fifteenth of France.  Antoine Dupont, French Flair, attacking play... How were the Blues seen in New Zealand?

XV from France. Antoine Dupont, French Flair, attacking play… How have the Blues been viewed in New Zealand?

In the land of the long white cloud, the Blues’ picture is much appreciated after the beating (40-25) that befell the Blacks last November. Antoine Dupont admired, the return of French flair, an extraordinary regularity… Here is how the blues are perceived in New Zealand.

“Oh, she’s great” (Oh, she’s great, in French). This sentence is on everyone’s lips when we ask New Zealanders what they think of the blues. Historical rivals of the tricolor, the Kiwis are very excited about the idea of ​​talking about why they would like to see France play.

The Blues “kicked our butts” last November

For most of those questioned, their last XV picture for France dates back to the heavy defeat (40-25) suffered by the All Blacks, on November 20, at the Stade de France. “They played so well, it was frustrating to watch them because you couldn’t resist them,” Blacks supporter Jeremy recalled. “And then, that hike from Ntamack, wow, the action was worth it till the end.”

By 15 points, the Blues had the biggest victory in history against New Zealand. “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen France hit our ass like that (laughs), and yet I was there in 1999 and 2007,” said Adrian Turner, a Hamilton Chiefs fan. “I remember we watched the match with my brother and father. We were all speechless to see such a performance.”

Antoine Dupont, the head of French rugby

The best player in the world at the title, Antoine Dupont has the merits of a Kiwi. “He manages to do things I would never have thought possible on the rugby field,” says Sam, in an Auckland Blues jersey. For Gregory, the Tolosan half “represents well what the spirit of French flair can be. He has all the qualities of an excellent scrum half, plus, he loves space, he’s a dream for the team.

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For Jimmy Wall, a journalist with Radio New Zealand and RugbyPass, the praise doesn’t stop there: “He’s the most influential player in the game when he’s on the pitch. How he controls the game is very important. What I find amazing is that even if he’s not there, There is enough talent in the French group to win the big games.

Regularity of France’s XV ‘not usual’

After the 2011 generation, France has not been at its best. There has been no Six Nations trophy, a mediocre performance in 2015 and then a little better in 2019. The arrival of Fabian Galthe has changed a lot of things, including consistency. Adds Jimmy Wall: “I was surprised by the consistency of the game. It’s not often that the French XV is so regular.”

With Galthié, the Blues know “the kind of rugby they want to play” according to Ole Ricci, journalist at Newshub. “It’s a team that has learned to use the ball. We’ve seen how hard it is for the All Blacks to manage attacking waves. In my opinion, they are the big favorites to win the World Cup next year.”

By Gauthier Boudin (in New Zealand)

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