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France v Wales (pre/during/post thread)

  • 23-02-2009 2:07am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,155 ✭✭✭ juvenal


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    France v Wales
    Friday 27th February 2009 8.00pm (Irish)
    Stade de France, Paris
    Live on RTÉ2, RTÉ.ie, RTÉ Radio 1; BBC1, BBC Radio 5 Live


    France|No.|Wales
    Maxime Medard|15|Lee Byrne
    Julien Malzieu|14|Leigh Halfpenny
    Mathieu Bastareaud|13|Tom Shanklin
    Yannick Jauzion|12|Jamie Roberts
    Cedric Heymans|11|Shane Williams
    Benoit Baby|10|Stephen Jones
    Morgan Parra|9|Mike Phillips
    Fabien Barcella|1|Gethin Jenkins
    Dimitri Szarzewski|2|Matthew Rees
    Sylvain Marconnet|3|Adam Jones
    Lionel Nallet|4|Ian Gough
    Sebastien Chabal|5|Alun Wyn Jones
    Thierry Dusautoir|6|Ryan Jones
    Fulgence Ouedraogo|7|Martyn Williams
    Imanol Harinordoquy|8|Andy Powell

    France replacements: Benjamin Kayser, Thomas Domingo, Romain Millo-Chluski, Louis Picamoles, Sebastien Tillous-Borde, Francois Trinh-Duc, Clement Poitrenaud.
    Wales replacements: Huw Bennett, John Yapp, Luke Charteris, Dafydd Jones, Dwayne Peel, James Hook, Gavin Henson.

    Referee: Mark Lawrence (South Africa)
    Touch judges: Alain Rolland (Ireland), Simon McDowell (Ireland)
    TMO: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)

    The key to this fixture is which French team will show up. Will it be the daring, skillful, inventive team that narrowly lost to Ireland in Croke Park, or will it be the group that lined out against a poor Scottish team and almost look like a group of disinterested dilettantes?

    The French, as always, are an enigma. On one hand they could easily have upset the new-found optimism in Irish rugby by winning in Dublin, but were the victims of an inspired Irish performance and deserved victory, although perhaps arguably a questionable penalty count. On the other, they togged out in Paris against an impotent Scottish team, and almost looked as if they were challenging themselves to see how badly they could play and how disinterested they could look, while still managing to scrape a victory.

    They possess all the personnel and skills to beat a confident and capable Welsh outfit, who stuttered to a victory in Murrayfield, before disposing of a resurgent England in Cardiff. There are injury doubts over pivot Lionel Beauxis, who injured his back playing for Stade Francais on Friday, and props Lecouls and Mas remain unavailable, with 71 times capped Sylvain Marconnet called into the squad for front row cover. Despite calls for David Skrela to be included as cover for Beauxis, Marc Lievremont has continued with Benoit Baby in the back division squad despite his poor form of late.

    Wales will be delighted to welcome record try scorer Shane Williams back into the starting fifteen, after he missed the England match due to a ankle injury. Gavin Henson is also believed to be back to fitness, although it remains to be seen if he will break-up the successful centre pairing of Jamie Roberts and Tom Shanklin, and may have to settle for a place on the bench. Coach Warren Gatland is likely to stick with the same pack who lined up against England, and they will need a top-shelf performance from 1 to 22 if they are going to come away from Paris with a 100% record.

    It remains a very tough match to call. Wales will travel full of optimism, but the experience of Gatland, Edwards et al will ensure that they are pragmatic about the task they face. It will take a huge performance from Wales to win, as France rarely lose on their home turf. France will be up for this, although it was interesting to see Marc Lievremont engage in some pre-match psychology regarding the scheduling of the match for 9pm (local), which will be the first ever Six Nations match on a Friday. Regardless of the time, I think France will be up for it, and will not be as complacent as the previous game against Scotland.

    If both squads are fully fit, I can see France winning this by five to ten points. If Beauxis is out, that would be a massive blow for France, and we could see an ill-fated experiment at outhalf which could be the end of their chances. On the other hand, Wales will probably travel in full-health, unless there is any late development over Jamie Roberts' shoulder, although that is unlikely. Wales will not fear Paris, as they've won three of their previous five visits, and if they get on top early, the Parisien crowd may not be long to get on their team's back, but a moment of magic from the French backline could see them right back in it.

