6 Nations U20 – Fact of the match: lack of yardage… And defense for the Bleuets

It’s undeniable, the Bleuets suffered a late return to training, at full strength this Monday. But that was not their only shortcoming, as numerous lapses in their defense are undoubtedly the main explanation for their defeat.

Defeat will certainly threaten the Blues’ chances at the tournament, boost this young Irish generation and leave French supporters who attended Provence’s two matches at the weekend somewhat bitter. But what a spectacle it was for Maurice-David, between the Irish and the French! Eight tries, almost 70 points scored and a tension that never let up… This was made possible by a particularly lenient defence, especially that of France, which sinned on several levels: passed balls, collisions, traffic…

If there were some good sequences at times, the Bleuets let their curtain open too often. “On the one hand, we gave away too many balls. And when the Irish had it, they moved forwardcoach Sébastien Calvet regrets. We have never been able to stop their progress. They always won the advantage. » An aspect so important in the manager’s eyes that part of Scotland’s preparation week will be devoted to it: “We will be thinking about our qualities in the low sections, the climbs and taking advantage. And we really need a lot more reactivity and combativeness on the ball defense. »

If only the defensive tackle was as good as our movement rugby…

However, Sébastien Calvet emphasized several times “pride” that he felt and all the energy the boys used during the week of training. But it was one aspect of this match that caused the turning point. “The up-and-coming guys brought added value with combativeness, penetration… But we couldn’t reverse the fate in defense to finally get that advantage and knock the ball carriers down faster. We will greatly increase work in this sector. »

Especially since the Irish didn’t ask for that much. Without stretching their talent too much, they were able to take the lead at the break with maximum efficiency. “Actually, the Irish primarily occupy the middle lane, a 15m to 15m confrontation, with well-established circuits and very good timing of support for the ball carrier.explains the technician. If you concede in these stages, it is very easy to move forward in the exteriors. In on-ball defense, this is another key point. »

And the same manager, with the optimism he showed after this match, concluded: “If we had put the defensive fight to the level of movement rugby that we are able to practice, it could have been a success even against this great team. »

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