Congratulations to Portugal! No one would have bet a eurocent on a Portugal
victory but the guys showed that motivation and good strategy may get you to
the victory in volley-ball.
The first two sets were very disappointing for us, french VB team fans. The
french guys were completely absent, making stupid faults and giving too much
points (especially with the service : 6 direct service errors in the 1st set).
Though Portugal has a very simple play and a quite small team (1,91m
average, compared to 1,95m average for France), they have a real good
defence (this is not really surprising with a beach VB culture). Their
libero, Texeira, was decisive at some moments.
Their strategy is also really good. When they saw that 4th set was lost, it
seems to me that they let this set go.....and thus made french think that
victory would be easy in the 5th. Thus, the very good start of 5th set by
Portugal (defence again...) suprised the french and they couldn't come back.
Rotating at 8-5, the match was already nearly lost.
I also remarked the opposite player for Portugal, named Silva (he is a
brazilian native) who scored more than THE HALF a Portugal points!
On the french side, no one can be remarked : all were very bad...:-(. I have
been especially surprised by Pierre Laborie coaching : a strange replacement
of Laurent Chambertin by Lo?c de Kergret as setter (who made an incredibly
bad 3rd set start). No substitution during the first two sets when
everything went wrong (Laurent Capet could have play and make the
difference with his service). It seems to me that a lot of coaches do noot
really imagine the possibilities given by the new scoring system, combined
with the libero rule.
France's chances to qualify for the second phase of WL are already strongly
Next match on Sunday 30th at St-Etienne (my birth town...).
A comment about the match format : RPS is ok, at least for me. My
interruptions are now completely silly :
-two 1mn30s "technical" time-outs at 8 and 16 in each set
-still two "normal" 30s timeouts per team and per set
-a 10 minutes interruption of the match after the second set
Thus, no rythm is then possible in the match. There are way too much
interruptions. Even TV channels don't know what to do with these
interruptions (Eurospost showed the same advertising 5 or 6 times!!).
More than RPS, such "NBA/NHL like" interruptions may kill volley-ball