Player ratings: Fighting French

Sun, 24 Nov 2013 00:18
Large wenceslaslauretboks Large fra v sa Large bricedulinboks

France lacked flair but showed plenty of fight in their 10-19 loss to the Springboks at Stade de France on Saturday.

France lacked flair but showed plenty of fight in their 10-19 loss to the Springboks at Stade de France on Saturday.

Which French team will show up?

The question that has become synonymous with the unpredictable French was raised once again in the build-up to the Paris clash and it didn’t take long to get an answer as Les Bleus met the physical Springboks with aggressive defence.

They didn’t lack passion or commitment, with the experienced campaigners leading the way.

They were simply outclassed.

Quintin van Jaarsveld rates the French players.

15 Brice Dulin
Asked plenty of questions of the Springbok defence with his running from the back.

14 Sofiane Guitoune

Very elusive, beating five defenders in all. Physical on defence.

13 Florian Fritz

Battled to get over the gainline and conceded two penalties.

12 Wesley Fofana

Beat a couple of would-be defenders with slick footwork. Also made telling contributions on cover defence.

11 Yoann Huget

Shaky all-round. Almost butchered the try and almost gifted the Springboks a try with some shambolic cover defence.

10 Remi Tales

Solid and dependable. A safe selection option in terms of consistency, but the French needed a playmaker like Frederic Michalak to create opportunities.  

9 Morgan Parra

Personified the passion of the French on the night. Sniped around the fringes, distributed crisply and slotted an excellent conversion. Would have been disappointed with his tactical-kicking, though.

8 Damien Chouly

Excellent in the tight loose, outstanding in the line-outs - with five takes and two steals - and immense with ball in hand. A great all-round performance.

7 Wenceslas Lauret

Workmanlike and ultra impressive on defence, making tackle after tackle and turning over ball on the ground.

6 Thierry Dusautoir (captain)

The “Dark Destroyer” lived up to his nickname as he made numerous big hits and maintained an unrivalled workrate.

5 Yoann Maestri

Contested well in the line-outs but was lazy in general play.

4 Pascal Papé

Did the donkey work tirelessly, wrecked havoc in the line-outs and used his strength and experience to good effect to halt the driving maul. The wily veteran also got away with a slap to Jean de Villiers.

3 Nicolas Mas

Outworked around the field and missed a few tackles.

2 Benjamin Kayser

Solid in the set pieces and a willing ball carrier.

1 Yannick Forestier

Got a working over at scrum time by a natural loosehead.


16 Dimitri Szarzewski
(on for Kayser, 46th minute)
Made a real impact off the bench, continuing France’s line-out superiority and making several tackles.   

17 Thomas Domingo
(on for Forestier, 40th minute)
Very unlucky to be sent off after some Oscar-worthy acting by Bryan Habana.

18 Rabah Slimani
(on for Mas, 56th minute)
Pinged twice in the scrums.

19 Sebastien Vahaamahina
(on for Maestri, 50th minute)
Concedes silly penalties including the one that gave South Africa a nine-point lead.

20 Yannick Nyanga
(on for Lauret, 69th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

21 Jean-Marc Doussain (on for Parra, 66th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

22 Frederic Michalak (on for Tales, 74th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

23 Mathieu Bastareaud (on for Fritz, 59th minute)
Made some strong runs in midfield and made all his tackles.