“We have to learn” from the failure against Uruguay,” insists Maxime Lucu before facing Namibia

By Arnaud Coudry

Published ,

Maxime Lucu challenges the “Teros” defense at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Lille. Paul Delort / Le Figaro

The UBB scrum half, struggling behind a jostling pack, regrets the indiscipline and lack of realism of the Blues against the Uruguayans.

Special envoy to Lille

A team that is far too undisciplined

“We know that there are things to correct, things to review. Discipline was a black spot. Last week (against the All Blacks), we had four faults. There, there are about fifteen of us there. We know that matches like that, even against Uruguay, are high-level matches, World Cup matches. It was too much (errors)… We put ourselves under pressure, we weren’t able to get our game going. We weren’t able to create our match as we would have liked. There are definitely things to review. But the first half was good, we put things in place even by taking this test from the start. We didn’t procrastinate in setting up the game for them. But we lacked realism in their 22 meters at certain times.

A lack of collective automatisms?

“The lack of benchmarks, I don’t believe (whether this was a problem). We’ve been working together in training for two and a half months. Of course, we have to “match” together. We saw it (in preparation match) against Fiji and against Scotland, we saw that we can do very good things. But, when you are five meters from the goal line, you have to score. It’s like that against any team. When you leave the opposing team with eight points, you put yourself in difficulty. We know we were going to be under pressure. We should have scored at that moment. We rushed a bit. Sometimes, we should have taken the points. We could have pulled away and we would have been under less pressure. We emerge victorious, we must learn from this. If there were one or more tries and penalties in addition, the match would have been different.

“We felt the enthusiasm of the public on the highway when coming to the stadium…”

Maxime Lucu

Lessons to be learned quickly

“The speech could have been different at the end of the match. We wanted to do well, to show that we had opportunities to play. Now we have to learn from these matches, they inevitably make us grow. Uruguay, in front of the host country, wanted to show themselves. They put a lot of pressure on us, we knew it. We failed at times. We lacked realism at the start. But we have to take the positive, we continue to grow, it remains a victory in the World Cup, we are undefeated and the road is still long.

Did the Blues play to scare each other?

“It’s not fear but frustration. Fear, no, because we know that we can have difficult moments and weak moments in matches. We work a lot on this during the week. We have confidence, we saw after their first try that we didn’t give up. We put our game in place, we quickly went to 13-5. Our frustration was reflected in the mistakes we made. This is what put us in trouble against Uruguay.

Read alsoXV of France: “I think of the people who spent money to come see us…”

Surprised by the atmosphere in Lille?

“No, not necessarily, we went to Nantes and Saint-Étienne. We saw that the pressure was just as great as at the Stade de France. The public is much closer to us. These are regions where we don’t come often and we feel a lot of enthusiasm. We felt it at the hotel, on the highway coming to the stadium but also in the stadium when we had difficult times. We have been pushed by the public since the start of preparation. It’s a plus in complicated matches like this, where we don’t necessarily manage to put our game in place. It helps us, we saw it last week. And even if everything wasn’t perfect against Uruguay, they were always behind us. We thank them, we need everyone with us and the 16th man will be important to get what we all want.”

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