Saint-Andre: All the pressure on Wales

Fri, 16 Mar 2012 00:00
Large 2511 0 0 0 2657072
All the pressure will be on Grand Slam-seeking Wales when they meet France in their final Six Nations match on Saturday, French coach Philippe Saint-Andre said.

All the pressure will be on Grand Slam-seeking Wales when they meet France in their final Six Nations match on Saturday, French coach Philippe Saint-Andre said.

Wales have so far beaten Ireland (23-21), Scotland (27-13), England (19-12) and Italy (24-3), and need a victory over Les Bleus to seal a third Grand Slam in eight seasons after previous successes in 2008 and 2005.

France, however, have failed to fire in this Six Nations, managing wins over Italy and Scotland, but only a 17-17 draw against Ireland and a narrow 24-22 loss to England last week.

"Wales have been playing super rugby since the World Cup," said Saint-Andre. "They're very confident and the big favourites for the Grand Slam.

"I've been very disappointed with our last couple of games. We've been in control of possession and territory, but one interception against Ireland and two turnovers against England left us with a draw and a loss.

"I'm unhappy because it's not enough, but there's no pressure on us, the pressure's all on Wales."

Saint-Andre added: "It's more important for Wales to win than France.

"The Welsh team are very good, confident and young. We'll go out there simply to try to play our best game of the Six Nations."

Motivation, he added, was not needed. "You represent your sport and your team, in Cardiff against a home side that has an opportunity for the Grand Slam and get revenge for the World Cup semi-final."

Captain Thierry Dusautoir, one of the solid mainstays of the France team in the back row, said that the side was still coming to grips with the new system and gameplans put in place by Saint-Andre.

The former Sale and Gloucester coach took over from Marc Lievremont after last year's World Cup, where France beat Wales in the semi-final before losing to New Zealand in the final.

"It takes a bit of time to get used to it," said Dusautoir. "We have a new coach and a new system, but Wales have the same team as they had in the World Cup with the same staff.

"We can't win the Six Nations this year but we want to validate all the work we've done over the last few weeks."

Saint-Andre played down any polemic about having requested that the retractable roof of the Millennium Stadium remain open, with possible showers forecast, saying it was to do with reception for a new GPS tracking system used to monitor the players.

"At the end of the day, there's a match to play," the former France winger said. "No matter whether it's raining or sunny, it's just a rugby match."

AFP

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 06 May 2016
Crusaders v Reds 07h35 Christchurch
Brumbies v Bulls 09h40 Canberra
Griffons v Eagles 15h00 Welkom
EP Kings v Blue Bulls 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Sat, 07 May 2016
Sunwolves v Force 05h15 Tokyo
Chiefs v Highlanders 07h35 Hamilton
Waratahs v Cheetahs 09h40 Sydney
Leopards v Boland 12h30 Potchefstroom
Griquas v Border 13h00 Kimberley
Sharks v Hurricanes 13h00 Durban
Pumas v Namibia 13h00 Mpumalanga
Golden Lions v Free State Cheetahs 13h00 Randburg
Wasps v London Irish 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Saracens 14h30 Sixways
Bath v Leicester Tigers 14h30 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Northampton Saints 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Exeter Chiefs 14h30 Twickenham
Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks 14h30 Kingston Park
Zebre v Dragons 15h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Munster v Scarlets 15h00 Thomond Park
Ospreys v Ulster 15h00 Liberty Stadium
Connacht v Glasgow Warriors 15h00 Sportsground
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 15h00 BT Murrayfield
Leinster v Treviso 15h00 RDS
Kings v Blues 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Western Province 15h30 Durban
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 5 5 0 132 10
Wales 5 3 1 1 7
Ireland 5 2 1 2 5
Scotland 5 2 0 3 4
France 5 2 0 3 4
Italy 5 0 0 5 0
RELATED ARTICLES