French: Soccer matters less

2010-06-11 08:34

Marco Botha

Cape Town – The French rugby team is not here to hold the hands of their footballing compatriots when they kick off their World Cup campaign against Uruguay at the Cape Town Stadium on Friday.

In fact, the French are actually quite irritated with the football atmosphere ahead of Saturday’s test against the Springboks at Newlands.
A member of the French management team said that he would watch football “if I had no other choice”.

When broadcaster SuperSport requested French coach Marc Lievremont deliver a message of support to the footballers, he replied: “We’re here to play rugby and that is what we’re focusing on.”

Such an attitude may raise some eyebrows, but the Springboks now have more than the visitors’ physical approach and recent history between the sides to worry about.

“It’s always difficult to play against the South Africans. Their forwards are big and powerful, and I’m sure they will be ready for us this time,” French captain Thierry Dusautoir said about the anticipated physical onslaught.

It may well be the French’s psychological preparation that proves decisive at Newlands on Saturday.

Hooker Dimitri Szarzewski told Sport24 that the reason they beat the Springboks regularly is not because they are better, but that “our preparation must be more focused”.

In contrast to the home team’s emphasis of it’s strong Super 14 foundation, the Six Nations champions, with their Heineken Cup finalists, are reluctant to talk it up as a strength. The favourites tag seldom does sportsmen any favours.

And the French aren’t impressed by football fever. With the Boks having the social responsibility to blow vuvuzelas in Bafana Bafana jerseys, it is the kind of distraction that the French wish on them.

The match is an important building block for the Springboks’ World Cup campaign next year.

But the French are not looking that far. “It is important, but there are more important things to focus on now,” said Dusautoir.


  • danny - 2010-06-11 08:54

    the french are dogs. the way they behaved in the qualifyers; not to mention in the final of Germany '06; not to mention the captain of les blues throwing a bottle at the ref in tehb 3rd place playoff in RWC '07. a dog nation.

  • SA resident - 2010-06-11 09:02

    Like we care about the rugby, down with rugby up with football!!! I can hardly stomach watching 80 minutes of this sport they call rugby, its like watching a herd of bison charging one another

  • Jualette - 2010-06-11 09:31

    It seems to be a "French" problem. The football team in Knysna has been so unfriendly that the locals are giving all their support to Denmark who at least acknowledge the supporters. At a press interview a South African reporter asked if he could ask a question in English to which he got a blunt NO. Must have got public relation skills from Malema.

  • attie - 2010-06-11 09:34

    Sa resident,,,f*** off,,rugby is for real men ,not for gay's like you,,go suck a mexican footballer,twat sak

  • @SA resident - 2010-06-11 09:35

    If it was not for rugby - what other sport do we have in our country that is achieving anything on the world stage. Let me guess- a couple of golfers, Pienaar - soccer player - that oke in a wheel chair. Thats it i am afraid ols SA resident. Oh sorry I forgot- the world champion rugby team. You Clown

  • @SA resident - 2010-06-11 09:37

    Then why do you read rugby articles? and that on the eve of the SWC kick-off. And you call yourself an "SA resident"?! Dumb @$$hole

  • @SA resident - 2010-06-11 09:41

    I could say the same about the soccer, idiot... your banana banana team could not even qualify for a SWC tournament, losers!

  • @Danny - 2010-06-11 09:42

    Maybe you should take the s*#t outa ye eyes mate and have a look at the Africa hooligans at the Soccer and Rugby. At least the French team don’t have to pretend that they are crazy about football like the Boks. If the Boks don’t pretend they like Soccer they will lose their places in the Bok team. Another sick situation in a sick country! GO FRANCE GO MEXICO!

  • VIVA FRANCE! - 2010-06-11 09:44

    Maybe you should take the sh#t outa ye eyes mate and have a look at the Africa hooligans at the Soccer and Rugby. At least the French team don’t have to pretend that they are crazy about football like the Boks. If the Boks don’t pretend they like Soccer they will lose their places in the Bok team. Another sick situation in a sick country! GO FRANCE GO MEXICO!

  • AL - 2010-06-11 09:49

    Sorry SA resident but after these 5 weeks soccer will again take the back seat. If you can hardly stomach it then dont watch it!!! Dont read the article and dont comment moron.

  • Raka13 - 2010-06-11 09:51

    SA resident, why do you read rugby news, go blog on another article.

  • SAcitizen - 2010-06-11 09:54

    SAResident.Does SA resident mean you are a temporary SAfrican then? Soccer players sometimes seems to some observers like a bunch of irritating, overpaid, temperamental actors in a melodramatic performance ..but we still support both codes and dont pass we?

