French anticipate tough Boks

2010-06-03 21:06

Paris - France rugby union coach Marc Lievremont admitted Thursday he was anticipating a tough clash for his weary side against South Africa next week.

Lievremont said he was both "impatient and worried" as the Six Nations champions prepare to play the Springboks in Cape Town on June 12, as part of a tour of South Africa and Argentina.

The French players are all coming off long seasons and Lievremont said: "We know only too well that these June tournaments are often complicated.

"The players are at the end of their tether. There is joy at meeting up again and apprehension given the unfavourable context."

France play South Africa in Cape Town on June 12, an Argentinian provincial selection in La Plata on June 18 and Argentina in Buenos Aires on June 26.

And he expects a tougher match against the Springboks than the side defeated 20-13 in Toulouse last November.

"You can't forget that it was at the end of their season," said Liveremont of the autumn game.

"Even if they play less matches than us they were certainly not in the same rhythm as today.

"They are strong in the scrum, have a functioning line-up and world class players in all positions. It's not for nothing that the Boks are made up of (players from) the Stormers and Bulls who made the final (Super 14).

"In terms of cohesion, physical freshness and intensity, a lot of things are in their favour."

But the France coach is determined to find the spirit which helped his side win the Six Nations Grand Slam.

"We have to find what helped us during the Six Nations, find what worked and also what lacked.

"Unfortunately for us we'll have to do much more to compete in the south. It's all about differences in the physical fitness but also interpretation of the rules.

"In the south there is a lot more rhythm and fluidity. We're going to try and find the balance between the strong points of the north, French rugby, and the more explosive form in South Africa."


  • Theo - 2010-06-03 22:00

    Lets hope the Boks have not forgotten the disdain they were treated with in Toulouse last December-the way the French coach mocked them-the way the Bok scrum was ridiculed. Time to give the French a nice good healthy hiding.

  • bulawayo-based-bok - 2010-06-04 00:19

    mind games.....a fully fit French squad has no rival in world rugby at the moment! they will be a real force at the 2011 WC!!

  • Drakkar - 2010-06-04 01:22

    @Theo......Amen brother

  • pieter - 2010-06-04 06:43

    @Theo. Not to forget Ras Dumisani!!!

  • Deon - 2010-06-04 07:25

    Ras dumisani HAD a huge influence in that game...

  • Lefty - 2010-06-04 07:52

    Hoop die Franse kan onthou how vuil hulle gespeel het in Toulouse , nou kom hulle met alrehande verskonings van n lang seisoen . Welcome , die Bokke het dieselfde gevoel teen einde 2009 . Wonder of daai poepol Gert Smal nog verder Afrikaans vir die hane geleer het ??

  • NeilA - 2010-06-04 08:07

    Payback time!

  • Captain - 2010-06-04 08:47

    I love it when teams start making excuses before they even get here. France, be afraid, be very afraid.

  • @ Lefty - 2010-06-04 10:02

    Gert smal is with Ireland

  • Ruggerman - 2010-06-04 10:31

    now the problem is that Stofile is blocking the BEAST from playing for SA who is arguably the strogest and most mobile front ranker in the world at the moment, I hope Stofile can get past his small man syndrome and give the BEAST the go ahead .

  • STORMER - 2010-06-04 10:36

    You chaps seriously think the French are "tired"? Marc Liveremont is the king of spin & I for one am having none of his 'psychological games'. The French are coming here with ONE thing in mind(and they are confident) SOOOOOO we better be ready for them! This frikkin Welsh outing should NEVER EVER have been approved...tsk tsk.

  • STORMER - 2010-06-04 12:57

    @Bulawayo based Bok - Dude I see you are singing from the same hymn sheet as what I am.....Watch em next year come WC time (Lievremonts 40 man squad he currently has, is the strongest squad in the world IMO)

  • Mole - 2010-06-04 13:26

    The French will always be an opponent that we have to take seriously... The team the PdV picks to play this test will have a huge impact on the outcome. Lets hope that its the players that deserve to be there... The only real issue is if Jean dV is fit, who runs out in number 9 (should be Pienaar) and who will play on the wing?

  • Mike - 2010-06-04 13:31

    We forget so quickly. The French have an awesome front row. Their 3rd string is better than anything we have to offer. Nothing has changed since Novenber. Our best loosehead during the super 14 (according to all the popularity contests) was Guthro Steenkamp, who was destroyed by Castro Giovanni in a midweek game (An Italian, playing for an English Premier League side - Oh, the humiliation). The then first choice front row was humbled by the French. Yes, hopefully the John Smit tighthead experiment is at an end, but honestly, who has put up his hand since then? Jannie du Plessis? Werner Kruger? Brock Harris, who was exposed by a rookie, Dan Palmer, from the Waratahs (Didn't he show beautfull technique with that high bind on the tighthead. I last saw that from Guy Kebble. And wasn't his back beautifully straight?) All our tightheads have a tendency to fall into the tunnel (a la Phil Vickery) as soon as the pressure comes on. Unfortunately, our refs were advised by Balie Swart, who probably advised them that if the scrum falls, it is always the loosehead's fault (The penalties awarded at most collapsed scrums confirm this). He should be forgiven for this misleading advice, because at the time, he was the scrum advisor for the Bulls and they had been heavily penalised during the Currie Cup for Werner Kruger falling into the tunnel. They even conceded a push over try against Western Province, because the referee would not come to Kruger's assistance. I digress. The crux of our problem in the front row is twofold. 1. Our coaches do not realise that the primary functions of a prop are to scrum and support in the lineouts, especially the tighthead prop. If you have a prop who can do this well and carry the ball well, like Benn Robinsom or the French props you are truly blessed. This must remain a secondary concern after scrummaging ablity. If your front row dominates, your loose forwards and locks will have a lot more energy to do what a weaker, ball handling prop may give you in general play. 2. Scrummaging is a specialised skill. A strong hooker does not automatically make a good prop. The loosehead and tighthead positions are not interchangable. Do not take a good tighthead and try to turn him into a loosehead or vica versa. Good tightheads are scarce. They have to be immensly strong and have a love for scrummaging. In essence, their primary goal on the field must be the destruction of the opposing loosehead and thereby his scrum (The way Tialata curtailed JD Moller's season in 2009, of Giovanni destroyed the Springbok scrum in November). During the last decade, Southern Hemisphere Rugby has produced only one excellent tighthead in Carl Heymans. It is only a matter of time before the NH coaches realise that they don't need backs the size of flankers and locks and start utilising the excellent ball their forwards produce. We should wake up an pay attention to our scrums.

  • Priester@ Mike - 2010-06-05 11:17

    Thanks for a very interesting read!! Well said and precise.

  • Klephb - 2010-06-11 19:08

    Briiiing weer die hane ! Hie kommie hane, hie kommie hane, Hoes ! Hie kommie hane, hie kommie hane, Hoes ! Hie kommie hane, hie kommie hane, Bring vir my die hane ! Hie kommie hane, hie kommie hane, Hoeka chaka! Hie kommie hane, hie kommie hane, Hoeka chaka! Hie kommie hane, hie kommie hane, Hie kommie hane, hie kommie hane, Prrrr, ai ai ai ja ja ja jaaaaaaaaaa. Tomorrow, Bokke en Hane will show once again there is but one game: RUGBY FOOTBALL! Voetsek soccer boys! And once again we shall beat die bokke. France rules!!

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