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France-Scotland: the favorites and favorites of our special correspondent

In Edinburgh.

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France-Scotland: the favorites and favorites of our special correspondent

In Edinburgh

FAVORITES

The Blues were off to a bad start. Unable to develop their game, to get testing opportunities. To get out of it, it took classy individual action from the young Bordeaux winger. Served on his wing by Nolann Le Garrec, Louis Bielle-Biarrey hits above the two Scottish defenders and, with lightning acceleration, overtakes the entire rearguard to score the decisive try five minutes from time. final whistle. At only 20 years old, the UBB winger has already had six flattened balls in 9 selections.

“It came down to the mind. Everyone gave everything,” underlined one of the newcomers, Posolo Tuilagi, after the match. And it is undeniable that in defense, the Blues showed courage from start to finish. In the wake of an all-out third line – 18 tackles for Cros, the best total, 14 for Alldritt but in just fifty minutes, 13 for Ollivon – the whole team got into tune, from Cyril Baille (12 tackles) to Gaël Fickou (8) including the finishers. Sébastien Taofifenua (7), Tuilagi and Nollann Le Garrec (6) did not give their share to the dogs. In this collective commitment, Matthieu Jalibert made an enormous contribution. Criticized after the defeat against Ireland for his defensive errors, the Blues fly-half this time made ten tackles, some of which were decisive, for only two misses. “It’s stupid what I’m going to say, but it’s one of my greatest victories as a French team,” said “Captain Alldritt”. The week was complicated and we really became closer together. We wanted to win for ourselves and we did it. I'm very happy for some players, I don't need to mention them. Beyond rugby, we didn't give up, we never gave up for 80 minutes. And, in the end, it’s magnificent in terms of emotion…”

With him, everything seems easy. He juggles the ball and avoids the forward by sending a pass with his body horizontally. He performs his little kicks with ease, and always with a smile on his face. Precise, clinical, inspired. The former Racing 92 flyhalf was the perfect conductor of his team, varying occupation and entertainment without fault. His frustration at the end of his team's narrow defeat, after a try refused by the referee which he contested, can be understood given his high-end performance this Saturday in his Murrayfield garden.

CLAW STRIKES

After Paul Willemse, sent off against Ireland, it was Uini Atonio who almost suffered the same fate against Scotland. While the Blues defend their line, the powerful La Rochelle pillar does not try to tackle, delivering a big shoulder blow to Fagerson. Yellow card (38th minute). Then bunker requested by the referee, Nic Berry, to check, after reflection, if it was not worth red. The color will not change. Phew of relief for the player who came close to being penalized for a gesture he could have easily done without.

On several occasions, particularly in the second half, both teams cowered, refusing to take risks with the ball in hand. Instead of kicks, from 22 meters to 22 meters, waiting for an opposing fault on reception or in the precision of the boot. With, in the middle, frozen forwards, authorized by the rule, not to fall back if they do not charge the kicker. In this little game, Finn Russell and Thomas Ramos stood out. Good foot, good eye, they responded to each other until finally causing whistles from Murrayfield. And, in front of the small screen, it couldn't have been more hectic to follow... It's up to the legislators to find the solution to put an end to this ping-pong of deep boredom.

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