“We changed at that moment”: what allowed France to overthrow New Zealand

Sluggish, the XV of France ended up taking over New Zealand.

“We changed at that moment”: what allowed France to overthrow New Zealand

Sluggish, the XV of France ended up taking over New Zealand. For the players, one element helped turn the match around.

Lucid, hot. At the end of the French team's match against New Zealand, Antoine Dupont came to deliver his analysis of a meeting that the Blues managed to turn in their favor. The captain of the Tricolores very quickly identified the key moment which made it possible to turn the tide of a match which was off to a bad start.

It must be said that the fear of a fiasco crossed the stands of the Stade de France when, after 1'30 of play, Mark Telea flattened the first try of the match in favor of New Zealand. Air conditioning in Saint-Denis, when the mercury was 30 degrees. And after 40 minutes, no one was reassured, the XV of France and its staff first. Yet the Blues outscored the Blacks by 27 points, sending them down for the first time in a World Cup group match.

A performance made possible thanks to the coaching of Fabien Galthié. “We changed at that moment, with the contribution of the finishers,” explained Antoine Dupont after the meeting. In a quarter of an hour (49th to 63rd), the staff brought in five players: four forwards (Taofifenua, Aldegheri, Gros and Boudehent) and one back (Vincent). “Finishers”, as it is now customary to say with the Blues, who have never lived up to their name so well, as the freshness of the bench allowed France to gain the upper hand over their opponent. Satisfaction for the coach who, “in terms of coaching, managed to do everything [he] wanted to do.”

Paul Boudehent and his five tackles in 15 minutes, as well as Arthur Vincent and his two balls recovered on the ground - including one leading to Jaminet's try - notably proved Fabien Galthié right. In a team a little inhibited by the challenge, as several players recognized, “the entry from the bench did a lot of good”, commented François Cros, and “brought a lot” in the eyes of Peato Mauvaka, first finisher entered the field after the injury of Julien Marchand. Effective entries because “they saw the match unfold, they saw what we could do best and they brought a little energy to really take off,” analyzed the coach.

Despite the fear at the start of the periods, the plan established by Fabien Galthié was a winner, proof of team depth worthy of the great teams. And this, while the XV of France did not produce its finest copy, far from it. Dupont himself recognized this. “In an average match, we manage to score 30 points, which is satisfactory.” Rather yes, especially in view of the opponent.