Euro Handball Poland 2014

GROUP M2: France wins in Main Round

French team after good performance won their first game in main round. Tonight in Gdynia Arena they defeated Poland 34:18. For hosts that means end of dreams about semi-finals.


From very first minutes Polish team seemed to be very nervous. They started the game with few trials but they weren’t able to defeat Florent Bonneau, who from the beginning was playing very well in French goal. Also the great problem from hosts was strong defense of France. When Poland was losing by three goals (0:3) in 6th minute coach Rafał Kuptel asked for time-out. However advantage of France was unquestionable. Polish players didn’t have conception to break great playing opponents and after first fifteen minutes France was leading 9:5. During that time the problem of Poland was also too many suspensions.

The advantage of France was growing and at one moment was 14:5. So far the most effective players in Les Bleus were Tom Nozeran and Aymeric Minne, who scored half of these goals. Efficient part of polish play were quick passes, but in many cases that also lead to many mistakes and Poland was losing the ball. Also the great problem for them were goalkeepers of France. In the French team we could see that they are unity and there is no individual player who would be the main one in that game. In first half nine different players from Les Bleus were scoring. After first minutes France was leading 19:10 and there was no doubt which team is better here.

Second part didn’t make any difference. Poland was still powerless with breaking French defense. The good change in polish goal gave Jakub Skrzyniarz, who at the beginning of second half saved few goals. Despite good defense Poland wasn’t able to score and defeat both defense and goalkeeper of France. For Polish players even counterattacks didn’t work very well. After another save of Skrzyniarz they got fast break but on the way of Maciej Skibiński was Julien Meyer. In 43th minute Polish team was playing with two players more, as suspensions got Etinne Mocquais and Lucas Ferrandier, but that didn’t end with spectacular reduction of polish team.

French team wasn’t thinking about losing their ten goals advantage. They were using polish mistakes and providing fast breaks. After two of them the distance rise to eleven points. Then it was not a surprise that coach Kuptel wasn’t satisfied and asked for time-out to give some notices to his team. Hosts weren’t able to fight with great France, who was marching for their first points in main round. Finally the game ended with result 34:18 and now France will still have chance to play in semi-finals, what is done for hosts.



Eric Quintin, France, coach: We are very happy because our team was playing good game. We had a lot of ambitions and then we made good game. Before that tournament we didn’t know what to expect, but we have very high ambitions. Today was good but now we have game with Germany that we focus at. About now, congratulations to my players and to Poland also for a fair game.

Dika Mem, France, player: We wanted to play good game, we are happy about that. Now we are going have tough game with Germany. We need to be concentrated and we need to be focus. We will give all of us in that match because it will be game for semi-final.

Rafał Kuptel, Poland, coach: During that game we didn’t have any moment when we played well. Despite first minutes in every part of the game France was better – in defense, offence, counterattacks. They won that game and that was totally deserved victory. I want to congratulate them. We made the same mistakes as in previous games, we need to learn from that, not only the players but also we, coaches and staff.

Bartosz Kowalczyk, Poland, player: It was the worst game for us so far. We played very bad in attack and even worse in defense. We need to sit now, calm down and speak about it. In next game we have to show that we know how to play handball, because today we didn’t.


FRANCE – POLAND 34:18 (19:10)

France: Bonneau, Meyer – Lenne 1, Mocquais 5, Billant, Ferrandier 4, Garain 4, Minne 4, Kounkoud, Lagarde, Nozeran 4, Bouchillou 5, Zahm 1, Fabregas 2, Mem 4, Richardson.
MVP: Dylan Garain.
7 metres: 2/2.
3×2 min. (Mocquais, Ferrandier, Zahm). 

Poland: Szot, Skrzyniarz – Wypych, Kowalczyk 4, Pietruszko, Mrozowicz, Janikowski 1, Kawka 3, Rolka 2, Majdziński 4, Cichocki 1, Brukwicki 1, Skibiński, Moryto 2, Bekisz, Mastalerz.
MVP: Bartosz Kowalczyk.
7 meters: 1/1.
Suspensions: 7×2 min. (Janikowski – 2×2 min.; Wypych, Kowalczyk, Rolka, Skibiński, Mastelarz).

Referees: Tomislav Cindric and Robert Gonzurek (Croatia).
Supervisor: Algis Mikucionis (Lithuania).
Observer: Pablo Permuy (Spain).

1 Węgry Hungary 2 2 0 0 64:46 +18 4
2 Francja France 2 1 0 1 60:52 +8 2
Niemcy Germany 2 1 0 1 51:52 -1 2
4 Polska Poland 2 0 0 2 22:31 -9 0