France’s Imperial XV take on Italy in the quarter-finals

The tension hardly continued. A month after the start of the Rugby World Cup, the French XV confirmed their ticket to the quarter-finals in the Lyon suburb of Dessin-Charpierre (Rhone) on Friday, October 6, teaching a lesson to the Italian team (60 -7). Pulling off an incredible Group B turnaround, winger Damian Penault’s underdogs again face title holders South Africa on Sunday 15 October (9pm) at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis). ), for a place in the last field. “It is clear that the final awaits us”declared Fabien Galthié after the meeting, thinking about this confrontation.

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During the week, the French coach warned about “Very strong response” expected from the Italians, “injured Latin American team” suffered after the fight against the All Blacks (17-96). However, his troops attacked the match with the intention of not leaving Transalpines with the slightest hope.

“We looked at what the blacks did to themopened full-back Tomas Ramos. They had a lot of possession in the first twenty minutes and had hurt them. We thought it would be nice to do the same. » Less than two minutes had passed when Damian Penault scored the first of eight French tries, disrupting the work of the French forwards. “We beat them up front and behind we were able to play with our gazelles”pictured is scrum half Maxime Luca, replacing Antoine Dupont after the France captain’s cheekbone injury against Namibia.

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With the latter, who is expected to return to the quarter-finals, in sight, the matter was settled in less than half an hour: Louis Biel-Biery imitated his colleague on the opposite side (13.e), followed by full-back Tomas Ramos (22e). “It happened quickly, the match was ‘knocked out’ after twenty minutes”tasted Fabien Galthié, highlighting “willingness to attack the match with everything we can do best”. Conscientiously and carefully, the French players counted their score.

Match “controlled from start to finish”

Charles Olivon’s teammates, praised for their devastating kicking game and ability to score goals with quick recovery, struggled to keep the ball out of their hands early in the match (80% of play after a quarter of an hour). “From the very beginning we wanted to be welcoming and put a lot of intensity”, insisted the French captain, who recovered the armband in Dupont’s absence. Behind the victorious forwards, the blue waves chewed through the Italian defense, which was quickly at bay. “We lost the physical battle and that’s what this sport is all about. Transalpine captain Michel Lamarro summed up after the meeting. It’s really simple: you get absorbed by the opposing attackers and the rooms open up to the outside. It is hard to accept but simple to understand. »

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Georgie Collins

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