Who are the Super Rugby movers and shakers?
Lots of interest too, for France’s progress in the current Six Nations. Mused6 spoke in glowing terms of the impact of French number 8 Gregory Alldritt, while Ozinsa added “He’s a beast. The best 8 in world rugby right now, hands down.
Oz also commented on the effectiveness of the French full-backs in contact, asking: “Is this a product of coaching and the way they want to play, or have they chosen players who fit a mould?”
France scored six tries on the counterattack (four more than anyone else) and 10 of their 13 scores came in one or two phases. So they have to get the opponent to give them the ball, either via the boot or by breakdown rotation.
Their 17 turnovers at the time of the ruck are spread across nine different players, three of whom are fullbacks (centers Gael Fickou and Jonatahn Danty, and left winger Gabin Villière). Danty had a huge influence on the ball during the July 2021 series between Australia and France.
Perhaps with the tongue firmly in the cheek, just nuisance predicted a victory for England in Paris at the end of the tournament, while the two J.D. Kiwi and Sweden’s neutral point of view observed a similarity between the Blues and a good All Blacks team. This probably stems from the desire to attack changes of possession (a New Zealand characteristic) and the strong ball handling contributions of the 15 players.
Let’s look at the implications of French prop Cyrille Baille in two of France’s first goals against Scotland:
Everyone can see Antoine Dupont’s genius on the counter, but Baille’s involvement is less visible, and just as important:
Baille doesn’t run straight up into his midfield channel, he crosses to the other side in front of five other French players in order to become the main receiver in the ruck after Dupont’s tackle – the precise spot France want whether.
Cyrille Baille’s contribution to the second French test was also essential:
Despite multiple offloads, the Scottish defense is still in fine form when the ball hits Damian Penaud on the right sideline. The decisive intervention is made by Baille, running from midfield to support his wing and receive the offload, before making the critical assist just before he is forced to touch himself.