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France Autumn Series 2021

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Post by sensisball Fri 05 Nov 2021, 9:45 am

The French team for the upcoming test against Argentina has been announced. With the recent return to club action of Virimi Vakatawa, Fabien Galthie has chosen to rest the big man and take the opportunity to try out his two recent 10's at 10 and 12. This could  make an already dangerous back line even more formidable:

Melvyn Jaminet;
Damian Penaud,
Gael Fickou,
Romain Ntamack,
Gabin Villière;
Matthieu Jalibert,
Antoine Dupont;
Cyril Baille,
Julien Marchand,
Mohamed Haouas,
Thibaud Flament,
Paul Willemse,
François Cros,
Cameron Woki,
Anthony Jelonch.

Replacements: Peato Mauvaka, Jean-Baptiste Gros, Demba Bamba, Romain Taofifenua, Gregory Alldritt, Sekou Macalou, Maxime Lucu, Jonathan Danty.

Thibualt Flament is rewarded for his excellent club form with Toulouse last season and this.
Cameron Woki has forced his way into the starting team after outstanding displays on the tour of Australia in the summer.
Francois Cros returns at 7 after returning from injury and Anthony Jelonch starts at 8, allowing Greg Aldritt to make an impact from the bench in the final third.
Melvyn Jaminet gets the chance to see if he can replicate his summer form and Gabin Villière is in having just recovered from a leg injury. Villière may be short in stature but a bit like Dupont he is immensely powerful in the contact and a try scoring machine.
This is one of the lightest back lines France have put out in recent years(Dupont, Jalibert, Ntamack, Villière and Jaminet all weigh under 90 kg) but it has pace, and skill, to burn. The question is: will the forwards give them the platform they need to do their stuff?


Last edited by sensisball on Fri 05 Nov 2021, 9:54 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 05 Nov 2021, 9:50 am

sensisball wrote:The question is: will the forwards give them the platform they need to do their stuff?

Yes, I think that France pack is superior. Their depth is starting to look a bit scary.

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Post by bsando Sat 06 Nov 2021, 9:32 pm

France are mad! Tap and go 5m out only to knock it on, when three points up. They were talking about France reaching their potential, well their leaders need to start making more mature decisions on field.

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Post by Brendan Sat 06 Nov 2021, 10:03 pm

Not sure I agree with the non knock-on for Argentina's try.  Argentina player hits ball into French player's head and never has control or re-gathers.  Surely that is a knock on especial after the French disallowed try where the ball went down rather than forward but was deemed he lost control.

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Post by sensisball Sun 07 Nov 2021, 12:00 am

I think the question, can Jalibert and Ntamack play at the same time has been answered. No they can't.France looked better with more power coming through inside centre in the sizeable form of Jonathan Danty. Definitely the best performance this year from Argentina, they never took a backward step.

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Post by sensisball Fri 12 Nov 2021, 4:55 pm

French team for this weekend springs a few surprises for the game against Georgia.
Cameron Woki starts at 4 alongside Romain Taofifénua in the engine room.  The 150 kg Uini Atonio comes back at tight head to compensate for the lack of ballast provided by Woki and Greg Alldrit starts at his usual 8 slot allowing Jelonch to move over to his club position at 6.
The hugely talented, but often missing in defensive action, Sekou Macalou starts at 7 to see if he can finally realise the potential that his outrageous pace and athleticism has hinted at for the last couple of seasons.

In the backs its as you were for the starting 10, 12 of Jalibert and Ntamack respectively.

Matthis Lebel, who is getting much more game time since Cheslin Kolbe's departure from Toulouse, gets a chance to stake a claim on the left wing.

The 6 2 bench with two second rows to bring power and guile in the closing stages along with the back row nous of Cros. The bench front row isn't too shabby either.

The team is:

Melvyn Jaminet;
Damian Penaud,
Gael Fickou,
Romain Ntamack,
Mattias Lebel,
Matthieu Jalibert,
Antoine Dupont;

Cyril Baille,
Julien Marchand,
Uini Atonio,
Cameron Woki,
Romain Taofifenua,
Anthony Jelonch.
Sekou Macalou,
Gregory Alldritt.

Replacements: Peato Mauvaka, Jean-Baptiste Gros, Demba Bamba, Thibaud Flament,
Paul Willemse, François Cros, Maxime Lucu, Jonathan Danty.

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Post by sensisball Sun 14 Nov 2021, 5:50 pm

A patchy France display, spent the first half playing wide most of the time. Sometimes with success often with sloppy mistakes ( Macalou was particularly wasteful).
Georgia came back strongly to score twice in the third quarter.
Julian Marchant went off with what looked like a popped rib just before half time
Will they trouble the ABs? Not on this performance.

