Mathieu Bastareaud was overheard by television microphones describing France’s shock 21-14 defeat to Fiji as “pathetic” and “shameful”.
Les Bleus had never lost to Fiji in nine previous attempts and had won their six home encounters against them without conceding a first-half try.
After the game, Bastareaud – who had taken over captaincy duties with two-try skipper Guilhem Guirado having been replaced – pulled no punches with the team in a huddle.
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“Who do we think we are? We beat Argentina and we think we’re something special,” he said.
“We have to start from scratch now and we’re at rock bottom. Because we’re pathetic, shameful, we have to be aware of that.”
FULL TIME | In the most epic match ever, Fiji has earnt an historical victory over France for the FIRST time in 10 outings. Final score FRA 14 – FIJ 21.
The defensive effort and the heart showing across this enormous match was simply sensational We are so proud of you pic.twitter.com/EihojkLnHK
— Fiji Rugby Union (@fijirugby) November 24, 2018
Head coach Jacques Brunel was similarly despondent about his team’s performance.
“It’s a big disappointment,” he said. “It’s difficult for me to find anything positive.”
Opposite number John McKee was understandably thrilled with a result that he believes will see his players go down in Fijian rugby history.
“It’s a massive achievement,” he said. “We told each other this week that if we beat France we would make it into the pantheon of Fijian rugby.”
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