Half-full contract. The XV of France outclassed Wales (41-28) on Saturday on the 5th and final day, but finished second in the Six Nations Tournament, behind Ireland. The distance duel between the XV of Clover and the Blues turned to the advantage of the Irish, world N.1 and who offer themselves the fourth Grand Slam in their history after their success against England (29-16). Victorious in the afternoon, Fabien Galthié's men (2nd, 19 points) temporarily took the lead in the standings but they finally failed behind the big green men (1st, 27 pts), winners at the start of the evening.
A week after a historic downfall at Twickenham (53-10), the XV of the Rose owed a flower to the Blues. But this England in reconstruction, valiant but too undisciplined (red card for Freddie Steward 40th, yellow card for Jack Willis 75th), has never really shaken the world N.1, crowned for the third time since the transition to six nations . For their part, the teammates of Antoine Dupont have fulfilled their part of the contract by passing five tries to the Welsh. Damian Penaud (10th, 76th), Jonathan Danty (34th), Uini Atonio (44th) and Gaël Fickou (49th) thus allowed France to afford this bonus point which could have made the difference.
"We wanted to play a good game, we wanted to win. It's done, with the bonus," said second row Charles Ollivon. “We can talk about the goal average but above all we wanted to maintain this winning streak, have fun and finish well in front of our supporters. (…) We always want to go further, we are four wins out of five matches. We are moving forward, we are on the right path. We end with a victory, it's important before switching to something else.
Full-back Thomas Ramos also stood out by becoming the best French director of the Six Nations Tournament in a single edition with 84 points, including sixteen against the Leek XV. He did better than former Clermontois Gérald Merceron, author of 80 points in the 2002 Grand Slam. But all that remained secondary as Ireland continued its inexorable march towards the fourth Grand Slam in its history.
Installed in front of their television screen to watch Ireland-England, forced to stay in the bays of the Stade de France by protocol, the Blues were thus able to observe the coronation of Dublin with the feeling of accomplishment, having done what they had to do. Starting with reacting perfectly to Welsh pressure and the quick try from George North (8th). A few months before the World Cup at home, the Tricolores have thus proven that they have the chest and the ability to rebound. They had demonstrated it by beating Scotland (32-21) in style after a complicated start in Italy (29-24) and a heavy defeat in Ireland (32-19).