Marcoussis - France will have revenge on their minds when
they host South Africa in Paris on Saturday, according to captain Guilhem
Back in June, they suffered a humbling 3-0 series defeat in
South Africa, losing every match by more than 20 points.
Facing a side which had suffered the previous year their
worst ever season, an abject France provided the Springboks with a much-needed
"There would be no point dissecting all the mistakes
(made in June) because they've also progressed and changed some players, but we
cannot allow ourselves not to make amends for those messed up encounters,"
said the 31-year-old Toulon hooker.
"That South African episode left its mark. For all
those who were there, I can promise you they will want revenge."
France need to make double amends after also failing to turn
up for the first 40 minutes of their 38-18 defeat to New Zealand last week.
Trailing 31-5 at half-time, the match was long gone before
they salvaged some pride with a second period fightback.
"The game passed us by against New Zealand, even though
we had the ball for the first four minutes," added Guirado.
"This time we really expect to put in a huge first 20
"On the one hand we need that, but we also must prevent
the South Africans from playing to their strengths."
That strength is often their ability to bash the ball up the
middle through their hefty, powerful ball-carriers.
"Against New Zealand we were combative but they
displayed a level of effectiveness and pragmatism that did them justice,"
"We know we can't rely only on that (combativity) but
we know we'll need it against the South Africans' game."
Another area in which France will need to improve is their
scrum, in particular tighthead Rabah Slimani.
He spent a costly 10 minutes in the sin-bin against New
Zealand after giving away three penalties at scrum time.
And it was in the final six minutes of the first half, with
France down to 14 men, that the game got away from them, conceding two
converted tries to fall from 17-5 down to an insurmountable 31-5.
Slimani believes he's treated unfairly but vowed to try to
changing his scrummaging style nonetheless.
"The referees saw (the penalties) one way, I
another," said the 28-year-old Clermont front-rower.
"In any case, we know very well that the referees are
"It seems to me that I can't play the way I would like
to. In a rugby match there are 30 guys to survey, not just one.
"It feels like since I've been on the international
scene, I'm being asked every time to change something.
"I continue to try to be, as they say 'clean', and to
be a good pupil towards the referees.
"I'm professional, I'll overcome this and work hard to
make sure it doesn't happen on Saturday. It's also up to me to work on
He'll have his work cut out for that, coming up against
Tendai "The Beast" Mtawarira at scrum time.