The game: 39-3
Les Bleues were a little scared this Saturday in Whangarei, but they fulfilled their mission by joining the last four of the World Cup in New Zealand thanks to their big victory in the quarterfinals against Italy. This is the eighth time in nine editions that the French team has reached this stage of the competition.
But this qualification, true to her standards, she had to pay for it at the cost of an effort that we did not necessarily imagine as difficult. Especially since the Habs have started the game against their neighbors. Joanna Grisez thus concluded at high speed a recovery well felt by her back Émilie Boulard (3rd).
The French supporters then relaxed in front of the dream start of their compatriots. They were quickly overtaken by the tension when they noticed that the Blues were unable to chain the playing times, a hand fault constantly breaking their momentum. Throughout the first period, the France team was unable to convert its impressive territorial domination, thus inflating the capital of confidence of an Italy which did not ask for so much for the very first quarter-final in its history.
Wind at their back after the break, the Blues have long come up against the courageous transalpine defense, Boulard (46th, 60th) and Escudero (47th) failing to score. But they ended up blowing up the dam and then the blue waves took everything away. Joanna Grisez offered her inaugural try two little brothers at the end of the line (68th, 70th), while the tricolor pack was rewarded with a penalty try (61st) and a conquering maul concluded by Laure Touyé (64th).
If everything was not perfect, like what it showed during the group stage, the French team had the merit of not plunging into doubt when fate seemed to want it bother. In the semi-finals, next weekend, she should bite into a bigger piece, since it is New Zealand, opposed to Wales in the quarterfinals this Saturday (8:30 a.m. French time), which seems destined for her.
Symbol of their general domination, the Blue occupied the Italian ground 71% of the time this Saturday in the quarter-finals.
The fact: when the scrum goes…
While it came up against the Italian defense, at the same time as its own approximations, the French team was able to hang on throughout the game to its impressive scrum. The tricolor pack crushed the package of transalpine forwards, recovering capital penalties to occupy the field or score by the applied boot of Caroline Drouin (4/5). This game sector, announced decisive by Gaëlle Mignot in the weekalso allowed France to score a penalty try on the hour mark which subsequently freed them completely, giving them a great success.