Rugby: the XV of France extricates itself in extremis from the claws of South Africa

Rugby is a combat sport. If some were tempted to forget it, there is a team that takes care of remembering it: South Africa. In all places equal to itself, imposing confrontation and physical challenge again and again. It came close to triumphing, this South African world champion, proud and fierce as usual, this Saturday, November 12 at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille.

Except that opposite stood a XV of France who learns to get out of all situations, to bend without breaking and to carry the thrust when all seems lost. The Blues therefore reversed a very compromised situation to win in the end 30-26 and offer themselves a twelfth consecutive victory at the end of a crazy match.

Blues passed through the rolling mill

The battle was announced. Before the meeting, the tricolor coach Fabien Galthié had summarized the qualities of these South Africans that the Blues had not managed to beat since 2009. “In their culture, they have this: intensity. It’s a team that likes to move forward, which must move forward, whatever happens, with or without the ball, with a defense that throws itself at the opponent, harasses him, grabs him by the throat. » And from the outset things happened exactly that way. South Africans in rolling mode. And Blues who collect and respond.

But the characteristic of great matches is not to be satisfied with ready-made explanations. And the least we can say is that the game began to write a rather upsetting scenario. Springboks reduced to 14 after the expulsion of one of their player who was a little too furious, the Blues in excess who seemed to be in control at first but who soon gave in to the redoubled assaults of South Africans as if galvanized. Consequence: concussions in spades, and an XV of France which arrives at half-time having already emptied two thirds of its bench of substitutes.

Antoine Dupont expelled

What happens next doesn’t help. At the very beginning of the second half, an excess of commitment from captain Antoine Dupont forced the referee to show a red card, restoring the balance on the lawn: 14 against 14. The Springboks added more, advanced on all impacts and finished by taking the score. The case for the Blues is badly off, until the entry of the last substitutes, the revolt sounded in the last minutes and an unexpected test which changes the situation in extremis.

Like a week earlier when a final try by Damian Penaud offered a victory over the gong to the Blues against Australia? Not quite. Against the Wallabies, it was an individual feat that tipped the balance on the right side (30-29). Against the Springboks, it was the collective solidarity and the contribution of the finishers who immediately entered the right tempo that made it possible to win the bet. Probably not in the prettiest of ways, but with character.

“It was a bit of a war on the pitch”

“All the players went for this victory. They refused defeat. We felt it at some point. She was prowling there, she was in the stadium. We saw her, but the players refused her. At what price ! », commented Fabien Galthié after the meeting. In fact, the Blues pay dearly for their exemplary resistance. During the shock leading to the first expulsion, the center Jonathan Danty suffered a fracture of the orbital floor. The prop Cyril Baille will have to undergo minor surgery for a hernia in the groin. The second line Thibaud Flament suffers from a concussion. “I have never experienced such enormous intensity. It was a bit of a war on the pitch.”underlined the second line of the Blues Cameron Woki.

The three injured players, like Antoine Dupont sanctioned, will be absent from the last test match of this autumn tour against Japan in Toulouse on November 20. “There are positives tonight”, however wanted to retain the captain of the Blues. The victory, in fact, yet another. The ability to react, again, to get out of a bad situation. But that was hanging by a thread and the Blues also suffered a lot without being able to impose their game. It is not impossible that they will meet the Springboks in the quarter-finals of the World Cup next September. It’s not the happiest of prospects.


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Leopards break into the hornbill’s nest

South AfricaThe camera trap captured a leopard burrowing into a hornbill’s nest in Kruger National Park and getting a meal easily.

Leopards hunt young flamingos. Video: APNR

Footage shot by a team of experts from the APNR Southern Hornbill Conservation and Research Project, who have been searching for the endangered bird in South Africa for more than two decades, shows the leopard stumbling between Thin branches surround the nest before poking halfway through the hole in the nest and emerging with a baby bird.

