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XV of France: “We find ourselves in difficulty defensively because of our attack”, deplores Laurent Labit

In Rueil-Malmaison.

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XV of France: “We find ourselves in difficulty defensively because of our attack”, deplores Laurent Labit

In Rueil-Malmaison

“We always had a plan, we always worked like that. We need to work but we also need to play. We knew the competition program. There was this opening match, important without being decisive, against New Zealand. This had generated expectations and stress for three years. Six days later came the match against Uruguay. After the Namibia match (Thursday at the Vélodrome de Marseille), we will have two weeks before the last match against Italy. Players who had played the opening match could not play again until October 6, with a month without competition. Especially since in this World Cup, we are not working at 42 as we are accustomed to (but at 33). This means that in certain sessions, we have to spare two or three players, one or two are missing... We will find our rhythm and our progress during the matches.

“We were all disappointed and frustrated with this match. Both those who played and those who helped prepare for the match. We were all responsible for the copy against Uruguay. He may have had a decompression after the New Zealand match. We knew the heart and the plan that the Uruguayans were going to have. Despite this, we were frustrated because we were not efficient, we did not score when we should have done so. As a result, we were left in doubt with a young and inexperienced team at international level. This gave us some approximations after 20-25 minutes of play. With indiscipline and things that come back when we don't know how to be effective.

“We have no idea what they bring to the team. They also need to get back into competition, get back into rhythm to see where they are. We took the time to prepare them. We could have brought them back against Uruguay. But we opted to do it differently. We will then have two more weeks before playing against Italy.

“It’s linked to a collective context. What made our defense strong was our commitment. On big matches, we are present in this area. Afterwards, the teams study us more than in the past. Our adversaries use systems against us that they don't normally use. You have to adapt and prepare for it. Our offense, moreover, does not help our defense. Against Uruguay, 17 balls were lost in the game, 5 in the rucks, 7 in contact. We find ourselves in difficulty defensively because of our attack.

“For us, Louis (Bielle-Biarrey) did not get ahead of (Gabin Villière). We count on Gabin as much as on Louis. We played six matches this summer, Gabin played four. We also want to distribute the players' playing time. We know what Gabin can bring us in very high-level matches, he has proven it for a long time. We want to give the opportunity to a player with a different profile against an opponent (Namibia) where we hope to find space on the outside. That's simply it. For us, there is no established classification between Gabin, Louis or other wingers.

“Our ambition is to go far in this competition. And look for the trophy. We know that when the matches get tighter, we know the keys to winning the final phase matches. Conquest, discipline, our defense and then also the attack, with a few launches, a few circuits. Maybe not much on matches like a quarter, a half or a final... If we want to resolve these problems, we need to be able to make changes during matches against Uruguay or Namibia. circuits so as to find our accuracy, our connection, so that the day we are going to have less, we are able to put it to the bottom. Otherwise we will have to do 100% on all the balls we will have. We know that at this level, it’s complicated to go for titles in a final with the attack.”

“We are not satisfied with our inaccuracy last weekend, we saw it with the players. We started well for 15-20 minutes and then we came out of the game collectively and started making mistakes. We were also not effective in what is our strength, launches. We had six touches and two scrums in their 22 meters, unproductive... We can imagine that against South Africa or Ireland, we will not have as many situations in the 22 meters. It’s problematic if we can’t be efficient and score in these phases.”

“No, we don’t think about it. We discussed this with the players. Whether we win or lose against the All Blacks, we had to beat Italy. This does not change our schedule. What we have been looking for, for four years, is to win every match. The bonus completes the work that has been done or not done... Against Uruguay, we didn't deserve the bonus point, we didn't get it. For now, what interests us is the victory and the content.

“We operated as we always do. When we operate with 42 players, there are 14 who leave on Wednesday. There, everyone stays together. Already, there is a break which is less significant than usual. We're used to working like that. During summer tours, we leave our premiums at home. All the players are important and we know that with the match against Italy 15 days after Namibia, there will be much fewer turnovers. but we don't know what can happen in the competition. The poor performances of some, the injuries of others... We know that the players, in a more balanced team, are able to enter the 23 without problem to play Italy, a quarter, a half or a half. final."

“He took exams again. Everything is progressing very well. It is in the hands of medical and performance. We trust them, they brought us a lot of players back into the competition. It will be the same with “Juju”. The match against Italy is a goal for him. If he is able, he will play, otherwise we will wait another week.

“The idea is that we are going to go to a place where it is pleasant to work. It's September, we can imagine that the weather will be nice. It's appreciated. Then, we get closer to the two places where we are going to play (Namibia in Marseille, Italy in Lyon). This allows, as we have done from the start, to get in touch with the people who support the team and not stay only in Paris. We're going to spend some time in the Southeast. We hope that we will be able to work well in good conditions to prepare for the second phase of this competition.”

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