Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

Top14 player imposter!

JDV smashed by Benoit August

The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

French Flair - tries from 1970 to 1999

French rugby has for many a year been associated with a free running spirit and je ne sais quoi that is truly unique and a pleasure to watch.

One of our regular contributors from France has put together a video that shows some of the finer moments from the men in blue, spanning thirty years of classic running rugby.

The early seventies clips show us legends of the French game scoring fantastic tries, leading into the eighties and nineties, culminating in one of the most famous French wins over New Zealand in '99.

Some of the players on display here are legends such as Lagisquet, Blanco, Sella, Lafond, Camberabero, Sadourny, Saint-Andre, and Dominici.

It's a sensational compilation that shows you the true flair of the French, running the ball from all angles, keeping it alive whenever possible, and most importantly - getting over the tryline to finish off the great phases of play.

Stand out moments would be Serge Blanco's winning try in the 1987 World Cup Semi Final, the try by Phillip Saint-Andre at Twickenham in 1991, the 'Try of the Century' by Jean-Luc Sadourny in 1994, and then of course, tries scored by the French in the 1999 World Cup semi against the All Blacks.

It's a treat to watch, as it features some fairly rare footage you probably wouldn't have seen before. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did, and thanks again to Guetteba for putting it together.

Time: 07:49



  • haha very entertaining

    By Anonymous luke, at January 14, 2009 2:46 am  

  • Wow, just amazing. Being a winger and a french canadian myseflf I gotta say this embodies my vision of rugby. Such a great style of play by the French. The commentators are just hilarious (wish you could all understand them). Really a good video Guetteba. Thanks a lot, it's so inspiring...can't wait for 6-nations :p

    By Anonymous Stacky, at January 14, 2009 3:12 am  

  • Philippe Sella, best player ever!!! Great tries, great team spirit! Long live for "Le XV de France"

    By Anonymous Francois, at January 14, 2009 3:28 am  

  • I wish I would have been around when rugby was an amateur's game.

    These were just regular guys that loved to play rugby and were so good that they were picked to represent their country.

    This was a great compilation of tries, thanks for posting it!

    By Anonymous Anononononymous, at January 14, 2009 3:37 am  

  • Truly great! Thanks for the post!

    By Anonymous Raul, at January 14, 2009 3:41 am  

  • Great video Guetteba one of the best i've seen

    By Anonymous win, at January 14, 2009 4:18 am  

  • Good stuff from the French
    France Vs Wales will be thee game of the 6 nations to watch.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 14, 2009 5:43 am  

  • Some of these tries give me chills, and im not even french. Such a superb playing style.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 14, 2009 8:05 am  

  • Le XV francais, capable of the best rugby like the worse...
    It's always good to remid the best!!!
    Thanks boys. Amateur or pro, always doing it with passion!
    Vive Toulouse!

    By Blogger Kevin, at January 14, 2009 8:09 am  

  • Is it me or do Ireland and New Zealand just suck ass against France! Haha!

    Brilliant video!!!

    By Anonymous thebossanova, at January 14, 2009 9:21 am  

  • That was great, lots of good tries, a very French choice of music for a rugby compilation and some hilariously partisan commentary especially in the NZ game.

    Mind you, I've seen that Blanco try in the RWC on several different 'best try ever' type things and I've never understoond why, the ball gets dropped several times, there's at least one forward pass and one knock on and ultimately it's just a race for the corner.

    Still, a very entertaining video, cheers.

    By Anonymous will66, at January 14, 2009 9:24 am  

  • If only they would try to be play like that again and get rid of these horrible kicking duels... Very nice compilation

    By Blogger Thomas, at January 14, 2009 10:32 am  

  • Incroyable. Les gabarits des mecs semblent tellement ridicules compaé à ceux de maintenant!
    Et quelle inspiration, quelo soutien permanent...bon, d'accord, quelques libérations foireuses mais bon!

