The game: 24-25
The France team came very close to a resounding feat this Saturday at Eden Park, in the semi-finals of the World Cup. But the Blue did not manage to take the step, stumbling over New Zealand for a tiny point which digs in them an immense sorrow. However, it was the French who had delivered a start to the meeting of champions.
During an applied start to the match, they forced the lock thanks to the power of Romane Ménager (23rd). Sharper and more dynamic, the tricolor forwards bypassed the game in the axis of the Black Ferns, usually so effective. And if the New Zealanders were able to get back into the game thanks to the quality of their transmissions, symbolized by the test at the end of the line from Fluhler (35th), it was they who returned to the locker room with a delay on the scoreboard. display, Gabrielle Vernier finishing in the in-goal on the gong, after a one-pass sequence model (40th, 17-10).
Then the dynamic reversed. The tricolor defensive climbs became less aggressive, and the New Zealanders took advantage of it. Ruby Tui concluded a first major movement. Then Theresa Fitzpatrick once again split the French barricade. Led by eight points (63rd, 17-25), the French women seemed to have missed their chance.
It was without counting on an angry charge from Ménager who finished for the second time of the evening in the in-goal (65th). Exhausted, the Habs threw their last strength to fill the missing point. One minute from the siren, Caroline Drouin had the opportunity to send her team to the final with a 35-meter penalty, slightly off-center. But the ball never took the trajectory of happiness.
Les Bleues fail in the semi-finals of the World Cup for the eighth time in nine editions. They never managed to reach the final.
Gabrielle Vernier scored Les Bleues’ second try. (D. Rowland/Reuters)
The player: Vernier tried everything
The three-quarter center of Les Bleues achieved an exceptional performance against New Zealand. Recognized for her fierce defense, she lived up to her reputation. His tackle on Ruby Tui at the start of the match, sanctioned by a penalty even if the winger fell on his back, set the tone for his match. Hyper aggressive, she largely participated in bypassing the New Zealand offensives in the first period.
By performing two scratches, Gabrielle Vernier also offered some air to the Blues. Finally, her inbound run left no chance for the opposing defenders to stop her to score an important try just before the break.