Ramos delivers his version of the transformation that Kolbe countered during France-South Africa

Thomas Ramos returned on Monday to his career and that of the French XV during the World Cup at home until the defeat against South Africa (28-29) in the quarter-finals. The Blues full-back and goalscorer particularly lamented the lack of video refereeing during his transformation, blocked by Cheslin Kolbe.

Thomas Ramos, second best scorer at the 2023 World Cup with 74 points, showed great consistency throughout the tournament. Almost a month after the elimination of the French XV in the quarter-finals against South Africa (28-29), the French back spoke this Monday in the wake of his return to the competition in the Top 14 over the weekend.

Naturally affected by this lost quarter, in which he let a few points (five in total) slip away, the Blues scorer took a few weeks to process. If Thomas Ramos admitted to crying after this defeat against the Springboks, he did not want to blame Ben O’Keeffe’s referee too much in an interview with the newspaper L’Equipe. There is no way we would hide, cold turkey, behind the New Zealander’s decisions, even if certain actions ‘could have been better managed’.

“By the time he leaves, his foot is on the line.”

Somewhat controversial situations, especially one of the turning points of the match midway through the first period, when the French number 15 tried to convert Peato Mauvaka’s try. An effort that was blocked by the supersonic Cheslin Kolbe, which could have allowed France to take a two-point lead, two points that would ultimately be missing when the final whistle blew. Especially since the Boks winger’s gesture seems very limited.

“At first I have a surprising effect. It happens very rarely. I say to myself: damn, it happened to me! When I watch the match again, I don’t have the impression that I have changed anything in my routine,” explains Thomas. Ramos on this fact of the match. “When everyone tells you afterwards ‘he went first’, you want to say that too. I think the exact rule is that his feet have to be behind the line.”

And the back of the France had viewed the video, and felt that there was an error, there was time to call the referee. It was more the responsibility of the video referee.”

An (almost) unique rescue according to Ramos

Aware that this failed transformation could have contributed to the French defeat, even if he especially regretted the three tries offered by South Africa in the first period, Thomas Ramos went on to recall that Cheslin Kolbe had achieved a very rare feat by to counter his kick.

“These are two points that could have won us… I tell myself it might only happen once in my career. And it happened that day,” the 28-year-old continued. “That’s how it is. And it’s not to take away responsibilities, but I keep saying that if we hadn’t taken 19 points…”

Ramos chambered by Perpignan fans

Thomas Ramos may want to try to move on, as if to better come to terms with his failure against the future world champion, some French supporters are there to remind him. Those who meet him off the field and those from Perpignan against whom he played before his return this Saturday with Stade Toulousain.

“No, no (it doesn’t haunt). But wherever I go, it’s the first thing people talk to me about,” the Blues fullback eventually estimated. “This weekend the Perpignan supporters shouted ‘watch out Kolbe’ again. The same ones who were probably disgusted that day. That will haunt me for a while. But it’s not something that bothers me. It’s the game.”

Jean-Guy Lebreton Journalist RMC Sport

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