The Blues’ next opponent, Namibia had already stood in the way of the French XV during the 1999 World Cup. And the French were not convinced…
Remembered for the incredible victory against the All-Blacks in the quarter-finals, the 1999 World Cup was rarely exciting for the Blues. Despite its three victories in as many matches, the XV of France was hardly convincing during the group stage. The tone was set from the first match against Canada with a painful 33-20 victory on the pitch at the Stade de la Méditerranée, Béziers.
And during their second outing, the men of Pierre Villepreux and Jean-Claude Skrela were hardly more convincing. Opposed to Namibia, one of the weakest teams in the competition, the French ultimately won 47-13. But undoubtedly wanting to do too well, the French never really freed themselves and put some madness into their game. Above all, they made numerous approximations like several passes into the void.
10-10 after half an hour of play
One of them, at the heart of the first period, allowed Namibia to score a try. After almost half an hour of play, the Blues and the Kudus were still neck and neck (10-10). Enough to annoy the public at the Stade Lescure who did not hesitate to whistle their players copiously. If the French regained their distance before the break, we had to wait until the second period to see three-quarters of the French finally let go.
But while some imagined the Blues scoring more than 100 points on their opponents, they ultimately had to settle for a 47-13 victory with six tries. “We must not come out frustrated, we must have fun,” said captain Raphaël Ibanez before the match. There was hardly any pleasure. And it was mainly disappointment that the Blues, like their supporters, felt throughout the meeting..,