Rugby World Cup: Beware the New Zealand trap

Rugby World Cup: Beware the New Zealand trap

Facing the All Blacks on Friday, the French XV will have to be wary of Ardie Savea in particular Frederic Chambert / Panorama / Frederic Chambert / Photosport / Panorama / Marty Melville

With the Blues kicking off the World Cup on Friday night against New Zealand, many Frenchmen see the French XV as largely winning. But be careful not to see yourself as too beautiful.

This is the event we’ve been talking about for months: On Friday evening (9:15 p.m.) at the Stade de France, the French XV will kick off the World Cup on home soil. And when we listen to rugby fans, the opinions are (almost) unanimous: “ New Zealand is not what it used to be » ; “ With Antoine Dupont we will give them thirty “.As if the Kiwi nation were an ordinary opponent, rather than the greatest rugby nation ever. So be careful not to get complacent.

History that matters

When we talk about the All Blacks, we have to take into account a few elements: 3 World Cup victories, the last one in 2015. In particular, the quarter-final match in Cardiff looks like the most humiliating defeat in the team’s history. 15th for France (62-13), and one of the highest levels of rugby ever seen. Some of our tormentors are still in the New Zealand XV, like hooker Dane Coles or scrum-half Aaron Smith. Therefore, this collective experience and winning culture remains rooted in this choice.

Blues coach Fabien Galtier was not wrong when he was asked about the topic after France’s victory over Australia (41-17): “ Whatever the era, the New Zealanders remain the All Blacks, three-time World Cup winners and multiple Four Nations Championship winners. Since the advent of rugby, it has become the best team in the world. So, on September 8th, we will have the best team in the world in front of us.“It is enough to return the church to the center of the village.

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Losing speed to qualify

Certainly, the All Blacks lost their last preparatory match against South Africa with a big score (35-7). The heaviest defeat ever. A historic slap in the face that gave their critics food for thought. But how can we imagine for a moment that they will repeat this kind of performance at the World Cup? This competition is in their DNA, and it is not a defeat that will change everything, as their coach Ian Foster recalls: “We are confident. It didn’t look like that against South Africa, and I know we had a good blow, but we don’t hide itThe Lions combine experience with world-class new players such as Ardi Savea, who was named after former Lions captain Richie McCaw: “It is in the form of his life and has a great influence“So be careful.

The Blues are untouchable

Don’t underestimate all black people. But also be careful not to overestimate this 15th for France. Despite the convincing victory over Australia in their last preparatory match (41-17), it is difficult to ignore a first half in which Fabien Galthier’s men were not inspiring, and they benefited greatly from a bust at the foot of Carter Gordon (Australia’s top scorer, 1). /6). It’s also hard not to think about all these injuries that have been so important for the Blues in recent years: letting go of Ntamack, Dante, Bailly and Willems won’t be that easy. This 15th for France in form and home is certainly a favourite. But as Richie McCaw says so well, “XV of France is unbeatable“…

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