failure

Beatenly beaten in Dublin for its second match, the XV of France faces the Ecossais on Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Stade de France. An opponent still undefeated in this edition of the competition.

by Clément Martel

All players will tell you: the oval balloon is not the most suitable when it comes to bouncing. However, it is the task that awaits the XV of France, two weeks after its defeat in Ireland (19-32) on the second day of the Six Nations tournament; A reverse that has put an end to the series of fourteen victories of the Blues.

“We have fallen, we have to get up,” insisted the tricolor coach, Fabien Garthié, Friday, February 24, when I announce the group brought to face Scotland, Sunday at 4 p.m., at the stadium of France. Opposed to an XV of thistle more pungent than ever, which arrives in France with two successful successes of rank and will present its “best team”, the Blues will have a lot to do.

“The dynamics are not the same,” conceded the second Romain Taofifenua line. But, he promised: “We’re going to do everything to find victory this weekend!” “Today, we are still in a position to win [the Six Nations], said Karim Ghezal, the Contraîneur des Blues, Responsible for the conquest. We saw it in 2020: the English came to lose with us and they won the tournament. In 2021, we were in a position to win it in the last match. “No question, for the French, to be put down by their first defeat for more than a year, and on the lawn of the numbers a world in addition.

Especially since, after a preparation and a beginning of competition which saw them pass from Capbreton (Landes) to Rome and Dublin, the Blues found their “base” of Marcoussis (Essonne). “It feels good! It’s cool, we find our bearings, was delighted Romain Taofifenua this week. We are impatient to find our stadium too. The fervor at the Stade de France is just huge, the public is still behind us . Frankly, it helps us a lot in difficult times. “

” we must raise our level “

If the rain came to water on Wednesday, the lawn of the National Rugby Center was able to make some regret the Roman sun, the XV of France has on the “home” atmosphere to push it to the last opponent who came ‘Impose in Saint -Denis – at the very end of the 2021 tournament. But the latter does not intend to disassemble. “If we want to be the team that we believe that we can be, a big atmosphere should not prevent us from playing,” warned Gregor Townsend, the Scottish coach, when launching this edition of the Six Nations, end January.

In constant progress for a few years, the XV of thistle – “more talented than ever”, dixit the coach of England, Steve Barthwick – succeeded in the competition. Winners in England for their entry in the running, the partners of Finn Russell went through Wales – the twice with the offensive bonus – and are, with Ireland, the only ones still capable of making the Grand Slam.

“We have two victories and it’s cool. But we will have to be much better if we want to beat France at home,” said the Scottish Center Sione Tuipulotu this week, before ensuring that his team “N ‘has not yet played [his] full potential “. Aware of having to raise their tone in the face of title holders, the Ecossais therefore intend to offer a major challenge to the Blues.

The XV of France, who had forgotten how to lose, must now learn to get up. “It was interesting to live this defeat, to analyze it and to seek to understand what are the keys to be even better,” said Fabien Galkié. Beyond this Sunday’s match, his troops are targeting victory in the World Cup at home, in the fall (September 8-October 28). The recipe is already known: “We have to raise our level – physics, technique and strategy -, and do it simultaneously to win this type of match.”

If he replaced the first Uini Atonio line, the pillar of the team suspended for two games, by Mohamed Haouas, the French technician has chosen to trust the same group to relaunch the machine after the Dublinois Clear. “Our players have proven in the face of different opponents that they were able to take up any challenge,” he insisted. Since taking office, the person concerned, his team has won 80 % of his meetings. A percentage that the Blues will certainly be keen to note against Scotland.

/Media reports cited above.