Tenth consecutive victory for Penaud and the XV of France, winners of Japan (20-15)

Thanks to attempts from Matthis Lebel (9th) and Baptiste Couilloud (71st), France, who will host the Rugby World Cup in 2023, have won their tenth consecutive win, a record in modern times.

This is France’s best record in a string of ten successes, including eight against Germany, recorded between 1931 and 1937.

Fabien Galthié’s men have not lost since a setback in Australia (33-30) on July 17, 2021.

Almost a year later Argentina (29-20), Georgia (41-15), the All Blacks (40-25), Italy (37-10), Ireland (30-24), Scotland (36-17), Wales ( 13-9), England (25-13) and Japan (42-23) again met the XV of France.

The blues without its usual frames

Anecdotally, the Blues won their first summer series since 2006 and a trip to modest Romania (62-14) and then South Africa (36-26).

A little over a year after the 2023 home World Cup and a few months after the Grand Slam, it is reassuring for Fabien Galthié and his staff.

Especially since the blues on tour at the end of the world without their usual leaders, Antoine Dupont, Romain Ntamack, Grégory Alldritt or Gaël Fickou, had come to Japan to rest.

But like Toyota a week ago, France’s XV was teased, even smothered, by the Brave Blossoms.

A perfect season

More enterprising, more disciplined, the Japanese simply used the inaccuracies of the tricolor to take the lead, carried by their will-o’-the-wisp, rear Ryohei Yamanaka author of two tries (12th, 40th).

Nothing seemed to want to go in the direction of the French: Maxime Lucu, half of the scrum, failed, Thomas Jolmès in the second row didn’t yell, the young full-back Max Spring sometimes poorly defended … even the French orientation, which was so arrogant a week ago, seemed below his level.

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Fortunately, these end-of-the-world blues have also proven they have resources, like a conquering Thibaud Flament, an ever-present Damian Penaud, a shrewd Baptiste Couilloud…

They also had a bit of luck when Tevita Tatafu from the third row was denied a try via video five minutes from time.

“It was tough, very tough: the Japanese caused us a lot of problems. We suffered, they pushed us to a very high level of requirement. We will have to learn from this. »

Karl Ollivon (Captain of the XV of France)

Uninspired, undisciplined and clumsy, Ollivon’s teammates spoke about their second-half experiences to claim a win without relief.

But knowing how to “win ugly” is also the prerogative of champions. This time the Blues will be happy with that.

Data sheet :

TOKYO (Olympic Stadium). France beats Japan 20:15 (half time: 7:15). Referee: Mr Mike Adamson (Scotland).

Points. For Japan: two tries by Yamanaka (12th and 40th), a penalty (19th) and a conversion (40th) by Lee.

For France: two tries by Lebel (9th) and Couilloud (71st), two penalties by Lucu (44th) and Jalibert (61st), two conversions by Lucu (9th) and Jalibert (71st).

Japan. Yamanaka; Van den Heever, Riley, Nakano (goals, 58′), Fifita; (o) Lee (Tamura, 65th), (m) Saito (Shigeno, 65th); Günter, Cornelsen, Leitch; Waqa (Tatafu, 57th), Dearns (Tsuji, 67th); Ai Valu (Kizu, 61st), Sakate (cap.) (Horie, 58th), Inagaki (Morikawa, 72nd).

France. Spring; Penaud (Macalou, 64th), Moefana, Vakatawa, Lebel; (o) Jalibert, (m) Lucu (Couilloud, 50th); Ollivon (cap.), Tanga, Cretin (Diallo, 43rd); Jolmes (Lavault, 43rd), Flament; Bamba (Falatea, 46th), Mauvaka (Bourgarit, 43rd), Gros (Priso, 46th).

Not used : Hastoy.

AFP

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