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Post by sensisball Wed 17 Nov 2021, 4:48 pm

Julien Marchant's popper rib is confirmed, he won't b playing against the AB's.
Sekou Macalou also misses out on selection with a foot injury. Probably good from a French perspective as he mixes the good with the bad too regularly.
Here's my Stab at the squad for the game against the blackness:

Melvyn Jaminet,
Damian Penaud,
Gael Fickou,
Jonathan Danty,
Gabin Villière,
Matthieu Jalibert,
Antoine Dupont;

Cyril Baille,
Peato Mauvaka,
Uini Atonio,
Thibaud Flament,
Paul Willemse,
Anthony Jelonch,
François Cros,
Gregory Alldritt.

Replacements: Gaëtan Barlot, Jean-Baptiste Gros, Demba Bamba,
Romain Taofifenua, Cameron Woki, Maxime Lucu, Romain Ntamack, A N Other

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 17 Nov 2021, 6:26 pm

What are the hopes of a French win this weekend Sensi? I'm loving the French rugby of late, my wife is French and plenty of friends so I'm getting the increased confidence a lot of late! A win over NZ would be a huge statement.

It really seems to be golden time for the French which can only be good for rugby in general.

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Post by sensisball Wed 17 Nov 2021, 6:35 pm

Not sure how they will go. At times against Argentina they looked brilliant, at others they were clumsy and a bit disjointed. Similar last weekend against Georgia.
I hope that Galthie realises that starting his two 10's is a bad idea, leaving Les Blues underpowered in the midfield and playing wide without drawing in defenders, leading to coughing up penalties.
The quality of the players at his disposal is probably higher than at any time in the last decade, he just needs to settle on who the starting 10 is and the unlucky player(Jalibert or Ntamack) will need to settle for a bit of bench warming for the greater good of the team.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 17 Nov 2021, 6:51 pm

The French side does seem to change a lot. I think France have a similar issue to England at the minute with so much talent to pick from. There is some amazing players coming through though.

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Post by Old Man Wed 17 Nov 2021, 7:19 pm

Will the French be able to put out their strongest team?

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Post by sensisball Wed 17 Nov 2021, 10:11 pm

Old Man
I think losing Marchand is a bit of a loss, but Mauvaka is also class. The young Castres hooker Barlot was brilliant against Australia last summer and should let no-one down if he is on the bench.
I think the Racing midfield of Fickou and Vakatawa is still their strongest current combo. The big man is still not up to full speed having returned from injury so Jonathan Danty should start in his stead to give proper go forward ball. The experiment of Jalibert and Ntamack at 10 and 12 hasn't really clicked ( don't think it will) so I hope Galthie wakes up and smells the coffee. He has two world class 10's but neither are international class inside centres.
If they get the balance of the team right they will have a great chance of going deep into their World cup comp next year.

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Post by Old Man Wed 17 Nov 2021, 10:13 pm

Thanks Sensis, can you give me your opinion on the strength of the French team that went to OZ in June?

I know a number of their big names were missing, but in comparison how compromised was that team?

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Post by sensisball Wed 17 Nov 2021, 10:22 pm

Probably less than half strength squad.
No Du Pont, Serin,  Ntamack, Jalibert, Vakatawa,  Ramos, Dulin, Fickou, Baille, Haous, Atonio, Chat, Marchant, Le Roux, Willemse, Cros, Ollivon, Alldritt.
I'm sure there were a few more established players missing along with this list as well!

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Post by sensisball Thu 18 Nov 2021, 1:58 pm

French team for the All Blacks on Saturday.
Sanity has prevailed and only 1 of Ntamack and Jalibert are starting - in this case it's Ntamack.
Still keeping Woki at 4 which is a big call, although he did have a good game last week against a strong Georgian pack. Three back 5 forwards on the bench.
Could be a cracker.

The team is:

Melvyn Jaminet;
Damian Penaud,
Gael Fickou,
Jonathan Danty,
Gabin Villière,
Romain Ntamack,
Antoine Dupont;

Cyril Baille,
Peato Mauvaka,
Uini Atonio,
Cameron Woki,
Paul Willemse,
Anthony Jelonch,
François Cros,
Gregory Alldritt.

Replacements: Gaëtan Barlot, Jean-Baptiste Gros, Demba Bamba, Thibaud Flament, Romain Taofifenua, Dylan Cretin, Maxime Lucu, Matthieu Jalibert .

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sat 20 Nov 2021, 7:53 pm

Well feet up jd in hand...this could be a belter...

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Post by Heaf Sat 20 Nov 2021, 7:55 pm

hope so ...

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sat 20 Nov 2021, 8:05 pm

Well that was a start!

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Post by Heaf Sat 20 Nov 2021, 8:06 pm

Yep great start for France

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sat 20 Nov 2021, 8:07 pm

If France are up for it...which it looks like...then NZ have choice but to play at their best.