  • David - 2010-06-11 09:55

    @SA Resident....well. There is some of us that enjoy rugby and soccer and cricket. So I and many other do care about rugby. And I will be watching it is actually a very good and tecnical game. Not as easy as soccer. If you want i will coach you and will see, it is very good.

  • PDV/Januarie-Hater - 2010-06-11 09:57

    ...GO FRANCE..!! ...GO FRANCE..!!

  • @ SA resident - 2010-06-11 10:04

    If you do not care about Rugby, why are you reading reports and articles about the sport? Stop being a bleeding idiot and stick to Ludo and Snakes & Ladders.

  • Les Blues - 2010-06-11 10:08

    Viva les blues! Down with this sport they call football which is played by a bunch of sissies. It's like watching a bunch of glamorised movie stars on a film shoot. It wont be long before SA kids are going to be too scared and soft to play the man's game which is called rugby.

  • @SA RESIDENT - 2010-06-11 10:10

    If you don't understand the rugby, just say so. Like watching girly-guys kicking the ball around at each other for 90 minutes, faking a fall every now and then, and a scoring no goals is fun watching? You must be joking.

  • JoeBob - 2010-06-11 10:11

    Strange how i look more forward to the Rugby tomorrow than the soccer s*!t this afternoon. Go Bokke!

  • @ sa resident - 2010-06-11 10:16

    I can understand that you do'nt like rugby, it's not a game for dummies. There are almost more rules in a line out than in the whole game of soccer. Soccer is a game for "doffies" who can sit for 90min for 1-0, how borring. Just look at where soccer started, in the slums of England, and rugby at a Private School. You need a brain to play this game. Howmay "stampedes" or injuries to spectators do you here about at a rugby match??? Go back to the slums where you belong!!!

  • @ SA resident - 2010-06-11 10:20

    A bunch of overpaid, skinny, prima-donnas with more air up top than in the round ball, diving round and prancing like ballerinas in a spectacle that provides, at most, 10 exciting moments per game. But, hey, enjoy it. I'll go with oval thanks.

  • Sharkie :-) - 2010-06-11 10:22

    @ SA resident You obviously care enough about rugby to read the rugby news. The soccer news is just a few clicks away foot-boy. Come here again so that we can find out if you can stomach a vuvuzela up your @$$

  • Barry M - 2010-06-11 10:22

    @SA Resident – the reason you don’t like Rugby is because you are an idiot of monolithic proportions – you don’t understand the rules of the game, Rugby is an infinitely more complex and superior game to soccer (note the capital use of the “R” in Rugby and the lower case use of the “s” in soccer). Your little inadequate brain cannot compute the play and you wind up dazed, confused and frustrated! Your are in fact a “Prime Loser”! It actually boggles the mind that you are able to write, or did someone help you with this!?

  • Tim - 2010-06-11 10:25

    Have to agree with the French here. The Springboks need to be focused for this game. Its all very good and well that the World Cup is starting today, but life goes on. Anyway watching soccer is like watching paint dry... boring as hell. If I want to watch a sport that involves skill I would much rather watch tennis, not a bunch of pansies who kiss each other everytime they score. By the way SA resident what have buffona buffona won since 1996? hahahahahaha a#$%hole

  • Gareth - 2010-06-11 10:31

    @ SA Resident. I cant stomach African football!!! FA cup maybe but thats also only if theirs nothing els on TV!!! Viva the Charging bison ( which SA resident uses the word Bison any way) its called a buffalo any way you pophole

  • @ SA resident - 2010-06-11 10:32

    Sorry if Rugby is too tough for you. Why dont you go put on a dress and heels and go watch the Ballet. Probably more your thing....

  • Jakes - 2010-06-11 10:40

    Dear SA resident, same here, only difference is I don't care about soccer! 22 players running after a round ball for 90 minutes, endlessly and aimlesly kicking it back and fro, falling down in the penalty area and pretend to be hurt, with lots of acting, like WWF (wrestling).I bet we will see a lot of unblown handballs (like Thierry Henry) and other mishaps. Game for sissies.

  • Nikki - 2010-06-11 10:42

    Oh PUH-LEEZ! There will be nowhere to hide tomorrow you lousy bunch of cockerel rubbish! WE are the world champions! Tomorrow you WILL feel it! It is here! @ SA Resident: I can hardly stomach your presense in this country! Go somewhere else or rather go back to your country of origin twat!

  • Marcus Daily - 2010-06-11 11:07

    Nice one SA Resident. Just a bit disappointed with some of the other comments as I remember back in 2007 how even soccer supporters scrambled to buy Springbok jerseys for the World Cup without downplaying the dominance of either sporting code. If anything it seems like the overwhelming evidence of how the SWC has gripped the country far better than what Rugby did 1995 makes a few oval ball supporters boil with anger with a tad (pole) of envy? Let’s enjoy the SWC and after that unite behind the Boks during the Tri-Nations....because we all know that Rugby presented Soccer City and the Green point Stadium during the unsuccessful bid for the RWC 2011. If the administrators can work together (Blue Bulls and Orlando Stadium) then why should we fans be at loggerheads with each other? Let the games begin....

