France 'ignored' Lievremont

2011-10-31 14:10

Paris - French players took their Rugby World Cup campaign into their own hands and largely overlooked "lost" coach Marc Lievremont to reach the final, Imanol Harinordoquy said.

France got off to a stuttering start in New Zealand, being thrashed by the All Blacks and losing to Tonga in the group phase before beating England and Wales and losing 8-7 to the host nation in the final.

"After the defeat against Tonga (...) I did not attach too much importance to what Marc said," number eight Harinordoquy told rugby biweekly Midi Olympique on Monday.

"It was our adventure. It was meant to be the nice experience of 30 men. We had to free ourselves from his supervision."

Harinordoquy, who has earned 77 caps for France since 2002, said that coach Lievremont was "lost" and put too much pressure on his squad.

"He cast the stone at us too often. When something goes wrong, we're all in the same boat. There are no good or bad guys," he said.

Lievremont slammed a section of the squad as 'spoiled brats' after they went out following their 9-8 victory over Wales in the semi-final, although he later added he meant his remark to be affectionate.

"I felt he was lost," said Harinordoquy. "I will not miss him."

In 2007, the England players also rebelled to turn the situation around and reached the final after a lacklustre pool stage.

France came really close to beating the All Blacks but Harinordoquy reckoned South African Craig Joubert's refereeing played a major part in Les Bleus's final defeat.

"He was only looking at us," the Biarritz player said before also criticising New Zealand captain Richie McCaw.

"He played the whole match in our camp. He did a lot of (bad) things and nobody told him anything.

"Three minutes from the end of the game, I saw him dive on the side of a ruck and he stayed there for ages."


  • wenwe - 2011-10-31 14:23

    we saw it as well Macaw well off his feet playing at the ball, the French were very unlucky too loose that one ... but then again they should never have been in the final! Karma????

  • Barry - 2011-10-31 17:18

    Just imagine the French side if the team were not fighting with the management. Could have possibly been a team with a whole lot more to offer in the final ? Who knows.

  • Abie - 2011-10-31 17:31

    Sour grapes. Craig reffed brilliantly. The scoreboard and history show that the Kiwis won the world cup. Now for the next one.

      Bush - 2011-10-31 20:42

      What game were you watching?

      Bob - 2011-11-01 09:30

      well said abie......... sour grapes is a bit of an understatement LOL . but they have got four more years to try and get over it.

  • Angelo - 2011-10-31 18:27


      Rich - 2011-10-31 23:32

      No Angelo,that would be your cricket team. The Boks and the ABs have two world cups each. The Boks have 3 Tri nations championships and the ABs have ten. Bit of a difference aye?

      Rich - 2011-10-31 23:38

      One more thing Angelo - The French have been to three RWC finals. Have many have they won?

      Bob - 2011-11-01 09:46

      LOL ......the word chokers goes to a losing side matey,like your team of chokers ,the proteas. winners are always grinners and there aint to much grinning going on in your neck of the woods .GO THE MIGHTY ALLBLACKS 2011 RUGBY WORLD CUP CHAMPIONS.

  • Dakey - 2011-11-01 09:50

    Neither Craig Joubert, nor the majority of other referees in the world would have had the stones to blow a penalty against NZ in the last 10 minutes of that game. France deserved three kickable penalties from where I was sitting, but CJ has previously shown he's influenced by the home crowd as in the past. It is a rather universal opinion that France deserved to win the final and had there been a stronger ref, that would have been the case. This WC will have many questions over its head regarding referees affecting the final outcome of matches.

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