Next up: Jalibert versus Russell
SIX NATIONS SPOTLIGHT: Flyhalf Matthieu Jalibert said he was wary of Scotland’s “ultra-dangerous” Finn Russell after Sunday’s win at Ireland kept France on course for a Grand Slam.
Les Bleus host Russell’s men – who lost by a point to Wales this past weekend, after beating England a week ago – on February 28 in their third game of the campaign as they eye a first tournament victory in 11 years.
Bordeaux-Begles’ Jalibert is the Six Nations’ top points scorer and is set to face Racing 92 flyhalf Russell again after meeting each other in January in the Top 14.
“He’s an incredible player who is capable of being the point of difference at any given moment,” Jalibert said after the 15-13 success in Dublin.
“He’s ultra-dangerous and is someone I think we have to focus on by putting pressure on him. Generally, Scotland is a side who are progressing enormously.”
The victory in Dublin was France’s first in the Irish capital since 2011 and images on social media after the match showed Fabien Galthie’s players singing and dancing in the changing rooms.
“It’s a collective joy, we’re very satisfied, we’re very proud about winning here. It was a tough fight, we fought like dogs for 80 minutes,” Jalibert said.
“We played very well, we’re very happy with the performance but we’ll remain measured because we’ve won nothing yet so we have to focus on what’s coming.”
Captain Charles Ollivon scored along with wing Damian Penaud in an impressive display from the Toulon back row forward who made a match-leading 20 tackles.
“It was a war from the first minute to the 80th. Both individually and collectively we needed to raise the bar today,” the flank, Ollivon, said.
“We required a huge performance and this does wonders for both the head and the body. We are going to savour this, make the most out of it and it will give us momentum for what is to come.”
Galthie’s men return to Marcoussis for three days next week before a weekend off, in line with the Six Nations schedule.