Rugby World Cup
October 9, 2011 by staff
Just hours earlier, many of these same people were in the middle of a fight with the French coach, but 80 minutes of rugby on Saturday changed perceptions. Maybe not as man, but Lievremont had won a grudging respect for the way his team played in the overthrow England 19-12 and progress to their fifth semifinal of the Rugby World Cup in a row.
They were committed, passionate, skilled and, above all, still alive. England were not.
France is often produced impressive efforts in World Cups in the past, not least of all his victories over the All Blacks in 2007 and 1999, but there were many who doubted this team had given their ability to divide off the court and the lack of results in _ a week before he humbled Tonga.
But history has also shown unusual France backed a great performance in the World Cup. Its volatility makes it dangerous and difficult to predict, but can just as easily unravel.
At the end of 1999 were a shadow of the semi-final team roared the All Blacks and were defeated easily by Australia 35-12. Four years ago, were beaten by an average England side 14-9 in the semifinals.
Lievremont was well aware of this fact and did not know if his team were able to win the World Cup. I was not being difficult – he has done enough throughout the tournament and had promised before the front of the media would not be smug or seek vindication.
“It’s just happiness,”he said through a translator.
“The players have done and really excited and fulfilled their part of the contract. They have played as well as past generations. But in the past we have often seen the French teams get in a strong position and after that no. We see that if this particular team I do what generations past and this team wants to write his own story.”
In 88 tests between France and Wales, the Blues have won 42 and 43 is based Wales, with three. France has won the last three, including a 28-9 victory in the Six Nations in March, but this side of Warren Gatland Wales have evolved to be one of the most exciting in world rugby.
They are certainly more consistent than that of France, with its only loss in the World Cup a narrow defeat to South Africa 17-16 in their opening match.
However, France has found a belief, one of the most important part of any successful side, and captain Thierry Dusautoir said came after a serious examination of conscience.
“I think most of us were missing an extraordinary opportunity to play in a World Cup for our country,”he said.” This is unique and is the kind of experience that can only come around once in life.
“Those losses [to New Zealand and Tonga] made us realize what was happening. It was a real revelation. I do not know if she was beautiful or extraordinary rugby [who played against England], but there were 22 players who really want to go ahead in this competition.
“That’s wonderful, but now we must prepare for a semifinal. But it is obvious that they are happier than last week.”
It’s just a matter of how long … with the team and French media.
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