The XV of France can dream big, Fillon Maillet does not stop, the stars of PSG booed by their audience … What to remember from the sports weekend

It’s hard to escape the wind of euphoria after the Blues’ success on Welsh soil on Friday night, leaving them with hopes of reliving the joys of winning a Grand Slam. As pleasant as it is, this win cannot overshadow the other highlights of the weekend, starting with the other “cocorico” of the day, the great globe in biathlon won by Quentin Fillon Maillet.

Rugby: the Blues a step away from the Grail

Sometimes you need to know how to get your hands dirty to win gold. At Cardiff on Friday, the Blues have rarely suffered since the start of the tournament, but they were able, thanks in particular to impeccable defence, to overcome the Welsh barriers to going around in circles. This success opens wide the doors of a Grand Slam that has been fleeing them since 2010. To finally break the spiral, the equation is simple: we will have to beat the English at the Stade de France next week.

Heroic Englishmen also against Ireland, but who conceded at the end of the match after playing almost the entire match at 14 against 15. Clover’s XV, in the event of victory over Scotland and defeat of the Blues in the Crunch, remains therefore the only team that can deprive Galthié’s men of the overall victory in this 2022 tournament.

The French celebrate their win against Wales on Friday 11 March at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.  (RUI VIEIRA / AP / SIPA)

Biathlon: Quentin Fillon Maillet, the new bogeyman

His five medals at the Beijing Olympics had not satisfied him. After an almost perfect winter, Quentin Fillon Maillet took advantage of second place at the mass start of Otepää, in Estonia, to win his first ever World Cup winner’s title. He becomes the first Frenchman to win the big crystal ball since legend Martin Fourcade in 2018 and in turn enters the history of French sport.

Cycling: Slovenia has it all

The two-headed hydra of Slovenian cycling unfolded this week. The first, Primoz Roglic’s, sometimes nodded but eventually won Paris-Nice. The second, the most imperial, and which has the characteristics of Tadej Pogacar, flew over the Tirreno-Adriatico. If the methods differed, Roglic relies on the collective strength of Jumbo-Visma and Pogacar on his sickening talent, the end result remains the same: Slovenia remains the dominant nation in stage races. Four months before the Tour de France, the rest of the world has been warned.

Paris - Nice: the summary of stage 8

Football: PSG, the open break

Never, in the tormented history between Paris and its audience, had the relationship reached such a rejection from the supporters. The bronca where Madrid’s defeats took place, and in particular the bronca that accompanied every ball touched by Messi and Neymar on Sunday, will be a landmark. The point of no return has not yet been reached, but it is not far off. And it’s not the easy victory over the apathetic Girondins de Bordeaux that will reconcile the Park with its players, with the exception of Kylian Mbappe, the only one to escape popular condemnation. But will he still be there next season to try and renew a link that seems to be broken?

Rugby: Montpellier new leader of the Top 14

There were only two Top 14 matches this weekend, but they had a big impact on the standings. In the shadow of the Blues’ victory at Cardiff, Montpellier took advantage of its narrow win over Toulon (18-16), Saturday in a match rescheduled from day 14, to temporarily take over the championship from Bordeaux-Bègles.

the MHRC hadn’t taken the lead since the 2017-2018 season, which took the lead almost from start to finish. The RCT, still embroiled in an unusual battle for maintenance, will be pleased with the defensive bonus point. The Var are now three units ahead of the first bartender, Perpignan. On Sunday, the UBB had a chance to regain the lead in the standings, but the Girondins had to admit their fifth consecutive defeat in the Top 14, this time at Clermont (29-26).

Basketball: Popovich, only at the top of the NBA

He already had five NBA championship rings on his fingers. However, he won’t have enough knuckles to count the number of wins on the bench in San Antonio. Thanks to a 104–102 success against Utah on Friday night, the Spurs coach at age 73 became the most successful coach in league history with 1,336 successes. On this occasion, he caught up with another legend: Don Nelson. While he increasingly thinks that “Pop” may retire at the end of the season, his legacy will live on forever.

End of blow for the Paralympic Games

After nine days of competition, the 13th edition of the Paralympic Winter Games came to an end in the Chinese capital on Sunday. at the end of an edition marked by the exclusion of Russian and Belarusian athletes after the invasion of Ukraine. With twelve medals (7 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze), the French delegation finished in fourth place in the medal standings. It’s here China, which finished first with a total of 61 medals (including 18 gold).

One of the beautiful paintings of the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games, March 13, 2022 in Beijing.  (BOB MARTIN / OIS/IOC)