Tuesday 16 January 2018

Inconsistent France lose tale of two out-halves

French reaction

‘Le Figaro’ were scathing of Lopez’s display, which they rated as 2/10, with much of the blame for France’s ponderous performance being left with the Clermont Auvergne player.
‘Le Figaro’ were scathing of Lopez’s display, which they rated as 2/10, with much of the blame for France’s ponderous performance being left with the Clermont Auvergne player.
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Across the board, the French media have gone with the narrative of a 'tale of two out-halves' with Johnny Sexton coming in for plenty of praise while questions were asked as to why his opposite number Camille Lopez was even in the starting XV.

'Rugbyrama' were particularly impressed by a what they said was a "perfect" performance from Sexton.

"Author of a perfect performance, the former (and future) Leinster out-half controlled the match as he saw fit.

"Solid defence despite repeated assaults of Bastareaud down his channel, Sexton was most distinguished by his attacking play.

"Looped passing moves, bombs that fall in the right place and perfect placekicking, he controlled play in French territory."

In comparison, 'Le Figaro' were scathing of Lopez's display, which they rated as 2/10, with much of the blame for France's ponderous performance being left with the Clermont Auvergne player.

ACCURACY

"The Clermont out-half lacked accuracy and consistency in his lack of game-plan alteration.

"Often inaccurate in his kicking game, and hard to compare to the play-maker he was facing. Missed a key penalty in the 62nd minute that could have brought victory to France."

'L'Equipe' were unimpressed by France's indiscipline while the "devilishly precise" Sexton was branded "king of the land" as he was again singled out for praise.

Lopez's partnership with scrum-half Rory Kockott was also questioned.

"In 40 minutes, the Blues conceded as many penalties as during the entire match against Scotland on Saturday.

"Making errors in the rucks, they allowed Ireland to take a 12-6 lead at half-time. Eddy Ben Arous, Thierry Dusautoir and Damien Chouly were the main culprits.

"The fateful figure of 11 penalties (one yellow card (53) against Pascal Pape for a knee in the back of Heaslip) was exceeded by the French at the 52nd minute, a figure beyond which, according to the experts, puts a team in danger of losing a game."

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