    The game is likely to hinge on two or three vital moments, and also the boots of the respective outhalves. We're all hoping to see free-flowing rugby and great handling, and certainly the players are there on both sides to produce a fantastic game. I'll reserve final prediction until both teams are announced, but at the moment, it's France by a nose.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,645 ✭✭✭ Webbs


    Wales: Lee Byrne; Leigh Halfpenny, Tom Shanklin, Jamie Roberts, Shane Williams; Stephen Jones, Michael Phillips; Gethin Jenkins, Matthew Rees, Adam Jones, Ian Gough, Alun Wyn Jones, Ryan Jones (capt), Martyn Williams, Andy Powell.
    Replacements: Huw Bennett, John Yapp, Luke Charteris, Dafydd Jones, Dwayne Peel, James Hook, Gavin Henson.

    Henson is picked on the bench for Fridays game


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,155 ✭✭✭ juvenal


    Wales team was announced earlier this afternoon. As expected, Shane Williams is restored to his usual berth on the wing, although according to reports he has yet to run at full pace, but he's expected to be fit for Friday.

    The French team will not be announced until Wednesday, with coach Marc Lievremont sweating over the fitness of outhalf Lionel Beauxis. He will face a fitness test before the team announcement, after injuring his back last Friday playing for Stade Francais. If ruled out, David Skrela is expected to be drafted into the squad as cover.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,776 Noopti


    Should be a great game, although I still can't get my head around a 6N game being played at 8pm on a Friday night. Just so odd.

    Anyway, I am finding it very hard to try and predict this one. France were woeful against Scotland and Wales blew hot and cold.

    I will go for France, by 7.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,588 sock puppet


    Why were the French first choice players playing at the weekend? It seems absolute madness. Toulouse played Clermont yesterday and many of those players will be playing again on Friday.

    Wales look too strong for them at the moment. I'll go for Wales by 5


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 182 ✭✭ ScholesyIsGod


    It depends on what French side comes out to play, they're way too negative when they play at home, if Lievremont sends them out with the same frame of mind as he did against Scotland they'll be beaten. If they run it from every possible opportunity like they did against us then it will be a cracker.

    Hopefully its a French win then it means that if Wales do beat us in Cardiff that we could still win the championship on points difference (providing we beat England and Scotland first that is)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,307 ✭✭✭✭ nacho libre


    I think France will up their performance for this game. They will play with Joie de vivre meaning they'll run the ball at any opportunity. France to win by 5 points.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,249 Stev_o


    Why were the French first choice players playing at the weekend? It seems absolute madness. Toulouse played Clermont yesterday and many of those players will be playing again on Friday.

    Wales look too strong for them at the moment. I'll go for Wales by 5

    They aren't centrally contracted.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 164 ✭✭ Stupido


    Allez le bleu!!!!!


    think Wales will win it though, with a big bit of luck.

    Role on GS showdown in Cardiff :cool:


  • Registered Users Posts: 48 ✭✭✭ Padjoe


    Beauxis and Mermoz are the latest to be added to the French injury list which already includes Lecouls, Mas and Fritz with match ban.

    Really can't see France winning this but then again the frogs know how to up their game when the chips are down.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 522 barnesd


    Lievremont has lost the plot. France go into this game without a recognised goal kicker.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,549 Noffles


    With my colleagues finding it easy to cheer for England when they played Wales and now they're all cheering France to beat Wales... as the only Welshman in the office I'm quietly confident that Wales will beat the blues... The injury list for France is heart warming and Wales having no such problems, heading to a stadium we've won 3 of the last 5... I say bring it on.

    pleased to see they never started Henson though, on the bench he can make a difference if brought on later if Shanklin or Roberts start to struggle.. otherwise good team selection and Williams back on the wing..... =)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,776 Noopti


    Doesn't look good for France with those players out.

    However, with no real kicker they may just go all out for a running game.....which could work in their favour.


  • Registered Users Posts: 964 ✭✭✭ Guru Maith Agut


    Does anyone know the exact reason that this is being played on a Friday evening and not on Saturday??


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,588 sock puppet


    Stev_o wrote: »
    They aren't centrally contracted.

    What do the RFU do to keep their players during the 6Ns? Could the French not do the same?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,155 ✭✭✭ juvenal


    Does anyone know the exact reason that this is being played on a Friday evening and not on Saturday??

    I believe television.
    What do the RFU do to keep their players during the 6Ns? Could the French not do the same?

    I recall that the RFU and the clubs, or Premier League Rugby etc sat down a few seasons ago and thrashed out a deal regarding the release of players prior to England internationals. I can't remember the details, but it boils down to player welfare, and also giving the national team a fair chance to prepare for the matches.

    While the clubs contract the players, they agreed in negotiations to release certain players under certain criteria for national duty. If I find any links I'll post more. I know that while the situation isn't a lot different in France (unlike the Celtic nations where elite players are generally centrally contracted), there's not the same level of co-operation between club and country in France as there is in England at the moment.

