the dropkicks: rugby podcast

Monday, November 13, 2006
Gracious Losers
A couple of nice quotes from the French rugby management after their 47-3 demolition at the hands of the All Blacks over the weekend. First, Coach Bernard Laporte...
There's nothing to be said. They were far superior - they are much better than us. We thought we'd be a bit more competitive than that. We feel very inferior. They are playing a better game. We were completely impotent really in terms of our commitment and they really did want to play hard.
...and Manager Jo Maso...
We were flooded by a tidal wave. We met a great side, with superior athleticism and class, and we were not up to it. It was a failure.

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  • "We were completely impotent really in terms of our commitment and they really did want to play hard"

    Typical Frenchman making dirty innuendo.

    By Blogger Hadyn, at 2:31 PM, November 13, 2006  

  • hah! indeed.

    By Blogger noizy, at 4:03 PM, November 13, 2006  

  • Guys,

    They were just teasing us. They did OK up front, but didn’t want to show us anything else. That’s why the only tactics they used were the one-off runner and the up-and-under. They’ll have some moves sorted out when they take us on in the final next year.

    Never forget Athletic Park 1999.

    Leg Break

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:45 PM, November 13, 2006  

  • They did OK up front

    Except for the scrums, the line-outs and the breakdown?

    By Blogger noizy, at 4:51 PM, November 13, 2006  

  • They only got done over in a few scrums, and the lineout was going OK until they changed hooker and decided to have a bit of a laugh with throwing in techniques.

    OK at the breakdown (hence the possession advantage) and superior to us at the rolling maul.

    Leg Break

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:01 PM, November 13, 2006  

  • They only got done over in a few scrums...

    Heh. They only let in a few tries as well. ;)

    The old 'playing-their-cards-close-to-their-chest' call might be fair, but it's gotta be hard to pull your 'A' game outta the bag for the big game when you've been fudging it for the best part of a year.

    And who's to say Graham Henry and the All Blacks don't have a few tricks up their sleeve?

    By Blogger noizy, at 5:05 PM, November 13, 2006  

  • I agree the French hiding trick is high risk, but it worked in 87 and 99.

    The best trick Henry and co have up their sleeve was played last weekend. It's dropping Chris Jack.

    But I've been saying that elsewhere for a while now.

    Leg Break

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:36 PM, November 13, 2006  

  • I don't think the French were foxing. I think the French were being French. The moon wasn't in the right position, the referee wore the wrong shade of green and at least one of the team stepped on a crack on the way out of the players' tunnel.

    Also, and I don't know whether this is true or not, apparently Bernard Laporte had statistics to show that you only scored against the ABs if you start moves from within 27m of their goal line. Hence all the garryowens to move down into the "danger zone". It also played to the suspected frailty of Sivivatu and Rokocoko under high balls. Once that failed, they had no plan B. Whether this was because they really didn't have a plan B, or because they are holding plan B in reserve is the key. Personally I think they didn't really have one, but that's just conjecture. I think we won't really know for another 11 months or so.

    Worked in '87? Do you mean '86? We can hope it works in '07 like it did in '87 for all concerned!

    But 1999 is a very good point. If there is one team on the planet who can completely turn around 40-point drubbings, it's the French.

    By Blogger Sideline Mike, at 1:28 PM, November 14, 2006  

  • What I meant by it worked in 87 was that they were truly awful in early games in that World Cup; a lucky draw v Scotland and being outplayed for long periods by Fiji.

    Then they suddenly clicked in the semi against Australia (many punters’ favourites at the time)

    Leg Break

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:35 PM, November 14, 2006  

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