    Sorry for the english readers.
    Thanks RD!

    By Anonymous Vinch, at January 14, 2009 10:36 am  

  • Sublime

    By Anonymous Tanqueray, at January 14, 2009 10:52 am  

  • Is that not the last of the mohicans music?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 14, 2009 12:25 pm  

  • Very entertaining. I agree with Anononononymous's sentimentality for the amateur game.

    I was amazed sometimes with the speed that the halfback would appear on a loose ball and get it out to the 10.

    Is "French Flair" a bit rich, though? They are all excellent tries, but is there any aspect that sets it apart from other countries?

    By Blogger granite, at January 14, 2009 1:09 pm  

  • yeah I do think France do have their own style and French flair is an apt enough description of it.

    Great video, I personally love the commentators, some of those tries were so dramatic and in big games, you can't expect the french lads to stay non-partisan. The semi-final try is so highly regarded because there was excellent passes and support running but also because it was such a dramatic score late on in the game.

    Man, Ireland really has been bitch-slapped by France over the years :(

    By Anonymous Third Centre, at January 14, 2009 1:35 pm  

  • You have to love French rugby. Fantastic video, i do enjoy the big hit montages on RD, but nothing puts a smile on a rugby lovers face more than a compilation like this.

    But thats the beauty of this game, it can be tough and confrontational, yet produce moments of effortless grace and flair like shown in this clip.

    By Anonymous R, at January 14, 2009 1:44 pm  

  • Being an Englishman, sometimes it can be hard to see the French succeed. But, i could have watched that all day long.
    Inspiring stuff.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 14, 2009 2:34 pm  

  • It kinda gives a sense to the word "Epic"

    By Anonymous Chris, at January 14, 2009 3:23 pm  

  • That it's the meaning of rugby, all the team running with the ball, not just the backs running and the fowards crashing,and that is the most common stuff to see in the modern rugby,but when I watch some old school rugby footage like 70s Wales or 90s Frenchies , it inspires you to want to play rugby,but real rugby

    By Anonymous Manfred, at January 14, 2009 4:30 pm  

  • Granite, I know what you mean but I think there is something that sets the French apart; maybe less so nowadays where "kids" starting out in Top 14 rugby have already had defensive patterns and "moves" drilled into them.

    I think Pierre Berbizier was a master at getting the ball from 9 to 10 and I was amazed by a few of his feats in this video. Great French teams have always been built on having a front five that looks like it's out of Lord of the Rings, a back row containing players who excel at sports like skiing and swimming as well as rugby, a nippy Napoleon at 9, a tackle-shy kicker at 10 and 5 guys who run straight, tackle hard and are as willing to bring a team-mate into play as they are to score themselves. Did I mention indiscipline?

    By Blogger Disco, at January 14, 2009 4:36 pm  

  • Very good video, probably one of the best on RD.

    By Blogger Dune, at January 14, 2009 4:41 pm  

  • I love the French XV, so I was very happy with this vid. The proven all black killers

    By Anonymous AmerikaCenter, at January 14, 2009 5:21 pm  

  • WIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!!

    By Anonymous Chris, at January 14, 2009 5:32 pm  

  • Could somebody bilingual translate the French commentary for the 1999 NZ game tries please?

    By Anonymous Hugh, at January 14, 2009 5:37 pm  

  • hey just want to say thanks for putting this up was really good fun to watch, send shivers down my spine on numerious ocasions

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 14, 2009 5:47 pm  

  • I love the commentary in the match against new zeland, frenh try are great, but now I don't really see this "french flair" anymore, hope that 6 nation will be great for marc lievremont's team..
    nice vidéo thanks a lot

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 14, 2009 5:52 pm  

  • Great video, great players
    French team in the 80's was one of the most talented team of history
    emotions, skills, team tries, i just love some of the commentators just like pierre albaladejo, couderc or salviac

    a great thks to RD

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 14, 2009 6:55 pm  

  • As someone who played a little back in the amateur days, 1990-1995, I must admit to being nostalgic for the flair of the tries in the compilation. It's nice to see average sized folks banging the ball around (in great big honking rugby tops, no less).

