June 18, 2024


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“We didn’t expect a blow like that”, exults Philippe Saint-Andre after the Blues’ big win against the English.

“We didn’t expect a blow like that”, exults Philippe Saint-Andre after the Blues’ big win against the English.

France’s XV beat the English 53 to 10, the Blues’ first win at Twickenham for 18 years.

“We did not expect such a blow”, on Saturday March 11, 2023, former France XV coach Philippe Saint-André rejoices after the Blues were humiliated by England in English rugby’s Six Nations match (53-10) at Twickenham. For the Montpellier Hérault rugby coach, Fabien Galthié’s players were excellent in all areas. “We were faster, stronger and more powerful. Then, we got better at rugby because we played better than them.”This success “auspicious” Philippe Saint-André was satisfied just months before the Rugby World Cup in France.

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franceinfo: Can you believe this victory for the Blues, who suffered the biggest defeat in English history at home just a few hours later?

Philippe Saint-Andre: “Winning, we believed in it, we believed in it, it’s been 18 years since we won at Twickenham, but on the other hand, it’s true that we didn’t expect such a blow because the French went over the English. , over the English for 80 minutes. It’s not easy to win at Twickenham. After that, the English are a young Generations, they’re in the process of rebuilding with a new coach. But in rugby, in the game of collective warfare, it’s always a big advantage to get, and the French were physically superior at the beginning, we were faster, stronger and more powerful than them, and then, we were superior rugby-wise, because we played better than them. . . . And then, at the level of strategy, the French were very good, very efficient. The British had no organization, no reorganization, and they were completely dominated by a very large group from the French.”

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You were with Philippe Saint-Andre at the Stadium in London. What drew you closest to the pitch?

I was impressed that we won 80% of the impacts. We raced a lot of balloons. We have seen that the British were organized without a solution. They are half of the game whose DNA is the game of winning balls and occupying the field. But with Will-O-the-Wisp and the selection of Marcus Smith trying to do a rugby hooray, they were caught between two systems and had problems finding themselves against the concentrated French, who used more physicality. Over five or six weeks, we’ve seen a solid France team. We saw a very talented France team. And then, when the score was taken, we had some great efforts, including this field goal in the first half of the game, with the passes, the depth, the timing. This will be a World Cup advantage. France, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa are favourites. We gave the English a big headache and it will take them a long time to recover from this defeat at home against France.

This win for the Blues with this level of rugby is a bitter regret for the defeat against Ireland (32-19). A grand slam isn’t that far away?

You have to be realistic, the Irish were better than us, they were more effective. But there, we saw a victorious French team. In melee, we trouble them. We had to be 100% connected. We protected the balls well. We had a three-quarter line with skill, skill, experience, and a lot of speed. Today, we saw an exceptional French team that blew the English away at Twickenham, and I’ve never seen an English side leave ten minutes from the end. Usually you hear chants at Twickenham and that’s a bad sign. Ten minutes from the end of the match we could hear the English and supporters leaving, but most of all were disgusted by the performance of the French team.

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