'It's a perfect day': France stars bask in England's humiliation
REACTION: Fabien Galthie was left in tears, almost too emotional to speak after France’s 53-10 humiliation of England in a stunning Six Nations match on Saturday.
Flank Francois Cros, a key cog to a dominant French side alongside back-row teammates Gregory Alldritt and Charles Ollivon, hailed the victory in the cauldron that is Twickenham, where France had not won in 16 years.
“It’s the only stadium in Europe where we haven’t won since Fabien Galthie took over,” Cros said of the head coach who took charge of Les Bleus after the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
The seven-try victory was England’s heaviest home defeat of all time, and third ever anywhere.
“It’s important for us to write our history and try to win everywhere and against everybody,” said Cros.
“It’s another step tonight.”
📺 Enjoy every single try from Twickenham 🍿
Full highlights ⬇️#ENGvFRA | #GuinnessSixNations pic.twitter.com/Md8Vlkdfgw
— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) March 11, 2023
French daily sports newspaper L’Equipe had mocked up Galthie as Indiana Jones on its front page Saturday, with the headline “Galthie with Les Bleus at the Temple of Doom” in a nod to the Steven Spielberg film featuring Harrison Ford as Jones.
But Twickenham did not prove to be the trap for Galthie as it had been over the last almost-two decades for his predecessors.
France hooker Julien Marchand insisted, however, that a record score on English soil had not been the goal.
“You always see the score and obviously we’re chuffed when it goes like that,” Marchand said.
“We know the importance of points difference for the culmination of the Six Nations, we know that a match can change everything in a matter of minutes.
“Even if the score is big, we’ll always try to regroup, focus and continue to work. We had a great match, we’re happy with the record score but it wasn’t the goal. That was putting out a good performance.”
Fullback Thomas Ramos, named man-of-the-match for his 23-point display including a scintillating opening try, said the result was a huge confidence booster.
“It’s possibly one of our best attacking games for a long, long time,” he said.
“It’s important because it shows that we can produce the goods at a high level. Today [Saturday] we demonstrated the level of this team.”
An emotional Galthie said the victory had brought about “a lot of joy, pleasure, emotion”.
“It’s our 34th match and we wanted to produce a match like that,” the former France scrumhalf and skipper said.
“It’s a perfect day in Twickenham, it’s rare!”
Galthie wasn’t too keen on looking ahead to the September 8-October 28 Rugby World Cup that France will host.
“Tonight, we’ll head back to the hotel and grab a beer. Our goal is to win the Six Nations,” he said.
“We’ve learned a lot with each defeat. It was important for us to play this game, despite our loss to Ireland, to win it.
“The World Cup is the next competition.”