"Frustrated" - France Players and Head Coach Galthie React to Uruguay Match - Ruck

“Frustrated” – France Players and Head Coach Galthie React to Uruguay Match

Despite the pre-match anticipation of one-way traffic in favour of France, Uruguay put in a performance to remember against the competition’s host last night. The South Americans kept the match competitive for the most part, and shocked the Stade Pierre-Mauroy with an early try to take the lead after five minutes.

Ahead of the match, Uruguay were ranked 17th in the world, and took the fight to the number three rated side. Mid way through the second half, Uruguay trailed by just one point (13-12), however, Estaban Meneses’ side were unable to record a historic win, as France ran away with the match for a 27-12 score-line.

Speaking in the post-match media, the French players and coaching staff voiced their frustrations at their team’s performance, and how Uruguay gave them a shock in this Pool A clash.

Pierre Bourgarit (Hooker)

“It was complicated. We had trouble getting our game going. It was frustrating. We didn’t want to play the rugby we did tonight.”

“It generated frustration. We felt dominant in the scrum but we weren’t always rewarded. Uruguay gave us a hard time in the rucks. It happens that we get into a spat, but it’s never too bad. It’s part of the sport.

“You know our ambition. We’ve won our two group matches. Our ambition is to finish top of the group. We’ve still got two games to win. We hope to give a better account of ourselves in seven days’ time.”

“We struggled to make good use of our ruck. Obviously, without fast ball it’s harder to set up your game, and Uruguay were excellent. They came here to put on a good show. It was their opening match. We should congratulate them – they knew how to make things difficult for us. Things didn’t work out as we would have liked and that led to frustration. We’re going to analyse what went wrong so we can be better in our next games.”

Sekou Macalou (Flanker)

“Their quick first try surprised us – we found ourselves chasing the score. It was their opening match, we knew they were going to be hungry. We didn’t underestimate this team, we knew it was going to be complicated. We got the scenario we expected.”

“Our indiscipline put them in the game. Our mistakes meant they came into our camp and set the pace.”

“We were calm because we knew that if we accelerated, we could get back in front – and that’s what happened. The problem was that we didn’t capitalise on enough chances.”

Arthur Vincent (Centre)

“Inevitably, there’s a bit of frustration, especially with our performance. We’ve got things to work on, and that’s good. What we’ll remember most is this win. It’s been two games, two wins, but that was a World Cup match against a very fine Uruguayan team. We were expecting it and we got what we deserved.”

Thibaut Flament (Second Row)

“It’s hard to explain. We prepared well this week, we took them (Uruguay) seriously. As far as the match is concerned, it doesn’t feel very accomplished. We had trouble stringing together periods of play and defending. We made a lot of mistakes.”

Fabien Galthie (Head Coach)

“I agree with them. If we want world rugby to develop, a team like Uruguay, which is 17th in the rankings, needs to play more matches against the best. In Japan four years ago, they beat Fiji and held off Wales. This is a team that wants to take on the leading nations, but the only competition that allows it at the moment is the World Cup… It can be an emerging nation, like Japan was, like Georgia, Italy…”

“What’s important is winning. I told the players, ‘Let’s win the match’. We were hampered by Uruguay, who carried out their plan well but in the end we won. We can be satisfied. If there’s any frustration, it’s more with the players. We want them to enjoy themselves, to be happy. They’re probably frustrated, we haven’t had time to talk, but let’s respect our opponent.”