France are 'building something'

Sun, 26 Feb 2017 08:41
Large guy noves france glares 2017 800

SIX NATIONS REACTION: France coach Guy Noves is confident that the future remains bright, despite seeing hopes of the Six Nations title fade with a 9-19 loss away to Ireland.

Recent Tests have seen France lose to the three top-ranked teams - New Zealand, Australia and England - by a combined margin of just 10 points.

Although Saturday's match was another missed chance to land a "big fish" in the words of their assistant coach Yannick Bru, there is no doubt France are making headway under Noves.

The 63-year-old ended his glittering spell in charge of Toulouse when he succeeded the much-criticised Philippe Saint-Andre as boss of the national side following the 2015 World Cup.  

France, who came into the match on the back of a 22-16 win over a revitalised Scotland, looked in control for the opening 25 minutes of Saturday's match in Dublin. But a disallowed try took the wind out of their sails and their 6-0 lead had gone by half-time, with Ireland largely dominating from then on.

"It is difficult to speak of progress when one has lost. I don't have the impression we are progressing but we are building something that is for sure. This match will give us clues as to how to build further in the future.

"We will analyse all the situations where we had the ball and weren't able to make it count. It is a pity the first occasion we did break through their defence ended up with the try being disallowed because of a minuscule knock-on by Gael Fickou.

"I think we have stagnated but we have not taken a step back. We are finding out by playing the high-quality sides, like Ireland, how far we have to go," Noves said.

Noves refused to blame his pairing of scrumhalf Baptiste Serin and flyhalf Camille Lopez for Saturday's defeat after they were outplayed by the more experienced Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton.

"It is not because of the halfbacks, it is a team affair. All the players need to make progress. The lessons learnt from today are important for giving us the direction we take for the future.

"We will continue to work and above all, we won't give up. You draw lessons both when you win and you lose," he added.

His Ireland counterpart Joe Schmidt said he was convinced France were moving in the right direction after a disappointing spell under Saint-Andre.

"I think the French were as formidable as we expected them to be physical. [Scott] Spedding is incredibly dangerous, Fickou and [Remi] Lamerat - even Lopez - slipped through on a line break and that is before one starts talking about [Louis] Picamoles.

"The French are definitely building something. It is clear from what they did against the All Blacks and England and I think they will remain really difficult to beat in their final two matches," Schmidt said.

Agence France-Presse

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Sat, 16 December 2017
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
Fri, 22 December 2017
Wasps v Gloucester 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Harlequins 22h00 Kingston Park
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Leicester Tigers v Saracens 22h00 Welford Road
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 52 | 24
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0
France 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0