The French women’s rugby team suffered on Saturday April 24 an eighth straight setback against England (10-6), in the final of the Six Nations Tournament, won for the third time in a row by the “Red Roses “.
Given the stakes, the Blues experienced a disillusion almost similar to the test-friendly in November, which they lost 25-23 after leading 23-10 with a quarter of an hour to go.
This time, even with the level of play and the cartridges to win, they were never in the lead. The fault was a certain clumsiness, like the ball dropped five meters from the line less than ten minutes from the end, when the score was 7 to 3.
Solid in melee, tonic in attack, their passes after contact (16 against 5 on the match) undermined the defense of the English and Emilie Boulard was very close to take advantage of the 29e minute, but his try was canceled due to a final forward pass.
Legs of fire
It was finally the English who ended up clearing the score in the last seconds of the first act, with a furious charge from the third line Poppy Cleall, stopped a few inches from the line, before resuming himself for another charge that the brought this time into the in-goal (7-0, 40e).
Opener Caroline Drouin’s boot brought the Bleues to a point seven minutes from time (7-6, 73e), but their clumsiness in the second act cost them the final victory. They paid dearly for too many lost balls with 5 forward against 3, 14 missed passes against 9 and 19 balls dropped against 12.
Also slower in releasing the ball than their opponents, they were unable to take advantage of their fiery legs to regain the score. On the contrary, it was the English who shot the last with a penalty from Emily Scarratt two minutes from the end (10-6, 78e) which allowed them to manage the last few seconds.
The two teams will face each other again in a test match next week in Villeneuve-d’Ascq, before meeting in the same group next year at the World Cup in New Zealand.