France player ratings: Charles Ollivon and Peato Mauvaka stand tall in Les Bleus’ World Cup exit

David Skippers
Charles Ollivon France v SA RWC 2023 - Alamy.jpg

France's Charles Ollivon on the charge against South Africa.

After their 29-28 Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeat to South Africa at the Stade de France in Paris, here’s how the France team performed on Sunday.

15 Thomas Ramos: The Toulouse full-back was his usual accurate self off the kicking tee but not as prominent in other facets of play and made a crucial error when he kicked the ball directly into touch from a restart behind his try-line. 6

14 Damian Penaud: The tournament’s top try-scorer had some attacking opportunities, especially in the first half, but made little impact as South Africa‘s defence kept him at bay. Gained 50 metres from eight runs and made six hits. 7

13 Gael Fickou: The Racing 92 centre kept the Bok defence on their toes as he made some good attacking runs and completed 50 metres from eight carries, but most of that was in the first half and he went quiet in the second. 7

12 Jonathan Danty: He was used as a battering ram but did not do too much damage in that department as he only gained 16 metres from 11 runs. Came off second best in his direct duel with Damian de Allende. 6

11 Louis Bielle-Biarrey: The young flyer had few attacking opportunities and was targeted with some high balls from Manie Libbok in the first half which he battled to deal with. Finished with 27 metres gained from four runs but most of that was in the latter part of the second half when France were chasing the game. 6

10 Matthieu Jalibert: Les Bleus’ fly-half started the game brightly with some good attacking moments but he was less prominent as the match progressed. Also at fault defensively for Eben Etzebeth’s try. 7

Solid return for France’s skipper

9 Antoine Dupont (c): There was plenty of talk about his selection in the build-up to the game but France‘s skipper can be proud of his effort as he delivered a solid all-round performance. Impressed with his distribution and decision making during the early stages but less influential as the match progressed. 8

8 Gregory Alldritt: The La Rochelle stalwart did well on attack during the first half but after a solid start he could not maintain that high standard and finished with 42 metres gained from 13 carries. Shone on defence with a joint team-high nine tackles before being replaced by Sekou Macalou in the 69th minute. 7

7 Charles Ollivon: The Toulon stalwart was at the forefront of France’s forward effort as he shone as a ball carrier throughout and finished with 54 metres gained from 12 carries. He also emptied the tank on defence and made nine hits. 8

6 Anthony Jelonch: Did what was expected of him in the breakdown battle as he competed ferociously in that department and also did his bit on defence before being replaced by Francois Cros after 51 minutes. 7

5 Thibaud Flament: Little to report here as the 26-year-old made little impact during a 50-minute stint on the field before being replaced by Romain Taofifenua. 5

4 Cameron Woki: The 24-year-old did what was expected of him in the lineouts, where he won his fair share of possession but not as effective on attack and defence. 6

3 Uini Atonio: He stood up well in the scrums and put his body on the line in that department. France struggled in that department when he was replaced by Dorian Aldegheri in the 58th minute. 7

Outstanding all-round performance

2 Peato Mauvaka: The 26-year-old caught the eye with an outstanding all-round performance as he took the fight to the Springboks with some excellent line breaks. Eventually gained 77 metres from 13 runs and scored a try before Pierre Bourgarit came on to replace him in the 64th minute. 8

1 Cyril Baille: Was involved in an fascinating tussle with Frans Malherbe in the scrums but the Toulouse man gave a good account of himself at the set-piece. Baille’s general play was also of a high standard and he was rewarded with two first-half tries for his efforts. 8

Replacements: Unfortunately, France’s replacements could not maintain the high standard set by their first-choice players and there was a drop in the intensity levels, especially in during the latter stages of the second half when most of their changes were made. 4

READ MORE: Springboks knock out hosts France in pulsating quarter-final in Paris