Noves wants to see French killer instinct
INTERVIEW: Guy Noves believes France must become "killers" in the Six Nations if they are to turn narrow defeats into victories.
November saw France edged out by both Australia and world champions New Zealand in Paris, 'Les Bleus' going down 23-25 to the Wallabies before the All Blacks won 24-19.
Now they face a tough start to the Six Nations, away to defending Grand Slam champions England at Twickenham on February 4, but France coach Noves reckons his side are "not that far" from their opponents.
"Our expectations this year are to build a team that continues to improve constantly, to get closer to our opponents," said Noves at the Six Nations tournament launch in London.
"Last year we had matches we lost that we could have won, and vice versa," he added of a Six Nations where France finished second bottom - only above winless Italy - following three successive defeats in Noves's first campaign in charge.
"We're not that far from our opponents, but we must be more efficient.
"We cross the advantage line more than others, but we do not score, we don't achieve really, so the ratio is not very good.
"We have to try to reverse this ratio, and we must be killers in some areas so that we can chase wins."
And for Noves that means demonstrating greater composure when in sight of the tryline.
"We evolved during the Six Nations, but also against Australia and New Zealand," he said.
"And some areas, it was the last two or three metres where we missed.
"What I mean by killers, I want my players to finish the actions they've started.
"We're beyond halfway through this development, but now we have to be more consistent, more clinical and be able to finish our chances."
England coach Eddie Jones said France were "going extremely well, adding they "should have beaten Australia and could have beaten New Zealand".
Meanwhile Dylan Hartley, the England captain, was wary of their all-round threat, even though his side beat France 31-21 in Paris last year to clinch the Grand Slam.
"They are huge blokes and love a scrum, love a maul," said the hooker.
"Then you look at their backline. They can be very direct, but they can play either way - a tight, slow set-piece or an unstructured, fast game.
"We've got to be able to play both and make sure we play the way we want to play."