6 Nations U20 – “It will be a great game once everything is settled,” promises Mathis Castro-Ferreira (France U20)

Author of the double this Saturday in Aix, Bleuets captain Mathis Castro-Ferreira hit back at his side’s defeat, partly blaming it on a lack of automaticity in France’s group, while Ireland train for four weeks with a full group.

What did you miss in the defeat to Ireland?

There was undoubtedly a bit of link and automatism between us. Balls were falling on the way out of camp, the Irish took advantage of it all to get back close to the goal and score. But the mental state was good: we didn’t give up, we always picked ourselves up, we supported each other to go on.

Was there a key moment, particularly in the second half, where you were in a position to really turn the game in your favor?

There was a moment when we came back from the dressing room and we thought there was a shift. But we suffered too much in defense of the ball to stay in the game. We take too many penalties which allows them to return to our camp every time. It must be said that Ireland played its part.

You can personally boast that you scored two tries and expended a lot of energy all over the field. How did you feel?

Yes, I felt good. Then, towards the end, I was a bit tired due to the difficulty of the match. It ran a lot, hit the confrontational zones hard. But it wasn’t bad, neither was the team. Sometimes we did good things and sometimes we slowed down. Despite everything, the collective performance is convincing.

On Monday, you arrived at training like some of your teammates. Is this the reason for the lack of reference points in the terrain you mention?

What is certain is that if we arrive on Monday, we count Monday and Tuesday as training days. With new faces, it’s short to get your bearings. It didn’t completely hinder the performance, but for sure we can focus even more on it for the rest of the tournament to get to know each other better. Group life allows for collective standards on earth. For talking to Self about it (Calvet, coach, editor’s note), this match is a bit of a reflection of last year’s Italian one. We were not as experienced as at the end of the tournament. It is only matter of time. Once we settle in, I think it will play great.

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