    Let we get too misty eyed about the brave lads playing for beer and love of the country, don't forget that things weren't all that amateur even back then. The top countries (France included) had pretty healthy club based leagues where you didn't exactly get paid outright if playing for them, but you didn't see a lot of silly bills for things like board and lodging. Don't forget that the game went professional partly to legitimize what was already in place and give the smaller countries the chance to compete outright. So, nuff said about that.

    What I do get misty eyed for in this compilation is the rucking skills and speed that the ball emerges as a result from the various pile-ups. See, back in those days, anyone trying to cynically slow the ball down in a ruck would get a bit of the boot, so you learned to stay the hell away from the action when on the floor. Look how quickly the guys on the get back to their feet ... they weren't doing it for good sportsmanship, I'll tell you, but instead because the floor was a dangerous place to be at any time. Unlike today, where grabbing and wrestling on the ground seems to be taught in the crib. Shame on the rulesmakers, I say.

    By Anonymous Bobby Nations, at January 14, 2009 8:29 pm  

  • People always say they dislike the french for their dirty play or whatever reason, but you can't deny watching them play in this video and not say its pure art.
    Quick hands goes a very long way in rugby!

    By Anonymous samitarugby, at January 14, 2009 8:57 pm  

  • One thing that strikes me is the do or die attitude to keep the ball alive. They perform all these last-ditch offloads that leave me wondering how the ball got out of the wrapping arms of the tackler. Under no circumstances do they recycle and start again - when they get a sniff of l'essai, they go for it! And their ability to stand up and man and pass - it just cuts the opposing players out of the game. They pass at the last minute to ensure the receiver has every chance to either make a break and/or go the whole way.

    I wish England played like that!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 14, 2009 9:20 pm  

  • The first song is called Auto Rock by Mogwai. A fine Scottish contribution to a great video.

    It takes you back to an era where passes didn't need to be spun, stand offs could have bald heads and referees had the balls to give tries in the corner in World Cup Semi Finals without consulting everyone and their granny.

    I'll be at the Stade de France on Valentine's Day hoping for the 1999 Ghost of Toony, Taity and Leslie to come back and haunt the french.

    By Anonymous Le Gazelle, at January 14, 2009 10:58 pm  

  • i completly agree with u bobby nations.

    this video shows what rugby should always be:
    score tries again and again

    rulemakers have given too much power to the defence, rolling maul and sneaky forwards.

    let it continue and munster or argentina will continue to win

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 15, 2009 12:11 am  

  • i just love this video
    So classy

    pierre berbizier, blanco, sella were just monsters of fine game

    hope to see medard, heymans, clerc or fritz do diamonds tries at the next 6 nations

    By Blogger Flooz, at January 15, 2009 12:14 am  

  • Some fantastic tries there, it almost looks like to me they ran a hell of a lot faster back then. Had some cracker of tries too.

    By Anonymous V99, at January 15, 2009 12:20 am  

  • Amazing compilation. One of the best I've seen on here in awhile, showing the true spirit of our sport.
    Great moments, complimented by well-chosen music.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 15, 2009 12:29 am  

  • its funny that nowadays you have super athletes spin passing the ball through elaborate set plays yet hardly any of them have the natural ability to pass it off at the right times to keep the game going this quickly.