    Edit: Here's details of the agreement
    Under the deal, the RFU will give the Premiership clubs £110 million in exchange for more time with elite players ahead of Test matches. Clubs will also have the right to sell their own TV and sponsorship rights. The deal runs from July 2008 to 2016.

    Premier Rugby chief executive Mark McCafferty said the part of the deal which allows the clubs to sell their own TV and media rights - was crucial.

    "The agreement provides a good balance between what England needs to build on their success and what the clubs need to continue the rapid growth of the professional club game," he said.

    "In addition to the monies being paid by the RFU, it was essential for Premier Rugby and its clubs to secure the full financial potential of their commercial rights in their leading competitions.

    The agreement means that England players will be released from club commitments 13 or 14 days before autumn internationals, Six Nations matches or summer tours matches, giving them more preparation time.

    The deal should put an end to a dispute that has run intermittently since rugby union turned professional in 1995.


  • Registered Users Posts: 71 ✭✭✭ LilOc


    barnesd wrote: »
    Lievremont has lost the plot. France go into this game without a recognised goal kicker.


    Indeed. Wales by 20 +. And i'm not even kidding.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,776 Noopti


    Benoit Baby at 10??

    The manager has messed this one up. But maybe, just maybe they might play more of a running game as a result of this and that could suit them down to the ground.


  • Registered Users Posts: 71 ✭✭✭ LilOc


    Noopti wrote: »
    Benoit Baby at 10??

    The manager has messed this one up. But maybe, just maybe they might play more of a running game as a result of this and that could suit them down to the ground.

    There is no maybe. This is the last straw.

    - A center at 10
    - Partnering a 20-year-old lightweight at 9 (when the likes of Elissalde, Mignoni are left home...)
    - An uncaped 20 y/o bulldozzer who can't pass for sh*t at centre
    - Dusautoir and Jauzion shattered
    - Malzieu, left winger, made to play on the right
    - Marconnet who's not back in form and has been humbled in all his outings in the Top 14 so far called back when we have Emmanuelli (who performed this weekend against Toulouse)
    - Ouedraogo who's not international standard by any means selected AGAIN when we have at least 10 better players ahead of him
    - No proper kicker (wether in the game or in front of the posts)!!!

    Extra factors :
    - game played in the dullest stadium in France where the opposition is better supported than the French team (they will be booed, well Lièvremont will be anyway FOR SURE this friday)
    - Players played Top 14 last weekend while the Welsh team have been able to prepare.
    - Match played on a Friday night (madness)

    PATHETIC. What a waste of talent and money. They're doing their best to kill French rugby.


    If Wales can't beat that team, they don't deserve to win anything in this tournament.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,776 Noopti


    LilOc wrote: »
    There is no maybe. This is the last straw.

    - A center at 10
    - Partnering a 20-year-old lightweight at 9 (when the likes of Elissalde, Mignoni are left home...)
    - An uncaped 20 y/o bulldozzer who can't pass for sh*t at centre
    - Dusautoir and Jauzion shattered
    - Malzieu, left winger, made to play on the right
    - Marconnet who's not back in form and has been humbled in all his outings in the Top 14 so far called back when we have Emmanuelli (who performed this weekend against Toulouse)
    - Ouedraogo who's not international standard by any means selected AGAIN when we have at least 10 better players ahead of him
    - No proper kicker (wether in the game or in front of the posts)!!!

    Extra factors :
    - game played in the dullest stadium in France where the opposition is better supported than the French team (they will be booed, well Lièvremont will be anyway FOR SURE this friday)
    - Players played Top 14 last weekend while the Welsh team have been able to prepare.
    - Match played on a Friday night (madness)

    PATHETIC. What a waste of talent and money. They're doing their best to kill French rugby.


    If Wales can't beat that team, they don't deserve to win anything in this tournament.

    Can I change my prediction? :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,384 ✭✭✭ jprender


    Who will be taking the kicks for France ? Baby ?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,772 toomevara


    Noopti wrote: »
    Benoit Baby at 10??

    Lol, France are exhibiting another instance of what shall forever be known as 'doing a Bergamasco". Lievremont has just, in effect, handed in his p-45.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,682 ✭✭✭ corny


    Unbelievable. I seriously think he wants the French to lose. Moving Medard to fullback is the ONLY positive. What is it with the French putting these lunatics in charge. Domenech is the same with the football. Wouldn't pick Pires because he's a Scorpio and god knows you can't be trusting people born on an arbitrary day of the year! He's been manager since 2004 so they'll probably allow Lievremont continue with the madness for a while.

