Allez Irlande!

If I had a euro for every French person who has asked me to please beat the English next weekend and rob them of their Grand Chelem victory, I’d be a rich woman. Bruised and Humiliated after being beaten by the Italians and the English, you could not really say that the French are gracious in defeat…

Marc Lièvremont, France’s rugby coach, who should really be looking at getting his marching orders after being beaten by the hungry Italians, has this to say about HIS team

They are lacking in courage. They are good guys but cursed with what is obviously cowardice," said Lievremont.

“They betrayed us, they have betrayed me and they have betrayed the French national team shirt.”

"In terms of the tactics deployed, it defied belief. I did not recognise anything in their performance that we had worked on.

"Do you really think that I told them to play as they did against Italy? I was ashamed. I do not have the impression we asked them to walk on the moon. I do not ask for complicated things.

"This match was an hallucination. I do not want to absolve myself of blame but they invented things on the pitch.“

Of course, this was the French coach who kindly did Johnstons pre match job for him ahead of the French English rugby clash last weekend with this 'inciteful” message for the English team:

"We don’t like them and it’s better to say that than be hypocritical. We respect them - well in my case at least I respect them. But you couldn’t say we have the slightest thing in common with them. We appreciate our Italian cousins with whom we share the same quality of life. We appreciate the Celts and their conviviality and then among all these nations we have one huge thing in common. We all don’t like the English! It is also what gives you strength against the English, more than just because of rugby. This insular country, who always drape themselves in the national flag, their hymns, their chants, their traditions.“

Contrast this with the Italians reaction to their win against France and the obvious mutual respect the players and their South African coach have for each other

After the Italians historic win on Saturday, The Italian captain, the number eight Sergio Parrisse, rushed to his coach’s side – “He’s the only coach who believed in us,” he said, “I want to dedicate this victory to him”

Italian coach, Pallet, from South Africa, with a very impressive rugby history had this to say

“This is my biggest win ever as a coach. I am more proud of this success than of all those with Stade France and with South Africa.” Aw, twould bring a tear to your eye…

Anyway, according to my French neighbours here in Rugby Mad Catalan Country, it’s up to us, les Irlandais, to beat the English next weekend… gulp!

C’Mon Ireland!

I second that, Stu. May the best team win! Obviously I hope we Irish win, particularly since I felt we were robbed of victory over Wales by the incompetent Kaplan and his touch judge. However, that’s over now. Will be a stressful day for all concerned, as all 3 games are being played on Saturday. Good luck to everyone - Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy.

As a lifelong rugby fan and (ex) player, for me watching a really good game is often better than the result. (In a poor game the result is more important!) If England are not playing I usually support the underdog. I lived in Gloucester before I came to France. so the weekend’s results, Italy/ England/ Gloucester for me were perfect.

I almost cried watching the France v Italy match last Saturday! It was shocking! And then Ireland losing to Wales followed by Clermont losing, it was all too much. As a France/ Ireland/ Clermont rugby fan, it was the worst day of rugby ever! Next Saturday even though my husband and I will be celebrating our one year wedding anniversary in Lyon, we will take a time out from our sightseeing to find a place to watch the match. Allez les verts!

Really good post.
I hope you don’t beat us but who knows.
May the best team win.