The principle of the Scottish shower consists of alternating hot and cold. Saturday August 5, in Edinburgh, the XV of France experimented with it, for its first preparation match for the 2023 World Cup (from September 8 to October 28). Attractive and conquering in the first period, then knocked down after the break, the French men’s rugby team lost to Scotland on the lawn of Murrayfield (25-21).
Brice Dulin had announced the color. “The aim is to make the staff scratch their heads after the game”, assured the captain for a day of the XV of France. First all smiles in the stands of the Murrayfield stadium, before frowning and ending the game with a stern look, Fabien Galthié has something to think about, a few weeks from stopping the list of 33 players selected for the World Cup at home . After showing an enthusiastic face in the first half – embellished with three tries – the hybrid team concocted by the French staff for this meeting took on water after the break, conceding 22 points in a row despite a numerical superiority .
“In the collective experience of the match, everything is interesting to analyze and review”, estimated the tricolor coach after the meeting. Eager to “live a match like that, in this stadium, and in a competitive context” after almost a month of preparation, the French technician did not dwell too much on the final result: “What we have lived, we keep it, it is collective experience. It’s a preparation match and we take it. »
An ideal first period
The opposition against the Scots started with a bang. And the “electric scooter”, as Brice Dulin baptized them on Friday, were quick to make the stadium backfire. For their international baptism, two twenty-year-old neophytes put the XV of France on the attack after an intense start to the match. On the initiative from the French camp, Louis Bielle-Biarrey serves on the wing his sidekick Emilien Gailleton, who puts the gas, gives the oval back to the nugget of the Union Bordeaux-Bègles, whose breakthrough fixes the defense. In the ten meters, Matthieu Jalibert is found, who shifts Baptiste Couilloud for the first French try – converted (3-7, 13e).
“I just met Emilien, who said to me: ‘This little stadium is nice'”reported the manager of the Blues, Raphaël Ibanez, on Friday, amazed by “the ability to manage the high level” young shoots. The “small stadium” in question, the venerable Scottish enclosure of Murrayfield, was the scene, on Saturday, of the first international test of Louis Bielle-Biarrey. Shifted to the left, the Grenoble training in the red helmet faked the pass to the wing before spinning to flatten (3-14, 25e). With three tries at the break – Cameron Woki having made the score worse (3-21, 40e) – and players having fun on the field, the Blues agreed with their coach, who warned Thursday: “We have arguments to make. For four years, whatever our team competition, we have matched. So we are going to play on Saturday…”
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