  • graham - 2010-06-11 11:12

    In Cape Town (from Johannesburg). Will watch football (SA/Mex and others at fan park, Uru/France and Par/Italy live) and Rugby ( SA/France) live. I seem to have capacity (brain, sportsmanship/fellowship) to enjoy more than one sport. I suggest the narrow minded individuals, who hate anything not of their "ilk", stretch their little minds (and sole) for a brief period in SA history! I am always so embarresed reading our narrow (often social based) prejudgemental commentes from so-called South Africans. If you are true South African you can not afford to be anything else but open minded to other peoples social preferences! At any time never mind such occassion as this!

  • John - 2010-06-11 11:12

    France, please bit these arrogant Boks, again as you have done so for the last ten years,

  • @John - 2010-06-11 11:30

    Ag, go support your All Blacks you d#**

  • ELSA - 2010-06-11 11:33


  • brad k - 2010-06-11 11:52

    Im going to add some optimism to this article... I hope all the SA teams can win this weekend..HOW AWESOME WOULD THAT BE!!!! give them horns!

  • Frans - 2010-06-11 11:53

    I don't think any one that's not overly excited about the soccer is narrow minded etc. Some people just don't share any interest in the game it's no hidden agenda or dark secret. If you don't like something you don't like it plain and simple

  • Vaalseun - 2010-06-11 12:52

    Just one observation--have you noticed how soccer players are carried off the field on a stretcher for injuries to which Bok-players merely get an ice bag applied and then keep on playing? The 'sissy game'-adjective seems to be spot-on!

  • Bokke Bo - 2010-06-11 12:56

    Hoekom moet ons altyd negatief wees oor alles. Watter land in die wereld kan se dat hulle al aangebied het 'n rugby, krieket,T20 en sokker wereldbeker asook verskeie ander toernooie soos die IPL en Confed, Kom ons gun onsself 'n kans om die oomblik aan te gryp en trots te wees daarop. Ek stem saam met brad k. Go Bafana Go Bokke!!!!!!

  • rugby#1 - 2010-06-11 12:57

    Danny you are on the dot there,a dog nation, I work with them, they are dirty and rude, I hope the Boks F#$%K them up

  • Barry M - 2010-06-11 13:00

    @John – Your English sucks laddie. If my command of the English language was as k@@ as yours appears to be I would rather just put a sock in it. And if the French beat us it will not be because they are better than our boys but rather because that D00S Div is incapable of putting together the best team. Hell he can’t even organise a pi$$up in a Distillery!

  • Arch - 2010-06-11 13:08

    Rugby and Cricket are, and always will be, my first love. I admit to being rather anoyed by the way soccer players trip, dive, act, and are forever blaming eachother and/or the ref for each and every action that does not go their way. All said though, I am a South African, and as such I will support South Africa irrespective of what sport, game, etc we are represented in. SA do not have to be the vey best in the world at any particular endevour to deserve my unquestioned support. I will support Bafana for as long as they are still in the SWC (round of 16 is a good result), thereafter my support will be lent to any African team still in contention. This will not detract from my eternal unwavering support for the Boks, as I will still will them on with my every fibre. As I sit here, there are a herd of bellowing Vuvusela's up and down my street, and yes, as with most of you, I do not find the sound endearing; but we need remind ourselves that these are South Africans showing support for OUR country, a counry that emcompasses a vast spectrum of citizens with many many differences. Soccer is a skillful game, regardless of our differing opinions on how to define skill itself. So to all of you, I plead that you suck it up and permit South Africans to be proud of who they/we are, irrespective of our differing beliefs. Live and let live so to speak. Be South African.

  • Sharkie :-) - 2010-06-11 15:01

    @John Kom staan sommer hier langs SA Resident..... en smeer solank daai vuvuzela van jou vol gladde goed! D@@$

  • @SA Resident - 2010-06-11 16:35

    Why do you read a rugby article huh? And soccer players are all sissies. Just check em on die soccer field someone just bump into them and they lay on the groud in pain just like little girls. Rugby are for man not for sissies.

  • czaree - 2010-10-22 09:59

    yes rugby is all skilful and full of tactical nuances and yet a small nation of 4 millions can dominate it for decades. The rest must have sucks. Yes they only won 1" rugby world cup" (there is only 1 World Cup) but they are by far the most dominant force in rugby consistently. The rest must be pansies.

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