Antoine Dupont (XV of France) after the victory in Italy: “Increase our level in all sectors”
Difficulties in the game
“We had trouble at first because the Italians opposite were well in place, we had trouble breaking them frankly, finding openings. We were impatient with the ball in hand, with in particular missed passes after contact which gave them turnovers quite easily. It did not allow us to put them in more difficulty. They were in place defensively.
We feel at the hour of play that we are not in a good situation, but we have experience of end-of-game scenarios that are just as complicated or even more complicated than that. We knew that we were not overwhelmed either, we gave them a lot of things, especially with all these faults. It depended a lot on us, we had to come back home, with simple things, put them at fault and notice points. »
“If I knew how to explain it, we would have been able to manage it better live… We didn’t know how to do it, it’s true. We said to ourselves to challenge the rucks less, to favor defensive circulation, to be well in place because we saw that when that was the case, we won the advantage line. Despite that, the few times we went to challenge the ball, we were at fault and we never found the solution.
The referee’s message was clear: he wanted clear images on the rucks to make his decisions and possibly reward us, which he didn’t think was the case. Several times, we were close to recovering the ball but there was always support on the ground, a tackler who had not come out well… For the referee, it had to be really clear to reward us and it was not. We did not manage to offer him clear images, except finally on the contest of Sekou (Macalou) at the very end of the game. »
“The world number ones, at home … Just saying it sets the context. It’s a team that is very much in place, sure of its strengths, that has been performing for many months and that has attacked this tournament in the best possible way. (10-34 win at Wales). They released a match more than controlled in Cardiff. Even if, at the start of the second half, there was a good reaction from the Welsh who put them in trouble, they were able to hold the score. We know that we will be received because the last time we were there, we won (in 2021). It is certain that we will have to increase our level of play in all sectors. It’s one of the big matches that we want to play anyway. »