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Post by Heaf Sat 20 Nov 2021, 8:10 pm

Bit scruffy from France now - and every time I hear the French commentator I think it's Gordon Ramsey's mate Smile

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Post by Heaf Sat 20 Nov 2021, 8:13 pm

Back on it ... they are looking sharp in attack

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Post by sensisball Sat 20 Nov 2021, 8:13 pm

The blackness have come back well after conceding early. Can France get some possession now? Yes they can!!!!

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Post by Heaf Sat 20 Nov 2021, 8:14 pm

Could be a bad day for the SH ...

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Post by Heaf Sat 20 Nov 2021, 8:16 pm

Some poor tackling from both teams ...

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Post by Heaf Sat 20 Nov 2021, 8:31 pm

Would like to see that again in close-up

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Post by sensisball Sat 20 Nov 2021, 8:31 pm

Wayne Barnes gaff there, should have double checked who touched that ball first.

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Post by Heaf Sat 20 Nov 2021, 8:32 pm

looked like the AB might have deliberately knocked it out - so a pen if it wasn't touched by the French player

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Post by Collapse2005 Sat 20 Nov 2021, 8:33 pm

The AWs are getting wooped

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Post by Collapse2005 Sat 20 Nov 2021, 8:34 pm

sensisball wrote:Wayne Barnes gaff there, should have double checked who touched that ball first.

dodgy ref

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Post by sensisball Sat 20 Nov 2021, 8:35 pm

Julian who? Mauvaka is having a Stormer.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sat 20 Nov 2021, 8:35 pm

NZ struggling

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Post by Heaf Sat 20 Nov 2021, 8:35 pm

Yes good isn't it Very Happy

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Post by Soul Requiem Sat 20 Nov 2021, 8:37 pm

Is this the worst New Zealand team in recent memory?

Too many players past their best and some who just aren't that good like dare I say it Sam Cane.

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Post by Collapse2005 Sat 20 Nov 2021, 8:39 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:Is this the worst New Zealand team in recent memory?

Too many players past their best and some who just aren't that good like dare I say it Sam Cane.

Sam Cane was never that good. Jordie Barrett is average enough if you ask me and the two NZ locks are past it.

I do think the Kiwis look jaded though and probably just want ro be home at this stage.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sat 20 Nov 2021, 8:45 pm

Heaf wrote:Yes good isn't it Very Happy

Its great to see France doing this....but not for the 6n.. Wink

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Post by Duty281 Sat 20 Nov 2021, 8:58 pm

New Zealand absolute pony and they have no aura anymore. No one fears 'em. They used to beat a lot of teams before the match had even started, they don't have that anymore.

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Post by Galted Sat 20 Nov 2021, 9:03 pm

Duty281 wrote:New Zealand absolute pony and they have no aura anymore. No one fears 'em. They used to beat a lot of teams before the match had even started, they don't have that anymore.

Hope it doesn't happen but I'm sure France still have the ability to have a player sent off and self-implode.
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Post by Collapse2005 Sat 20 Nov 2021, 9:04 pm

Horrible calls from the refs there

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Post by Heaf Sat 20 Nov 2021, 9:05 pm

Hmm Luke Pearce trying to help the ABs out there ...

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Post by sensisball Sat 20 Nov 2021, 9:05 pm

Another ref, assist any this time, gaff re touch. No excuse for getting these wrong.

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Post by Collapse2005 Sat 20 Nov 2021, 9:06 pm

Fake try, should have been a France lineout

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Post by Brendan Sat 20 Nov 2021, 9:06 pm

Jodi Barrett doesn't seem to be playing great.

France doing well but need to get their defence in order and watch the offside.

NZ might be tired but I think we can say that they have lost their aura and once that goes then they are just another team and more beatable.

Not sure the NZRU can sack Foster after giving him the job when others were better and then just recently renewing his contract.  Is mantra (including SR) seems to be I will improve how good we are at what we do but brings nothing new.

Again it doesn't help they played themselves for two years


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Post by Soul Requiem Sat 20 Nov 2021, 9:06 pm

Why is the TMO not letting Barnes know that was out on the full?

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Post by Heaf Sat 20 Nov 2021, 9:08 pm

Poor officiating there - that try came from a line-out that should have been France's throw in the AB half ...

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Post by Collapse2005 Sat 20 Nov 2021, 9:09 pm

France need to step it up, if you want to beat the ABs you gotta be relentless

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Post by Brendan Sat 20 Nov 2021, 9:10 pm

Could it be on

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Post by Soul Requiem Sat 20 Nov 2021, 9:10 pm

Really disappointing that a terrible refereeing decision has had such a massive impact on this game. It is New Zealand so hardly surprising.

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Post by Heaf Sat 20 Nov 2021, 9:11 pm

Oh dear

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