Black Ferns in gold, Blue in bronze

Happy! Happy to forget at the final whistle, the terrible disappointment of the past week against the Black Ferns where the Blues at the last minute had seen a final escape which was reaching out to them. But now these girls have the spring. The women’s XV of France, by crushing Canada 36 to 0 on Saturday at Eden Park in Auckland in the “small” final of the World Cup, definitely managed to overcome this bad memory to finish with a bronze medal. For the seventh time in their history they finish in 3 e Place d’un Mondial (1991, 1994, 2002, 2006, 2014, 2017, 2022) in nine editions. Although the pillar Assia Khalfaoui evoked during the week this bronze medal as a consolation prize, the winger Joanna Grisez had replied that: “It would be better than nothing. In the end, nothing came back to the Canadians who did not see the light of day for 80 minutes.

As usual, France took the game on their own from the start and throughout the first period. With three tries in forty minutes, the mass was already well advanced thanks to the second line Madoussou Fall (12th) which flattened the first in force. Scrum half Pauline Bourdon (37th), following a breakthrough from center Gabrielle Vernier found a new opening, then Marine Ménager (40th + 1), added one, in the corner. At half-time, without really having suffered any frank opposition from Canada, except in combat, the Blues, all in control both in defense and in their offensive phases, led 22 to 0, without there is nothing to complain about.

In the second period, the French continued on the same register. Movement and placement footwork, pack forward and three-quarter and fullback flights. The fourth try, as soon as the locker room returned, was down to pillar Annaëlle Deshaye (29-0, 44th). Marine Ménager then signed a double (61st), following a big phase of play from the French forwards (36-0). The exits from Vernier to the 67 e for a yellow card, then the injury of Marine Ménager, not replaced, did not change the story.

Beyond this deserved success as the domination was flagrant, the future seems bright for the tricolor camp. The Six Nations Tournament in the spring, and the 2025 World Cup in England should be the way to confirm this regularity at the highest level. Certainly it will be necessary to replace some executives who are definitely bowing out (the second lines Safi N’Diaye and Céline Ferer, the third line Marjorie Mayans and the scrum half Laure Sansus), but the French breeding ground seems such that all hopes are allowed nowadays. And in particular those of finally playing a final that this time again the New Zealanders won (34-31) against the English. This is the sixth in their history.


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