“We go to the nest during a routine inspection to monitor the breeding and condition of the chicks,” said graduate student Kyle-Mark Middleton and researcher Carrie Hickman. “When we got there, we heard rustling and was above and something jumped down. When we got to the foot of the nest, we found a half-eaten baby bird on the ground. We looked again. camera images to find out what happened”.

The southern hornbill is one of the most unique birds in Africa. As the world’s largest co-parenting bird, adults are one meter tall, with long curved beaks and bright red facial skin that make them stand out when striding across grasslands in search of lizards, snakes, and animals. Small mammals and other birds. Hornbills often nest in tall trees, but habitat loss has reduced their range to only 10 – 30%. As a result, the number of this species has also decreased significantly.

In an effort to increase the number of birds, the APNR project began to install artificial nests. To date, 109 chicks have been raised in artificial nests, and researchers have gathered a wealth of information about the flamingo ecology. However, natural predators remain a major threat to vulnerable young birds.

“As we watched the footage, we were saddened by what happened. The loss of young birds is a huge loss for this endangered bird. At the same time, the good news is that we caught the perpetrators. Usually, we only found empty nests and guessed that the young birds were eaten, but we don’t know what animal it was,” the team said. Researchers are considering anti-predator measures in some artificial nests.

Leopards are opportunistic carnivores and usually eat anything they find, including pythons, squirrels, and zebra carcasses. Sometimes, they can fly into the air to catch birds or raid a nest that is not guarded by a parent bird.

An Khang (According to Earth Touch News)


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South African doctor warns of Omicron strain thanks to unusual symptoms

Dr Angelique Coetzee warned South African authorities after many patients came to her clinic with “unusual but mild” Covid-19 symptoms.

South African Medical Association President Angelique Coetzee began to pay attention to the risk of a new strain of nCoV in early November, after a series of Covid-19 patients visited her private clinic in the capital Pretoria with symptoms. unusual symptoms.

“Among these were young people from different populations, all extremely fatigued, the same 6-year-old with a very high heart rate. No one had lost their sense of smell or taste. Their symptoms. very different and much milder than the people I’ve treated,” said Dr Coetzee yesterday.

Health workers take samples for testing people in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2020. Photo: AP.

She issued a warning to the South African vaccine advisory committee on November 18, after a family of four with symptoms of complete exhaustion tested positive for nCoV.

Dr Coetzee said more than 20 of her Covid-19 patients had symptoms of the Omicron strain, half of which had not been vaccinated. “An interesting case was a 6-year-old girl with a very high temperature and heart rate, which made me wonder if she should be admitted and treated. She was much better when she was examined again two days later. “, she said.

Dr Coetzee confirmed that her patients are all young and healthy, expressing concern that the Omicron mutation could seriously affect the elderly, especially those with underlying heart conditions and diabetes. “The worry is that there may be a lot of people with severe symptoms of Covid-19 when the new strain spreads to the elderly and has not been vaccinated,” she warned.

Coetzee earlier expressed dissatisfaction with the response from countries in recent days, which included banning entry to people from southern African countries. “The virus is contagious, but as a medical practitioner, we don’t understand why the issue is being hyped even though the research is incomplete,” she said.

The new nCoV strain with the designation B.1.1.529 was first recorded in South Africa on November 24, a number of other infections were also detected in Botswana, Belgium, Israel and the Hong Kong special administrative region of China. . The World Health Organization (WHO) held an emergency meeting two days later and renamed this strain Omicron, classified as a worrisome variant due to its higher infectivity than Delta.

Omicron has 32 mutations in the spike protein, the part that most vaccines use to create an immune system against nCoV. Mutations in the spike protein can affect a virus’s ability to infect and spread, as well as make it harder for immune cells to attack pathogens. Scientists are racing to determine the threat posed by the Omicron strain and whether or not the current Covid-19 vaccine needs to be adjusted.

Vu Anh (Follow Telegraph)