Bonnaire fails to jersey swap with McCaw

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 12:31 24/10/2011
richie mccaw
Getty Images
JERSEY: The French flanker Bonnaire failed to get Richie McCaw's prized jersey after the game.

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French flanker Julien Bonnaire had a double defeat in the World Cup final, failing to get Richie McCaw's prized jersey after the All Blacks captain had led New Zealand to glory.

In fact it added up to a triple loss for Bonnaire who revealed he had failed to convince McCaw to swap his jersey after their pool match earlier in the tournament.

McCaw clearly found the two occasions too big to give away any souvenirs - his 100th test cap came in the 37-17 pool match and last night's victory, of course, ended New Zealand's 24-year cup drought.

Bonnaire, who had a huge game for the French, was understanding of the circumstances: "I went to see him in the locker room but he told me that he had just one and that he wanted to keep it. I asked him the last time too but it was his 100th cap so he wanted to keep it as well. I was unlucky but never mind, that's okay."

France's replacement hooker Dimitri Szarzewski summed up the mood in the French camp which had been in such turmoil during the tournament but turned up and performed when it matters most in the knockout stages of the campaign.

"We are very frustrated. But that's just sport. We were playing 15 against 16 (talking about the fans), and everyone found it logical that New Zealand won," he said.

"We put pressure on them, but it wasn't enough. I would have preferred to lose by 40 points rather than by one point.

"There wasn't much difference. We countered them, but it wasn't enough. The kicking was bad for both teams. But we are not disappointed about our World Cup."

Added Julien Pierre: "Everyone said that we would go through hell. Well I think we did a good job actually.

"We are very frustrated. But these four months together were incredible. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. "Even if not everything was perfect we can be proud of our World Cup.

"Now we have to get over it, relax and move on to the next challenges."

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