    Amazingly i still think the French will win. Wales are ready to be found out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,645 ✭✭✭ Webbs


    corny wrote: »
    Unbelievable. I seriously think he wants the French to lose. Moving Medard to fullback is the ONLY positive. What is it with the French putting these lunatics in charge. Domenech is the same with the football. Wouldn't pick Pires because he's a Scorpio and god knows you can't be trusting people born on an arbitrary day of the year! He's been manager since 2004 so they'll probably allow Lievremont continue with the madness for a while.

    Amazingly i still think the French will win. Wales are ready to be found out.


    Found out in what way? they are playing a simple brand of rugby its not like their 2005 GS where it was all swept along on confidence. Of course they are beatable who isnt? I dont think that they will be found out as there is nothing to find!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,155 ✭✭✭ juvenal


    Madness!!

    I can't edit the oroginal post, so perhaps a mod can throw the team in if you feel like it!:)

    France: Maxime Medard, Julien Malzieu, Mathieu Bastareaud, Yannick Jauzion, Cedric Heymans, Benoit Baby, Morgan Parra, Fabien Barcella, Dimitri Szarzewski, Sylvain Marconnet, Lionel Nallet, Sebastien Chabal, Thierry Dusautoir, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Imanol Harinordoquy.

    Replacements: Benjamin Kayser, Thomas Domingo, Romain Millo-Chluski, Louis Picamoles, Sebastien Tillous-Borde, Francois Trinh-Duc, Clement Poitrenaud.

    There's a fine line between genius and insanity, is Lièvremont about to erase this line? The selection appears to be madness, and certainly there's a lot of factual evidence to indicate that this is a very flawed selection. Despite that, I'd say that this is what Gatland and Wales are dreading, uncertainty regarding the opponents tactics and team. They'd be much happier going into the match to face Beauxis et al, having seen them play in the past two matches, rather than the unknown.

    I think Wales are certainly good enough to win, although I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest to see the French pull off the performance of the tournament so far, and leave us all scratching our heads at the sheer madness of it all.

    I'm certainly looking forward to a great game!


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,772 toomevara


    juvenal wrote: »
    Madness!!
    There's a fine line between genius and insanity, is Lièvremont about to erase this line?

    Well, he's either the biggest eejit ever to coach France or a total genius, guess we'll find out on Friday night. If he gets it badly wrong I reckon he'll be marching into the sunset.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,682 ✭✭✭ corny


    Webbs wrote: »
    Found out in what way? they are playing a simple brand of rugby its not like their 2005 GS where it was all swept along on confidence. Of course they are beatable who isnt? I dont think that they will be found out as there is nothing to find!

    They're game is built on getting over the advantage line with their ball carriers and creating a high tempo game. When England stopped Powell and Roberts dead on the gainline they'd no plan B. Drifting through phases going sideways. They scored one try from turnover ball in midfield against a poor England side (and i don't subscribe to this resurgent England nonsense). Their simple game plan can be contained which leaves them not totally blunt but makes them eminently beatable. Against Scotland they made a load of unforced errors too.

    Perhaps i'm being hyper critical. They have some dangerous gamebreakers after all. I read an article this morning describing them as a tier one Rugby nation (alongside NZ and SA) and easily the best side in the 6N! In that context i think they will be found out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,412 ✭✭✭ chupacabra


    juvenal wrote: »
    Despite that, I'd say that this is what Gatland and Wales are dreading, uncertainty regarding the opponents tactics and team. They'd be much happier going into the match to face Beauxis et al, having seen them play in the past two matches, rather than the unknown.

    I would assume there is also a large level of uncertainty between the french players themselves. The majority of them must still be tired and sore from last weeks top 14 games, and then to come into such a (dare i say the word) eccentric team selection where, yet again 9 and 10 are untested together at this level and so many players of clear quality are left at home. Taking the defence in the scottish game into account, i can see Wales cutting hole after hole into them.

    Im not going to bad mouth Lievremont at this time regardless of how crazy his selection is, ill just say Wales by 5+ and hope for a cracking match.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 19,347 Chucky the tree


    I'm suprised by everyone's re-action. While it's wackier then usually it's hardly suprising to see France complete throw the selection policy out the window as soon as they lose a match.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,772 toomevara


    I'm suprised by everyone's re-action. While it's wackier then usually it's hardly suprising to see France complete throw the selection policy out the window as soon as they lose a match.

    He he, good point...


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,949 ✭✭✭ twinytwo


    Noopti wrote: »
    Doesn't look good for France with those players out.

    However, with no real kicker they may just go all out for a running game.....which could work in their favour.

    And no one does it better


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