France defeat Uruguay 27-12 in Lille on Thursday

France defeat Uruguay 27-12 in Lille on Thursday

France continued their winning streak at the 2023 Rugby World Cup by securing a hard-fought 27-12 triumph over a spirited Uruguay in a thrilling Pool A encounter held in Lille.

The French team received an early wake-up call when Uruguay’s fly-half, Felipe Etcheverry, executed a precise cross-field pass that found its mark in the hands of Nicolas Freitas. Freitas sprinted down the left wing to claim an opening try, catching the host nation off guard.

Antoine Hastoy, France’s fly-half, quickly responded by penetrating Uruguay’s yellow jersey defense to score a crucial try. Two well-executed penalties from Melvyn Jaminet contributed to Les Bleus’ 13-5 lead at halftime.

Uruguay, the 17th-ranked team in the world, closed the gap to within a single point when Baltazar Amaya added another try to their tally. However, France’s substitute, Peato Mauvaka, capitalized on a fortunate ricochet, allowing him to break free and touch down. A late try from winger Louis Bielle-Biarrey sealed the victory for the French side.

Maxime Lucu, awarded the Mastercard Player of the Match for France, reflected on the challenging match, stating, “It has been a very difficult match. We tried to set the pace, but we couldn’t manage to score. We’re happy with the performance and the fact that we won in front of our fans. The tournament continues.”

Uruguay’s spirited performance in their opening match earned them well-deserved praise from their captain, Andres Vilaseca. He expressed his pride in the team, saying, “I’m so proud of my team. I couldn’t ask for a better team to lead. We were fighting against France, one of the best teams in the world on their home ground. I am so proud. This is only the beginning for us. We fought for the whole game but it was key for us to keep pushing France and keep battling.”

Raphael Ibanez, France’s general manager, also acknowledged Uruguay’s impressive display, stating, “Credit to Uruguay. They played with so much passion and heart. It was a hard battle, but it is a second win for us in this competition, and that is what is most important. We made some mistakes with the ball in hand, and it was difficult for us to play with a good structure. We didn’t take the points at the end of the first half—it’s a World Cup game—and we will learn from that.”

He further praised the tournament’s atmosphere in France, emphasizing the energy provided by the enthusiastic fans, saying, “The good thing about this competition, playing in France, is the crowd, the amazing atmosphere. It gives a lot of energy to the players, so thanks to the fans.

Mark Z

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