'One of the greatest achievements ever achieved in world rugby': Portugal still on cloud nine

'One of the greatest achievements ever achieved in world rugby': Portugal still on cloud nine

He is perhaps the happiest qualifier for the group stage of the Rugby World Cup. Portugal will not see the quarter-finals, but its players have nothing to be ashamed of, like their shirts, for their performance. Patrice Lagesquet's men, brave winners in Fiji on Sunday (24-23), stand out with their heads held high. Given the small thumb in Group C, Portugal also dominated Georgia (18-18) and leaves France feeling that it has built solid foundations for the future. David Gerrard, Portugal's assistant coach, feels the same pride.

How can you define the World Cup in Portugal in one word?

David Gerrard. a job! What we have done is one of the greatest achievements ever achieved in world rugby. I don't want to offend people, but this is a huge disrespect to people stuck in the stereotypes of world rugby.

Why ?

Today, some believe that to win matches, you have to play less and less rugby. And the disdain is there while we're there while we're playing. And sometimes even exaggerate. But we exist. Whereas today I find we hide too much behind “ping pong rugby” with all these kicking exchanges. While we can only overcome this with the will to play with the ball.

Can Portugal be optimistic about the future?

The hardest part now will be to properly manage the legacy left by Patrice Laguesquet and the staff. Because there has been a lot of work over the past few months. We created things from scratch. Now, we have to work on preserving the identity of this group.

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The joy of the Portuguese fans in the stands of Toulouse Stadium. Sports icon pictures Abaca/Aikon Sport

Has Portugal found a new audience?

We wanted to be a standard bearer for the few thousand people who played this sport in Portugal. Before Sunday's game, I told the players that everything that was happening around us was going through us. We fought for a nation and gave dreams to children who, I hope, will one day wear a Portugal shirt. We played the role of bomber in Portugal so that a lot of young boys felt like playing rugby for their country.

Does Portugal one day hope to join the fight at the highest level limited to a few countries?

Indeed, our performance should offer solace to the hearts of those we call “the little ones.” In fact, I used that word when I told players that they would only be considered young if they agreed to be one. We rejected that. We introduced ourselves as rugby players. Not like the kids. We honored our sport and our jersey. This jacket is what made the fusion between the French Portuguese and others. During the warm-up against Fiji, I put a shirt in the middle of the pitch for the strikers and said to them: See, this is the hope that you have and that people have for you. Be proud of him “.

What did you add?

It was our last fight in the World Cup and we had to live this last moment together. And this is what happened. This proves that even in modern rugby, there is still room for humanity and humanity.

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About the Author: Lucinda Lima

"Desbravador de cerveja apaixonado. Álcool alcoólico incurável. Geek de bacon. Viciado em web em geral."

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