    Referring mostly to the england team right now

    amazing video

    By Blogger casey, at January 15, 2009 1:41 am  

  • Now there's some nostalgia for you... Did anybody see Franck Mesnel in any of those? I tried to listen for him but it was drowned out by the music. Fantastic video.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 15, 2009 1:50 am  

  • Thanks Guetteba (and RD)! Watched it about 20 times now and still gives me goose bumps. Cannot write more comments, have to go and watch it again:-)

    By Anonymous Bart, at January 15, 2009 8:50 am  

  • Rugby has changed a lot and I'm a bit nostaligc of this period.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 15, 2009 11:11 am  

  • those guys were very good but i get the impression some of those wouldn't have been trys in todays game, a couple of feet in touch and quite a few forward passes and knock ons

    still inspiring though

    By Anonymous Daveaubrey, at January 15, 2009 11:17 am  

  • Marvelous. A great display! Serge Blanco, Philippe Sella.

    Vive le rugby à la main...

    By Anonymous vincent, at January 15, 2009 1:41 pm  

  • it would be nice to have the same video for all the countries

    By Blogger thibault, at January 15, 2009 1:46 pm  

  • omfg stop putting gay music in your videos please?

    By Anonymous birthdayer, at January 15, 2009 6:55 pm  

  • For Hugh : one of the french speakers for France - NZ 1999, the more shouting one, is Bernard Laporte.
    He commented the RWC and was just Paris Stade Francais coach at this time.
    He became french manager after the RWC 1999.

    The truth is... he was a better live speaker than national coach. lol

    By Anonymous 4LC4TR4Z, at January 16, 2009 6:14 pm  

  • Rugby champagne!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 16, 2009 7:30 pm  

  • Bithdayer said:

    "omfg stop putting gay music in your videos please?"

    Dude you're just a dickhead.I don't know why but i bet you're an anti-french yankee, and an ignorant about rugby (and music).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 19, 2009 2:52 pm  

  • Good old time.

    When you grew up watching that kind of rugby, no surprise you're a bit disappointed by the modern one.

    I agree with thibault, there is a huge need to do the same job for all the countries.

    Bithdayer, you don't like the music, that's your choice, but did you know you could switch off sound of youtube's videos ?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 19, 2009 8:49 pm  

  • Nice,

    That's why the French are my third favourite team - After the Wallabies and the Welsh.

    By Anonymous Richard, at January 20, 2009 1:04 pm  

  • music too frickin loud, can't hear the crowd, or the commentators.. why??

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 20, 2009 11:00 pm  

  • Rugby Champagne , rugby.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 21, 2009 2:46 am  

  • It's simple why rugby isn't palyed this way any more. Better defense. Defenses are way, way tighter these days. It's much, much harder to break the line or even just a tackle these days, let alone play the kind of ad-hoc, free flowing rugby France has been famous for in the past. The fijians still do it mind, and it's awesome to watch, but it only works for them about half the time.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 22, 2009 8:55 am  

  • Which one was Jean-Luc Sadournoy's try?At what time? The 1994 "Try of the century"

    By Anonymous Angus, at January 23, 2009 9:55 pm  

  • Which one was Jean-Luc Sadournoy's try?At what time? The 1994 "Try of the century"

    By Anonymous Angus, at January 23, 2009 9:55 pm  

  • the try of the century is at 3:34 against all blacks

    By Blogger Rugby-Passion-Quintin, at June 09, 2009 10:00 pm  

  • There is nothing more entertaining than the french, free-flowing with ball in hand.
    The interplay, and supporting runs... the absolute lunacy of some of the things that they did & pulled off. French flair is a rare thing, and sadly something we don't see much of anymore.

    If ever rugby needed the passion, creativeness and flair of the french, it's now- doesn't it all seem a bit stale at the moment?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 13, 2009 8:30 pm  

  • This video almost had me in tears. Truly. Spine-tingling stuff.

    By Anonymous Floyd, at June 21, 2009 1:22 pm  

  • Its a shame running rugby like this has disappeared from the game to be replaced by kicking duels

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 26, 2009 11:41 am  

  • AWESOME! Great video, the music is cool man.
    Alles le Bleus.

    By Blogger LondonGuy, at July 02, 2009 2:46 pm  

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