Player ratings: Blue blitz

Sat, 17 Nov 2012 22:18
Pascal-pape-france-630 Yoann-maestri-france2-630 Pascal-pape-charge630 Louis-picamoles-france-char
At the centre of the blue blitz was flyhalf Frederic Michalak

France continued their impressive year-end form with a deserving 39-22 demolition of a willing Argentina in Lille on Saturday.

Argentina gave as good as they got, but a 21-point blitz by France in the first half set them on course for the victory.

France scored 21 points a 15-minutes period in the first half to go from 3-13 down to 24-13.

At the centre of the blue blitz was flyhalf Frederic Michalak.

Jan de Koning rates the French players!

15 Brice Dulin:
Sublime grubber for Vincent Clerc's second try. Started slowly, even missing a crucial tackle, but once France got on the front foot he came into his own.

14 Wesley Fofana:
He was very quiet in the first half and only had a couple of runs. Injected some pace into the French attacks late in the second half.

13 Florian Fritz:
At first struggled to inject himself into the game, but later managed some powerful runs. Conceded a penalty that gave the Pumas some momentum early in the second half.  Mixed back.

12 Maxime Mermoz:
Missed a tackle that resulted in Pumas' try, but managed some telling runs in the second half.

11 Vincent Clerc:
Showed his finishing ability and did not miss any tackles. Still a quality player.

10 Frederic Michalak:
Failed to find touch from a penalty, but regularly managed to turn the Pumas around  and even slotted a drop-goal - as usual varying between the sublime and ridiculous. But mostly it was sublime.

9 Maxime Machenaud:
Put his team under pressure with poor skills, when he failed to control possession and allowed the Pumas to get on the front foot. For the most part he was a decent link.

8 Louis Picamoles:
Concede a penalty when he tackled Nicolas Sanchez in the air. However, he was again involved in everything - including throwing a crucial pass in the lead-up to Vincent Clerc's first try.

7 Fulgence Ouedraogo:
Was causing havoc on the Puma line-out throws and won all his own throws. His tackle count was just as impressive.

6 Yannick Nyanga:
Great opportunism to step out of two tackles and sprint 40 metres for a sublime try - you have to ask why he has been ignored by the previous coaching regime. Had the highest tackle count of all the French players.

5 Yoann Maestri:
Some strong carries and a few big hits, but also slipped a tackle or two.

4 Pascal Pape (captain):
Worked hard off the ball and made some big hits on defence. Surprised he is not being used more in the line-outs.

3 Nicolas Mas:
Was quiet for most part and also conceded a couple of silly penalties.

2 Dimitri Szarzewski:
Full of energy in the early stages and was good value on defence, but faded as the game wore on.

1 Yannick Forestier:
Concede an offside penalty that cost his team and the later a scrum penalty - he is a liability to his team.


16 Benjamin Kayser (on for Szarzewski, 50th min):
Made no real impact, other than a few tackles.

17 Thomas Domingo (on for Forestier, 50th min):
Made a huge impact on defence and had one of the highest tackle counts in the final quarter - shutting out a  number of Puma raids.

18 Vincent Debaty (on for Mas, 68th min):
Not enough time to be rated.

19 Jocelino Suta (on for Maestri , 60th min):
His carries were largely ineffective, but was sound on defence and took all his line-outs.

20 Damien Chouly (on for Picamoles, 73rd min):
Not enough time to be rated.

21 Morgan Parra (on for Machenaud, 58th min):
Wasn't much better than Machenaud - basically just a link.

22 Francois Trinh-Duc (on for Dulin, 68th min):
Not enough time to be rated.

23 Yoann Huget (on for Fritz, 62nd min):
Slipped more tackles than he made and hardly made ground with the ball in hand.