RWC 2011: France Player Ratings v New Zealand

15. Maxime Médard – 8

Composed under the high ball, often found himself wriggling out of tight attacking spaces. Still only 24, developing into one of the world’s great full backs.

14. Vincent Clerc – 7

The tournament’s joint top try scorer was unable to clinch a winning score this time round, but was threatening as always.

13. Aurélien Rougerie – 9

Phenomenal in midfield. One huge hit on Conrad Smith and the key break that led to Dusautoir’s try summed up his commitment. Class.

12. Maxime Mermoz – 6

More to come from the Perpignan man at this level, but he grew into the match, carrying effectively in the second half.

11. Alexis Palisson – 7

His best game in a France shirt. Doubts have lingered over his ability at Test level, but he looked sharp and threatening throughout.

10. Morgan Parra – 5

Forced to leave the pitch after suffering a suspicious concussion from a Richie McCaw knee in the first half. Probably his last match at 10.

9. Dimitri Yachvili – 8

Grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck in the second half. Clever passes and brilliant probing kicks kept the heat on New Zealand as Yachvili played matador.

1. Jean-Baptiste Poux – 7

Harshly penalised by Craig Joubert, otherwise endured a good afternoon. Has made the shirt his own.

2. William Servat – 8

Class. Threw brilliantly, held his own in the scrum against Mealamu, and worked hard in defence.

3. Nicolas Mas – 7

Gave Woodcock a tough time up front, putting another excellent scrummaging performance.

4. Pascal Pape – 6

Unspectacular, didn’t take his first lineout until the second half. Did the unseen work well.

5. Lionet Nallet – 8

Another excellent performance from the former captain. Ruled the lineout, hit hard in defence and put pressure on Sam Whitelock and Brad Thorn at the front.

6. Thierry Dusautoir – 10

Did everything but win the match. The new IRB Player of the Year made over 20 tackles and scored France’s only try. His performance was so much more than those numbers though. He was possessed, committed and quite simply, brilliant. The greatest losing performance in a World Cup Final.

7. Julian Bonnaire – 7

More brilliant defensive work from the industrious Clermont man. Has excelled all tournament in the number 7 shirt.

8. Imanol Harinordoquy – 8

Supreme in the air, carried well. Blocked off from tackling Woodcock for the try.


Barcella and Szarzewski added some bite, whilst Francois Trinh-Duc was magnificent; cutting New Zealand apart.

by Ben Coles

8 thoughts on “RWC 2011: France Player Ratings v New Zealand

  1. Two months of high pressure rugby requires Physical and mental endurance. The All Blacks, Wales and Ireland demonstrated some spectacular Rugby including these elements duriing teh RWC. Unfortunately, the results of continued intense pressure rugby soon takes its toll on performance. France, on tthe otherhand, had a very dismal tournement except the final where they were sublime. I question, however their approach to this Rugby World Cup as very risque!. We all know Wales lost their game against France and not France winning it. One could say France was lucky to be in the final. Had they not made the final, I guarantee they would have been lauded in France, we would have seen a replication of their World Football Cup results. What we may see in future Rugby world cups is an adhoc approach to the initial games of the compitition, which could result in bland rugby. We could possibly see a bigger rotation of players comming into the RWC compitition halfway through it, with fresh mental belief (Aaron Cruden, Stephen Donald). If France deliberately adopted this approach I say bravo, it worked this time. If this was pure hasard, I say luck was certainly on your side this time.

    1. I don’t rate his gouging skills. I rate his play.

      (I don’t condone what he did and he’s obviously guilty before that gets mis-interpreted.)

      1. Anyone recall Rougerie taking Phil Greeting to court for handing him off legally and accidentally damaging his wind pipe? If McCaw weren’t such a gent he should sue Rougerie for that. What an absolute coward…and another c-word to boot.


    And so it was their final day in New Zealand…

    While New Zealand was congratulating itself for a successful world cup and outstanding hospitality, the French team was quietly trying to enjoy their last day in the country by going to a restaurant in downtown Auckland. A few hours before taking a plane, they could have enjoyed some more of this kiwi hospitality after giving all they could to make the final a fantastic game, finishing the whole tournament on an outstanding note.

    Instead of a thank you, the New Zealand Herald sent out hitman to disturb their privacy and spoil their last memories of New Zealand. These photographers, backed up by video-reporters, were obviously here for trouble. Easy to predict that a rugby player, not used to provocative, paparazzi-style reporters would get angry when cameras are shot at close range, at their face, on their free time. Then to get a good selling mix, add some controversy on an hypothetic eye-gouging that was not even reported to IRB, then you get a final insult. Rugby is not for the faint hearted, guys are rough with each other and players are not little pink poneys in a green paddock. The All Blacks are also familiar with that!

    It would have been great if New Zealand could have shown more respect towards its guests, especially when these were honorable oponents to the beloved winners.

    There is a word in French… indigne

    Sébastien Michel, Auckland.
    (Emigrated from France 10 years ago and made New Zealand his home)

    1. Yes, shame on the NZ Herald. They also had a story insinuating that Dusuatoir was involved in McCaw getting eye gouged, on the day the great man got awarded IRB Player of the Year. Really bad form.

      The NZ Herald is not NZ though, just as The Sun is not England. They are paparazzi. They make money by generating controversey.

    2. In one word…I just found disgusting the way the media of NZ speak about the french team and the french in general…We are taliking about Rugby : A real Sport with respect…Come here in France my beauty Nzealander…I ll show you how i will respect you !

      oui TU AS Raison Sebastien !! je regarde depuis plus de 2 semaines les insultes aupres de l’equipe de france…Je pensais que la NZ etait un pays accueillant…les critiques me dégoutent…Aucun respect vis a vis des joueurs de l’equipe de France, voir des français car le debat ne porte plus uniquement sur le rugby, mais on arrive a trouver des debilités sur les français….que dire ? Je suis franchement deçu par ce pays NZ..;que je respectais…mais maintenant…qu’ils viennent en France…! Je les accueillerais comme il se doit !!

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