Nobody would have liked to find themselves in the shoes of Caroline Drouin in the 80th minute of this unbreathable France-New Zealand. Fate had generously charged the emotional hood of the opening half of Les Bleues by entrusting him with the responsibility of giving victory to his team with a penalty 35 meters away, slightly to the right of the posts.
Led by one point, the French team could only count on the right foot of the Rennaise. The hundreds of tricolor supporters held their breath, as if to compensate for the deafening whistles of Eden Park. But it was not enough. After spending 80 minutes on the field, Drouin missed her shot and put away the superheroine costume she could have proudly worn.
After the meeting, her partners followed one another to relieve her of the guilt that she did not fail to impose on herself. “At no time does defeat rest with Caro, slice the center Gabrielle Vernier. We haven’t done the job before. We should have killed the game, carried the ball more. We haven’t made too many mistakes. »“It’s not Caro’s fault,abounds the pillar Annaëlle Deshaye. EShe gave us ten last week, now we’re missing one, we can’t blame her. We win together, we lose together. »
“Before the penalty, I told him that whatever happens, we were together until the end. »
Just before the attempt, a small meeting took place between Drouin and his captain Gaëlle Hermet. “Before the penalty, I told him that whatever happens, we were together until the end, confides the latter. We were together from the first to the 80th. It is the DNA and the strength of this group. No matter what happens, whether there is turbulence or moments of joy, we are together all the time. »
Left alone on the lawn for a few moments, Drouin stared into space, inevitably dwelling on this missed match point, but perhaps also her balls sent directly off the field (26th, 34th) or this penalty touch not found ( 12th). The conductor of the Bleues, rather to her advantage in the animation, did not manage the best match of her career on foot, yet one of her strengths, still hailed by the Black Ferns during the week.
“We can imagine that Caro was very disappointed, says hooker Agathe Sochat. It’s hard because she took the blame, even though it was a team choice. It’s a huge weight in this stadium that whistled loudly. We can’t blame her. We’re going to have to help him raise his head. » Since the beginning of his career, Drouin has already proven his ability to bounce back after a hard blow. This is the lot of those who have a destiny larger than their own in their hands. Or at the end of the foot.