ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Monday Feb 25, 2019

Michalak outspoken on new French combination after win over Scotland

Toulouse pairing Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack put in an “almost perfect” performance in France’s bonus point 27-10 victory over Scotland in Paris on Saturday, according to former internationalist Frédéric Michalak.

ADVERTISEMENT

The young half-back duo were brought in from the bench to the starting line-up by Jacques Brunel after his side were crushed 44-8 by England in Round 2, with club-mate Thomas Ramos taking the full-back position.

All three had a hand in delivering France’s first victory of this season’s 6 Nations as Les Bleus comfortably out-scored an abject Scottish side.

Brunel’s squad also managed something they have struggled to achieve in the last five test matches in a complete second half performance. They were helped by a defensively weak Scotland, whose handling and attacking frailties seemed to carry on from their loss to Ireland a fortnight ago.

This combined with the fresh attacking threats from Dupont and Ntamack allowed France some long-sought-after front-foot ball, something Michalak felt was key to victory.

He told l’Équipe: “They [Dupont and Ntamack] were excellent. Very good with ball in hand, very good in territory. I particularly appreciated the long cross-field kicks for Penaud. It’s a big advantage to have this threat. It allows a team to have more solutions and more creativity. We now need the mid-field to be as strong as the half-backs to get the team playing [to its maximum].”

Speaking about Ntamack specifically, Michalak added: “His adversaries eyed him up, but he won all of his one-on-ones. He always brings others [onto the ball] with good timing, leaving available space to speed up the game.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Ntamack also showed prowess in defence, making 20 tackles and missing just one before being replaced by Toulon’s Anthony Belleau with three minutes left.

Ramos was left to do the kicking, missing two conversions and a penalty, which could have made the winning margin even greater than it was. But with Ntamack left to pull the strings in attack, and evidently in defence, the 19-year-old showed a poise and confidence that belies his years.

For scrum-half Dupont, it was yet another demonstration that the 22-year-old former Castres player is set to cement his position as first-choice in Jacques Brunel’s squad. Replaced by Baptiste Serin towards the end, Dupont’s break from the second half restart was instrumental in creating Yoann Huget’s try and was particularly effective with strong clearance kicks, further starving Scotland of critical territory.

ADVERTISEMENT

France’s second test match victory in their last nine is perhaps a real turning point ahead of the World Cup, with the faith in the up-and-coming young talent – many of whom were part of the world championship winning Under 20s squad in 2018 – seemingly paying off on the field.

The 6 Nations takes a break next weekend, before France travel to Dublin to face Ireland looking for a first win there since 2011. Scotland host table-topping Wales at BT Murrayfield in an attempt to rediscover their form while England make the trip to Rome to play Italy.

Related Articles

  • 10 WEEKS AGO

    France ends 31-year victory drought in Australia...

  • 29 WEEKS AGO

    Inquests called for as Galthié revealed...

  • 31 WEEKS AGO

    This is how France will cope with the loss...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    The very best 'trick shots' in rugby show exactly why we love this game

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    The time an All Blacks great combined with uncapped Australian legend to score 80-metre stunner

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Closer look at Barrett offload which wowed fans in Rugby Championship masterclass

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Re-live one of the most iconic hat tricks in Blues history by Fiji great Rupeni Caucaunibuca

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Re-live possibly Jonny Wilkinson's best Twickenham performance against All Blacks in 2002

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Head on head clash dismissed but Wiese still misses All Blacks match

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Monstrous hit leaves scrum half clutching chest after probably biggest red card of 2021

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Déjà vu for Pablo Matera after thumping double hit against All Blacks from kick off

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Fans lay into Wallaby flanker after narrowly escaping red against Springboks

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: 4 times players were kicked in the face under a high ball

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 23 HOURS AGO

    Honey Badger goes mega viral with sheep saving video

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Springbok star hits back at journalist's question, says Wallabies were 'street smart'

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Austin Healey says new laws don't encourage player honesty after Exeter incident

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Tongan Thor makes EPIC assist with blind pass even Quade Cooper would be proud of

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Fans lay into Wallaby flanker after narrowly escaping red against Springboks

View All

Funnies

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Montoya calls All Blacks star a pu**y in hilarious head loss moment

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    French players lift 1+ ton car off the road ahead of Top 14 game

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Committed winger suffers unluckiest injury of the year after just TWO minutes

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    These ridiculous interviews vary from funny to downright bizarre

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: The kicking technique which had fans in stitches each weekend

View All

Amateur

  • 46 WEEKS AGO

    Viral video of Scottish club brawl goes down a storm with rugby community

  • 83 WEEKS AGO

    RUGBYDUMP BLITZ: This Best of the Week round up is sure to entertain you

  • 84 WEEKS AGO

    RD BLITZ - Disaster, just when it looked so promising...

  • 84 WEEKS AGO

    That glorious moment that will live on forever, like it or not

  • 84 WEEKS AGO

    RD Blitz - PROP'S Lionel Messi wizardy creates incredible try

View All

Player Features

  • 9 WEEKS AGO

    A deeper look at Jason Robinson's incredible path to the top

  • 30 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bumping off tacklers and taking high balls, Rob Kearney had an impressive Super Rugby debut

  • 36 WEEKS AGO

    Brian Moore on money in modern rugby and how it should never be compared to 'outlier' football

  • 37 WEEKS AGO

    Tuisova's wrecking ball montage will make you grateful you never made it as a pro

  • 43 WEEKS AGO

    New Zealand rugby pod admit Owen Farrell is world class

View All