Rattled Mas walks out on the press
March 11, 2014
Nicolas Mas - over and out © PA Photos
Reports have been circulating in recent weeks that all is not well within the French camp, and prop Nicolas Mas flouncing out of a press conference on Tuesday did nothing to dispel the image of a side in turmoil.
Mas was facing the media and was asked, not unreasonably, about the poor performance against Scotland last weekend. While he might not have appreciated the tone, it is the kind of situation the media-trained modern professionals are paid to bat back.
It might have been expected that, as a prop, he would have been told he was likely to be asked about the underperforming pack. If he was, then he seemed to have decided that contrary to opinion, all was fine as far as the forwards were concerned.
It was obvious from the initial exchanges that his views were not shared by many of those asking the questions. As the discussion continued about the rucking, Mas shrugged that the rules had changed and the players "were working to find solutions". He seemed genuinely surprised that this aspect of the game was under the spotlight.
"I have been doing the same things for ten or fifteen years," he said. "You want me to change overnight?"
When asked why the French pack was not as dominant as in the past, he snapped. "I don't know," he replied. "You tell me." When someone dared to point out the Irish and English had adapted and were not conceding as many penalties, he countered: "Yes, but we don't judge the scrums on penalties. What strange logic."
One more question, accompanied by a few sniggers, tipped him over the edge. "This is not funny," he said as he got up and walked out. And that was that.
All is well? Non.
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