a winning scrum, Imperial Ramos but empty passes… What we liked and disliked during the Blues’ success against the Welsh

France outclassed the Leek XV, Saturday at the Stade de France, after a new display of all-around rugby (41-28).

The contract was well fulfilled, even the Welsh haversack. Obligated to win with the offensive bonus in order to hope to keep the title, France didn’t do half measures, on Saturday 18 March, against the Dragons who only spit flames during a few flashes. After last week’s fireworks at Twickenham, the Blues have reserved us a final bouquet for this last match of the 2023 edition. Looking forward to the surprise climax with England’s victory in Ireland?

We liked it

The click of lightning

Sometimes a single gesture can straighten fifteen men. Brinqueballés of the Welshman at the start of the meeting, deprived of the ball, specializing in “aerial veneers”, the Blues did not carry wide. When they remembered that salvation was just off. Romain Ntamack therefore set off first to show the way. A steep path on which the first half does the tightrope walking by multiplying the feints to serve Dupont whose missed pass finds Penaud for the test (10th). In the blink of an eye, the artists’ “stationmasters” had just steered the blue train back on track.

The centrifugal fray

The blue pack was known to be superior to its counterpart. But we didn’t think it was that bad. Almost every hand-to-hand combat thus turned into torture for the Welsh attackers, forced to retreat, to bend over, to graze on the Dionysian grass. This test of strength (100% of introductions won against 83% of the Welsh) confirms, if there were still really need, the enormous progress made by the XV of France “made in” Galthié. And it gives reassuring stability and security to the Azzurri who know that, even when they are mistreated in the game, they can always count on their fundamentals.

Ramos on Wilko’s heels

We have been playing for nine minutes since the second half and it is a small page in the history of the Azzurri in the Tournament that is turning. Gérald Merceron, until then holder of the most points for a French player on an edition (80 in 2002) has disappeared from the shelves. Thomas Ramos, fearless, has just undergone a new transformation and becomes, at this precise moment, the new Italian record holder (82). Author of a 100% until the end, the Stade Toulousain full-back finally finished the tournament with 84 points on the clock, just five units behind the legend Jonny Wilkinson. Above all, he will have proved to be the much hoped-for footballer throughout the competition. After years of procrastination, the Blues surely hold the rare pearl?

We didn’t like it

Pick and go is what stings the ego

Porro XV chose the match against France to offer the best version of themselves. A version not necessarily true to the legend of him, forged in the flames of epic back-to-back flights, but a terribly effective version. In any case for 20 minutes. The Gatland players literally confiscated the ball early in the match and when they brought it back it was behind the French try line (8th). The Blues, driven by pick and go multiplication, clearly suffered during these sequences. Hoping this doesn’t give ideas to future opponents…

The hole in the air in the second half

Possibly riddled with four tries, the French side have experienced a few moments of guilt since then – understandable digestion after such a party, but perhaps avoidable. Materialized by three Welsh Tests, this drop in speed was also the fact of Leek’s XV who, even at strawberries, still refuse to bow. But, with a little more skill, there was sure to be a way to stew it. And to guarantee an even higher goal average in the event of a perfect level draw with Ireland…

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