In an exceptional match, France rediscovered the recipe for success and confirmed a new Grand Slam thanks to a generation unstoppable by Jean-Claude Skrela, Pierre Villepreux and Jo Maso.
“V.Sis apotheosis. There is a magical side. When you're a kid, you'll be there one day, hit streaks and win a Grand Slam. I didn't get a chance to ride with Brennes. But we went up to the stands to collect the trophy for this Grand Slam match. We had the honor of beating all the teams wearing this jersey. »
Guy Accoceberry recalls the feeling when talking about the 1997 Grand Slam. Like the Blues, the scrum-half was able to call himself a starter to win a 5th Grand Slam, checking a historic record during the last match of the 5 Nations tournament. A History of the Blues.
In a selection combining experience to finish high scores with great players such as Benassi, Captain, Merle, Calthier, Benot, Benetton, Dal Maso or Ntamac, newcomers such as Belez, Castainet, Lamaison, Glass or Venditti or LeFlamand. Tests in this match. Starting their tournament, France will travel to Dublin and Lansdowne to face Ireland.
In a tight game (12-12 at half-time), France took their fate into their own hands, notably with three tries from David Venditti, and Ireland took the lead by scoring 20 points in the final 20 minutes. A 32-15 French victory shut out Ireland and set France up for a dream match.
A comeback against England
For Day 3 of the tournament, France hosts Wales. Starting well with tries from Merle, Leflamand and Venditti, the Parc des Princes played their part as the 16th man and allowed France's XV to seal their opening victory with a 27-22 win, despite the Welsh getting back to 3 points before the second. Article by Laurent Leflamand.
Good enough to face the first final against England on Day 4. With France the last unbeaten team, England, the title holders, will want to use home advantage to try to win a new tournament or even a Grand Slam. Lawrence Dallaglio's try just before the break marked the trend with an 8-point (14-6) advantage.
After two penalties by Paul Grayson, the scoreboard read 20-6 to Mass. But LeFlamont sounds the alarm and France scores 17 points in less than 20 minutes to seal a historic 23-20 victory with 18 points from Christophe Lamaison! Granting the right to believe in a Grand Slam is enough.
Galthié had already made a big difference
While hosting Scotland at the Parc des Princes, the French rallied, especially as Guy Accoseberry launched. A good response to the former holder in the 1995 World Cup.
” Two years ago, they chopped off my forearm during the last group match of the 1995 World Cup.. It deprives me of the rest of the competition. Fate allows me to play this last match of the Grand Slam against Scotland at the Parc des Princes. It's a nice wink. The atmosphere is extraordinary, as is the competition. The lap of honor behind victory is wide. It was a magical moment. »
” I was lucky. The competition starts and I am not in the group. Fabian (Calthee) and Philip Carbonneau. Fabian rushes into Ireland. I joined the team before seeing Garbo get injured just before Scotland. The staff decides to act with me. I was in front of my TV for the first match and found myself on the pitch for the last match. I'm grand slam crook (sic). I moved from the sofa to the front row. »
Accocebery, from sofa to park lawn
France offers a lone player to make this Grand Slam a reality. Trailing 26-13 at half-time, with 40 minutes remaining, Park began to hope for an unprecedented celebration. France sealed their 47-20 victory thanks to two tries from Alan Tait and two tries from Alan Tait, followed by Benassi and LeFlamand, who had already scored in the first period. Lamaison cemented his position as the top French scorer with 24 points.
The euphoria accompanying the final victory and reception of the trophy, accompanied by the words of Bernard Labazet, the evening in the tuxedo and the madness on the banks of the Seine, remain unforgettable for many. ” As with any achievement, we realize it over timeGuy Accoceberry concludes. This time, we take advantage of it and we celebrate it well. But everyday life catches up with you. You only know if you stop once. »
before adding with a wide smile. ” All three parts of the day were very beautiful. » Enough to secure the 5th Grand Slam in Blues history forever.
did you know ?
Before playing at the Stade de France, the French team had its practice at the Parc des Princes. The 1997 edition of the Five Nations tournament was the last ever for the Blues at Den, now reserved for Paris Saint-Germain. Park provided the most beautiful farewell celebration from the match before watching the Stade de France become the ground for France's XV's new triumphs.
The number of years separating France's victory at Twickenham in 1997 (23–20) and the previous one in February 1987 (19–15). 1987 was the last year France won the Grand Slam title.
Also Read: Blues Stats For Grand Slam Tournament
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