After the stunning triumph of the France team against Australia on Thursday (70-57), captain Sarah Michel recalled that this victory was only the first step in a very difficult group.
Sarah Michel, captain of the France team, the fallera of Australia at the start of the World Cup (70-57): “We wanted to show that this team has a heart, that we give it our all. Not everything was perfect, but we found the resources, everyone did their part, those who played for a long time, not so much. We knew it was going to be a bit of double or nothing for Australia – when you’re the host country, you can have a bit of pressure. We didn’t want them to light up. They put up the first two shots, then we put a little more pressure on. We try to put pressure on the back and control the rebound. I want to say that this victory does not change anything. Our group is so tough that I keep telling the girls that every game is a tough game, that you have to treat it like a final. We are going to play the games one after another with the greatest desire and intensity possible, to fight and show that we have something to do in this competition. »
Alexia Chartereau, interior of the France team: “This is good, it allows us to start the competition well. We had finished the preparation with three defeats, good games. We are capable of winning with the form, the most difficult thing is to reproduce it. We were constant for forty minutes in which we had experienced heavy losses during the preparation. When we were less well, they didn’t score either. We are happy and proud. Gabby (Williams) was hot, he started the game well, we had to give him space to create and he didn’t force himself, he took the balls when they approached him. »
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Jean-Aimé Toupane, France national team coach: “We know that to stay in these games you need a good defensive base. We defended hard, we stuck to our principles, the girls were brave despite the qualities of the Australian team, who play without the ball, in space. Even in the weak moments for us, we stood our ground, we didn’t panic, we got the ball rolling, with some success. It’s part of the game, they went looking for it. A competition is the sequence, you win, you don’t have time to savor that you’re going to the next game. We savor at the end. You have to be satisfied with the work done and project yourself in the present. Colleagues are already looking at Canada. I would like to congratulate the players, they put a lot of heart into it. »