strong phrases of the rugby year

Funny, fiery, angry, frank: find the best sentences that punctuated the oval year. Watch out for punchlines!

«We were not mistaken about the strategy. When you enter the conclusion zone 11 times, it was way beyond our expectations. But on the last gesture, on the facts of the game… It wasn’t enough. Of the seven final phase matches, we are the only team to have had so many highlights. Tactically, when you are in a position to score 37 points, you have not made a mistake. Defensively, we conceded 29 points. If I had to do it again, I would take the same strategy.»
Fabien Galthiéat the beginning of November, when he returned for the first time to the elimination of the Blues by South Africa in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

«When we feel that we have engaged the shoulder well, that there has been a big impact and that the opponent has scored the blow, after the tackle, we look him in the eyes. You then see in his eyes whether you tackled well or not. You know it by ear, too. If you hear a small dull noise, it means the shock was strong. Finally, there is the reaction from the stadium. If you hear a roar from the fans, you’ve made a big tackle. It motivates, it…»
Anthony Jelonch telling the Figaro his pleasure in tackling roughly to mark his territory.

«And what did you think about arbitration? It’s good to have an outside opinion… There’s a lot of disappointment, frustration, but we can’t wait to see the images again: I think we’re going to have even more frustrations. There are some clear and obvious things that are easy to whistle that weren’t. I don’t know if the match was lost at that moment but, in the crucial moments, we could have had a penalty: when we advance 60 meters and we slow down a ruck… I didn’t I don’t want to act bitter and complain about the referee because he lost the match, but I’m not sure that the refereeing was up to the challenge today.»
Antoine Dupont and his rant towards Ben O’Keeffe after France-South Africa

“I lacked respect by saying it was an average Toulouse team”

«I don’t know if any French people are listening. I think I was disrespectful by saying it was an average Toulouse team. For anyone who has played for Toulouse or will play there in the future, these comments were small and disappointing from me and I accept that. It’s important that I say it.»
Ronan O’Gara apologizes for the comments he made after La Rochelle’s defeat against Toulouse in the Top 14 final.

«This World Cup was not heartbreaking, but I was upset not to have been invited for the opening match, I found it scandalous for people who, after us, said they wanted bring together and unite, he said. And they don’t invite the person who went to win the World Cup, even though this organization had lost it. In two weeks, I managed to reverse the trend and get this World Cup. […] This World Cup is me. So not being invited hurt me.»
Bernard Laporteex-president of the FFR after the World Cup where he was person non grata

“I am madly in love with France, I am patriotic to the highest degree”

«Be careful, if Senegal runs through my veins, it is my second country. Because I am madly in love with France, I am patriotic to the highest degree. I think we are so lucky to be French. My heart does not swing between these two countries. I am 100% French!»
Gaël Fickouon the occasion of the release of his autobiography.

«I disappointed the world of Australian rugby. I did not fulfill the mission for which I was chosen. I am guilty. Do I change my approach? No.»
Eddie Jonesfaced with the disappointing results of the Wallabies, resigned from his post as Australia coach.

«Honestly, I thought about it at the end of the match but – and I might shock you – there are people who don’t have the possibility of doing anything else. I am lucky and honored to have been offered another position (president of the club, Editor’s note). And I start from the principle that what awaits me is perhaps even more beautiful. So I will be positive.»
Laurent Travers after his last match as manager of Racing 92, beaten in the Top 14 semi-final by Toulouse.

“And in four years it will be the same. We will take another 60 points…”

«I like the square English approach, what I have to work on, how I have to do it. But I also appreciate the way things work in Argentina and France, which relies a lot on affect. I am a hybrid mode.»
Thibaud Flamentthe most English of the French, before facing England at Twickenham for the first time in his career on March 10, 2023.

«That’s the reality of the World Cup, when you play a top 10 team, it’s complex and it will be the same in four years, it’s a shame. I believe that the technical errors we made came from a lack of rhythm and fatigue. When you don’t often play these kinds of teams, you don’t know what can happen after forty minutes. Seven Chilean players had no experience… And in four years, it will be the same. We will take another 60 points.»
Pablo Lemoinecoach of Chile, after the defeat against England in the World Cup (71-0)

«Since the start of the season, we have been poorly refereed. Just last week, we awarded a try against us which wasn’t there. It was already a joke! This evening I’m not far from thinking that it’s a joke. Until now I haven’t talked about it, but that’s enough, we have to be respected. But that’s one of the things we have to resolve by being a better team, by being respected. There, we are a team that finished 10th last season, in reconstruction, so we are refereed like that. People will say that I’m complaining, but no, it’s the truth.»
Christophe Urios after Clermont’s defeat against Toulouse on November 26.

Rugby: relive the year 2023 in photos

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