Rugby Union: Roumat doubt for second Test: French lock fights for fitness to face New Zealand

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

THE French lock forward Olivier Roumat could miss the second Test against New Zealand after suffering a thigh injury in France's 30-25 loss to Hawke's Bay in Napier yesterday.

'The thigh is bruised badly, but we'll have to wait until it settles down tomorrow to make any sort of decision,' said the French coach, Pierre Berbizier.

France are unlikely to change the team that won the first Test unless they are forced to, so Roumat is expected to be included in the team when it is named today, with Olivier Brouzet placed on standby.

France conceded 27 points, including four tries, in the last 25 minutes against Hawke's Bay. They only had themselves to blame because they repeatedly infringed the offside law and when penalised kept failing to retreat the necessary 10 metres.

'Any loss is always disappointing to me, but I don't think we have any reason to put our heads down,' Berbizier said. 'Everyone will train and refocus on the next game. Our objective has always been the two internationals, and the players will be reminded about that.'

Hawke's Bay: Tries Falcon 2, Hewitt, penalty try; Conversions Cunningham 2; Drop goal McLeod; Penalty Cunningham. France: Tries Roumat, Viars, penalty try; Conversions Bellot 2; Penalties Bellot 2.

FRANCE: S Viars; L Leflamand, P Carbonneau, E Ntamack, Y Delaigue; B Bellot, A Macabiau (Guy Accoceberry); M Cecillon, L Loppy, O Roumat (Olivier Merle), O Brouzet, S Dispagne, L Seigne, J-F Tordo (capt), L Armary.

HAWKE'S BAY: J Cunningham; T Maidens, G Konia, A Hamilton, M Paewai; R McLeod, J Bradbrook; G Falcon, D Seymour, C Gibbes, M Atkinson, D Watts, O Crawford, N Hewitt, W Maere.