David, how do you feel after qualifying for the semi-finals of the Olympic Games?
Listen, satisfaction has to come first. The group is proud of itself, it is to achieve these routes that we are preparing. When we arrived in Tokyo, we knew why we were there, and with what ambitions, so far it’s not bad.
Les Bleues struggled to get into their quarter-final …
They were indeed put in difficulty by Chinese women who had well prepared their meeting. They attacked the intervals properly, and wanted to speed up their game. Certainly we did not have our best game, on the contrary, but I prefer to retain the strength of character of the players. They did not panic like they did against Fiji, and responded to the fight proposed by China. Sometimes he makes people know how to win “ugly”.
That is to say ?
I’m a big fan of the beautiful game, but sometimes you have to go back to basics to snatch victory, especially in high-stakes games like this quarter-final. Only the result counts, the artistic note does not exist in rugby. Even behind the score, the players did not panic and turned their backs while waiting to get their hands on this game. They have given themselves the means to win this place in the half.
How did you feel the players at the final whistle?
They came back satisfied to take one more lap but it shows that they are not satisfied. Some were already there in San Francisco three years ago in the World Cup final so humility is the key at those times. I hope the group realizes that they can achieve something huge, but I don’t doubt that much.
Since the start of the Olympic tournament, the French team have given the impression of gaining momentum, can this be felt at the edge of the pitch?
I want to say yes and no to you. We are playing better and better it is true, but it is especially that the general public expected to see the Fijians take forty against us. When we see that they eliminated the Australian title holders, we better understand our difficulties against this team. The French have become demanding with this France team but I take that as a good point for me. Our second day of competition is perfect in terms of results and good on the pitch, it makes you want to see you tomorrow.
After this qualification, is it now a medal or nothing?
My answer may frustrate a few, but I’m not thinking of a medal at the time you ask me this question. Tomorrow morning, we will focus mainly on our performance before thinking about a medal. How to get those Brits back, how to win the collisions, that’s the most important thing. You have to be obsessed with our content before thinking about anything else. The four teams still in the race dream of a medal, that’s normal.
The Olympic tournament is played over three days instead of the usual two, physically the players feel good?
On this side, everything is fine. My group is in its best physical condition since Rio five years ago. In any case, we kind of make our years to be ready for the games. For example, in the World Series, we play every two hours, at the Olympics, we can have up to eight hours of break between two games, so in the end it’s not more difficult to manage.
What can you tell me about Great Britain, your future adversary?
I can just assure you that this is a team that we know perfectly well. We did a lot of training together before these Games. The British are players full of mischief, strong in terms of strategy. We will have to play with our weapons, that is to say, base our attacks on initiatives as usual. This game is going to be stifling and tough. The score will be tight until the end I’m sure. The best team will win, it’s 50-50.
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