Player ratings: Captain fantastic

Sat, 22 Jun 2013 11:12
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A vintage performance by the French captain

France captain Thierry Dusautoir led his team aplomb in his final match in New Zealand in New Plymouth on Saturday.

The “Dark Destroyer” could not quite lead his side to victory over the All Blacks on New Zealand soil, the French succumbing 9-24, but he certainly left it all on the park in a typically inspirational performance.  

It was a much-improved performance by Les Bleus after their 0-30 humbling last weekend.

They played for their skipper and redeemed themselves somewhat despite suffering a series whitewash.

Quintin van Jaarsveld rates the French players.
15 Brice Dulin
Can be very satisfied with his performance. He hardly put a foot wrong, made an excellent try-saving tackle on Ben Smith and ran for 70 metres.

14 Marc Andreu

Made the most of the few opportunities he had.

13 Florian Fritz

Popped over a drop-goal but missed two tackles in midfield.

12 Wesley Fofana

In contrast to Fritz, Fofana was rock solid on defence but uncharacteristically clumsy on attack.

11 Yohann Huget

Poor workrate and a terrible knock-on late in the game inside his 22

10 Remi Tales

Attacked the All Black line and caused some real headaches for the hosts. Conversely, his tactical kicking left a lot to be desired and nullified much of his attacking exploits.    

9 Jean Marc Doussain

Very lively from the base, making an electrifying break and offload to Andreu. However, he let his team down in the goal-kicking department, missing two very kickable penalties.  

8 Antonie Claassen

A workmanlike effort by the South African-born No.8. He was the go-to ball carrier, made a dozen tackles and contributed to a flawless line-out.   

7 Damien Chouly

A pillar of strength in the line-out but he slipped a couple of tackles.

6 Thierry Dusautoir (captain)

A vintage performance by the French captain. He conceded a couple of penalties but more than made up for it with his tenacious defence - not only leading the tackle count (16) but consistently driving ball carriers back.   

5 Yoann Maestri

Undid his good defensive work by losing his cool and getting yellow carded for what appeared to be a headbutt.

4 Alexandre Flanquart

Not quite as impressive as his opposite number Luke Romano but he went toe-to-toe with his All Black counterpart for most of the match.

3 Nicolas Mas

The veteran was understandably outworked by his younger rivals in general play but he undoubtedly got the better of them at scrum time, which is his primary objective.  

2 Benjamin Kayser

The turnaround he made in the line-outs after Dimitri Szarzewski’s misfiring display and Sam Whitelock’s dominance last weekend was nothing short of astounding. The French boasted a perfect 15-0 record in the set-piece, mostly due to Kayser’s accuracy, and he made 11 tackles to boot.   

1 Thomas Domingo

Very strong with ball in hand as he showed with a bullocking run shortly after the kick-off and caused all sorts of problems for Owen Franks at scrum time.


16 Dimitri Szarzewski (on for Kayser, 64th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

17 Eddy Ben Arous (on for Domingo, 64th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

18 Luc Ducalon (on for Mas, 64th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

19 Sebastien Vahaamahina (on for Flanquart, 59th minute)
Failed to make an impact.

20 Bernard le Roux
(on for Claassen, 72nd minute)
Not enough time to be rated.
21 Maxime Machenaud (on for Doussain, 59th minute)
Played a tactical-kicking role thus not troubling the All Black defence and missed a tackle.  

22 Camille Lopez
(on for Tales, 72nd minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

23 Mathieu Bastareaud (on for Huget, third minute; on for Fritz, 63rd minute)
Not enough time to be rated.