Around 2,000 viewers believed it until the end. In a hot Carpentier hall, Sebastien Verdin then Jonathan Hivernot allowed France to try again (52-51) less than a minute from the end of the match, but in the end it was not enough. The Blues, though fresher than the USA at the end of the tournament, lost the first match of the International Cup this Wednesday (53-51) against the world’s leading nation.
However the first quarter was controlled by Bob Wankar’s men. Defensively and technically attacking, they took an immediate lead 15-14 thanks to 9 tries from Sebastien Verdin. But from the restart, their attack crumbled, conceding their first turnover, which allowed Wednesday’s high-scoring Chuck Aoki’s partners to take the lead (29-27). “We made a lot of mistakes and it was good in the first quarter, but after that it cost us a lot. We lost the ball during the one-on-two and it was impossible. Coach Bob Wanaker pointed out after the match.
Lack of attack control
Several technical fouls (missed throw-ins, too long possession, etc.) and an almost completely missed attempt did not allow Cedric Nankin’s partners to get back into the game during the 3rd quarter. Instead, America took advantage of the departure by a great Sarah Adams (42-39). By the end of the match, when the Blues looked physically fresh, it was too late. Trailing by 4 tries in a matter of minutes, they managed to claw their way back within 30 seconds, but it was too late. “Offensively, we lost too many balls. Against a team like that, the small mistake in the end is two points, Wankar pointed out, but it means that we are not far away, it is still the first in the world. At the World Championship we won all the matches, five out of five and we got knocked out in the quarter-finals, maybe it’s the opposite now. »
Captain Jonathan Hivernett tried to stay positive despite the disappointing setback at home: “We weren’t very far against the reference group. It could have been tilted one way or the other. I think we all made a little mistake, especially in attack where we were less precise and we lost the match. »
The French team will not have much time to postpone Thursday morning, against New Zealand, at 9 am, as Priori, the weakest opponent in its group, lost to Japan (52-36).. “In the meantime we will put our heads back together and focus on this upcoming match, Hibernate promises Aiming to play in the quarter-finals against Japan on Friday (17 hours). » There is no room for error for the already two-time European champions.
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