For the launch with great fanfare of “its” World Cup (September 8-October 28), the French XV did not tremble against New Zealand (27-13), striking a big blow and sending a signal to all other nations. A feat - even if everything was not perfect - hailed by all of the French press, necessarily, but also worldwide. The sports daily L'Équipe used a play on words - "French iron" - to salute the performance of Antoine Dupont's teammates. Our colleague Renaud Bourel sees it as "the way the staff dreamed of to prepare for their shift." And added: “Because this team never ceases to surprise, it even managed to make history by conceding the fastest try for an opening match of the World Cup. An original way to say that she is here to leave a mark.
Same enthusiasm from the reference biweekly Midi Olympique which welcomes a “royal entry”. Recalling that “the Blues inflict on the Blacks their first defeat in the group stage of the World Cup. The entry into the scene is successful.” Le Parisien, for its part, speaks frankly of “kif” on the front page, indicating that the Blues “are not yet world champions, far from it, but they still have a profile which is close to it.” For the Ile-de-France daily, “the Blues have opened up a golden horizon which, we hope, will lead them to the throne”.
For its part, the New Zealand press is stunned, after this first defeat in the group stage of the World Cup. The New Zealand Herald, the country's first daily newspaper with the Long White Cloud, stigmatizes players who "fainted in the second half" against the Habs who "set a psychological marker" for the rest of the competition. Faced with the poor level of play of his compatriots, the newspaper stings: "What the All Blacks have done is show the world that they are incredibly fragile mentally."
The Australian neighbors - despite the low level displayed by the Wallabies since the return of Eddie Jones (5 losses this year) - could only rejoice in the setbacks of New Zealand. The Herald Sun, a Melbourne-based daily, posted an acerbic: "Welcome to the new reality of rugby: All Blacks weaknesses exposed."
Across the Channel, the English, however never tender with the French, could only welcome the beautiful entry into the matter of the Blues. “What made France's victory so impressive was that in the first half, they often oscillated between caution and robotics, analyzes the renowned Guardian. But, in the last 30 minutes, their power – and their panache – imposed their will on a team that many saw as favourites.
Even the acerbic tabloid The Sun could only bow, summarizing this match as “Ruck