'Bad Omen' For France - Jardel

16.09.2003

France coach Alain Jardel is seething about going into the European Championships on a losing note after his side’s 71-61 capitulation to Greece in their final game of the Pyrgos Tournament.

Wins have been the norm this summer for Les Bleues, who begin the defence of the title they won on Friday, but Jardel says he has real cause for concern following the woeful effort against the Greeks.

Jardel said in L’Equipe: "Most of all this is a bad omen considering what awaits us next week.

"Our interior play on defence was catastrophic and on offence we got locked up.

"The main problem is that we were unable to react, and this also concerns our experienced trio (Sandra) Le Drean, (Cathy) Melain and (Audrey) Sauret.

"Knowing that, we can expect difficult times in the next few days."

France start their European championships with a clash against Israel in Pyrgos before taking on Serbia Montenegro on Saturday and Poland on Sunday.

They will then tackle the Czech Republic and Greece on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.
France won the last European Championships on home soil two years ago, beating Russia in the final.

French scorers

September 14
Greece 71 France 61
Melain 14, Sauret 12, Lesdema 12, Antibe 9, Le Drean 8, Lawson 2, Dijon 2, Godin 2.

September 13
France 78 Belgium 54
Melain 16, Antibe 12, Lesdema 12, Le Drean 9, Tonnerre 8, Sauret 6, Gomis 5, Dijon 4, Ndongue 4, Lawson 2.

September 12
France 73 Slovakia 54
Sauret 15, Le Drean 12, Antibe 10, Gomis 9, Lawson 7, Melain 6, Tonnerre 6, Dumerc 4, Reghaissia 2, Dijon 1, Ndongue 1.

France squad for European Championships: Celine Dumerc, Sandra Le Drean, Cathy Melain, Edwige Lawson, Emmeline Ndongue, Audrey Sauret, Nathalie Lesdema, Emilie Gomis, Dominique Tonnerre, Sandra Dijon, Elodie Godin, Nicole Antibe.


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