French pride doesn’t sweeten Boudebza’s pain

Hull KR hooker John Boudebza was proud to line up alongside fellow Frenchman Kevin Larroyer during Saturday’s Challenge Cup final, but that does not detract from the pain he is feeling.

Rovers lost the game 50-0, and the diminutive Frenchman offered his apologies to the fans on behalf of the team.

“I’m very disappointed to lose like that today,” he told Love Rugby League after the game.

“We had a lot of points against us, and to not score any points is very disappointing.

“We apologise to all the fans who travelled and supported us all year.

“The first half was only 16-0, so we thought we could come back into the game.

“But the second half they were too strong for us. They attacked better than us, and started the second half better than us.

“We are very proud to represent the French. It’s nice to have two Frenchmen in the final.

“It was a good experience, but not a good enough result.”

Boudebza has enjoyed a remarkable first season in Super League in many ways, really establishing himself in the game’s top tier, despite only playing in the French league before joining Rovers.

The disappointment of the final has clearly taken some of the shine off his personal achievements for the hooker, however.

“I don’t know if it’s a success,” he mused.

“I’m happy to play in Super League and to play in the Cup final, obviously, but I’m not pleased to lose like that.

“I’m very disappointed. It’s not about my performance, it’s about the team performance, so I’m disappointed.”

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