PARIS, France – The French media have lambasted both the Springboks and France following Saturday’s uninspiring Test in Paris.
In the end, the Boks battled their way to an 18-17 win in an error-filled affair that did little to ease the pressure that is mounting on both coach Allister Coetzee and his French counterpart Guy Novès.
French newspaper L'Equipe went so far as to label the Test match as one of “nothingness” while suggesting that the clash was barely worthy of international status.
The report highlighted the fact that South Africa came into the clash “on their knees” after suffering a historic 38-3 loss to Ireland, and questioned how France had still failed to tactically overcome a Bok team that battled with inconsistent goal-kicking.
In a column, Toulon coach Fabien Galthié held nothing back, writing that “two sleeping giants of world rugby continue to sleep” while labelling Handré Pollard as a player who was not fit to be a Test-match flyhalf.
After Saturday’s disappointing display from both teams, the Boks will next face Italy in Padova, while France will host Japan.
Neither side is likely to head into these clashes with much confidence, with regional paper La Depeche labelling last Saturday's contest at the Stade de France as a “sorry advert for the game” due to the number of “schoolboy errors”.
In Le Journal Du Dimanche, veteran French rugby journalist Daniel Herrero wrote that South Africa were hardly all that superior to France, but appeared to simply be “better educated”.
It’s partly for that reason that Herrero also speculates that Novès will soon face the axe.
The only slight bit of positive news out of the French media saw Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx awarded a 7/10 rating in L'Equipe’s player rankings.