The XV of France signed a nice victory against Scotland Saturday in Nice (32-3) in friendly. A first preparation match for the 2019 World Cup successfully for the Blues, with five tries registered and no cashed. A performance that must however be weighed against the liabilities of the team of France and the composition of XV thistle, which should have another face on August 24 for the second test-match in Edinburgh.
It's good for morale ! A victory, by definition, is almost always the best way to build confidence and power. A victory of the French rugby team, so sluggish in recent years, is even more so. So, for these Blues en route for the 2019 World Cup in Japan (from September 20 to November 2), all that is good to take, such as this victory won against Scotland this Saturday, August 17 in friendly (32- 3).
Many changes in these Blues
For this first test-match out of three before the big appointment in Asia, the team of France presented itself at the Allianz-Riviera of Nice with its new staff, that is to say the coach Jacques Brunel , and especially Fabien Galthié, deputy for the moment and next boss of the Blues from 2020.
Missed the call, however, several players in physical trouble, including Paul Willemse, Etienne Falgoux and Geoffrey Doumayrou, injured this summer and package for the World Cup. Doumayrou, whose renouncement was made official Thursday, will be replaced in the group by Virimi Vakatawa, as announced Midi Olympique and L'Equipe earlier this Saturday.
Despite these changes more or less deep and physical condition still imperfect given the current preparation, the Blues have presented themselves as they were against the Scots, that is to say with a very experimental team, with players wanting to prove themselves - they are still 37 in the group, while the final list of 31 Mondialists is expected by September 2 - and with the desire to do well. This was seen on the lawn Nice.
Good first, Médard sees double
One minute and thirty seconds is the time it took for Alivereti Raka, 24, to score his first international try in his first selection. Then, the most experienced Maxime Médard, 32 years old, added to the bill by spinning the test at the end of the line (22nd). Scotland, with its team reworked and amputated most of its usual holders, could not react in the first period. Grégory Alldritt hit the nail by scoring the third try on an action where the Blues dominated in touch as in melee (33).
The second act was less removed, more rough, but the XV of France ended up concretizing again its domination. Maxime Médard scored twice on a very good recovery with a François Cros excellent maneuver for his first cape (54th). And finally, a last slalom of Damian Penaud sent Antoine Dupont to the fifth and final test (60th).
After difficult years, a last tournament of 6 Nations complicated with heavy defeats and all the changes made by the French Rugby Federation in the spring, legitimate concerns accompany the XV of France. They are clearly not swept this Saturday night, but the morale is much better after this great victory deserved, without testing cashed and almost without burr (only two tests transformed by Camille Lopez).
The situation should be different on August 24 for the second test-match, still against Scotland, but at Edinburgh's Murrayfield stadium this time. The XV of the Thistle will be in better arrangements. The challenge of the Blues: to confirm, to project with a little more certainties towards Japan.