The France team caused some concern before entering the World Cup against Australia, the host country and current vice world champion, due to the numerous absences, especially their three top scorers from the Tokyo Olympics (Sandrine Gruda, Endy Miyem and Marine Johannes). . But this Thursday in Sydney, Les Bleues sent a reassuring message, and even more: they achieved the feat of dominating at home a team that ranked in the top 5 in the world for twenty years (5 Olympic medals since 1996, five world championships including the title in 2006). ).
This victory was also not built on the last minutes. From the start, the French matched their opponent, winning 14-10 after five minutes. During this first quarter, Gabby Williams, visibly unblunted by her disputed WNBA season with the Seattle Storm, scored 12 points. Australia recovered then (23-18, 13th), but the French team knew how to come back and took a slight advantage at half-time (32-31), thanks to shots by Iliana Rupert and Mamignan Touré.
11 interceptions for the France team
Back from the locker room, Les Bleues continued their momentum, sitting on a defense that was the cornerstone of this success. Eleven times the Australians have been intercepted. And, in the whole game, they only had 26% accuracy (against 48%). Williams and his teammates counted up to seven points in advance (40-33, 23). A gap lost (42-40, 25)… and immediately recovered (50-43, 28).
Even if France’s lead remained fragile, Australia could do better than come back within four small points (54-50, 32nd). The Blues’ defense held firm. In attack, Gabby Williams continued her party, ending the game with 23 points and highlighting a superb triple that put her team out (66-57, 38th). The introduction of the French was superb. It will be confirmed on Friday (10:00 am) against Canada, which beat Serbia (67-60). Australia will have to redeem themselves against Mali (corrected 89-56 by Japan).