France are 'building something'

Sun, 26 Feb 2017 08:41
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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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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Chiefs 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Stormers 08h45 Allianz Park
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 Twickenham Stoop
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Bath v Sale Sharks 14h30 Recreation Ground
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
Fri, 02 March 2018
Blues v Chiefs 06h35 Eden Park
Reds v Brumbies 09h00 Suncorp Stadium
Kings v Dragons 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Edinburgh v Munster 19h35 Myreside
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Harlequins v Bath 19h45 Twickenham Stoop
Sat, 03 March 2018
Sunwolves v Rebels 22h00 Tokyo
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 23 February 2018
France v Italy 34 | 17
Leinster v Kings 64 | 7
Dragons v Edinburgh 12 | 25
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 21 | 10
Rebels v Reds 45 | 19
Highlanders v Blues 41 | 34
Mon, 19 February 2018
NWU-Pukke v UJ 18 | 15
Maties v CUT-Ixias 75 | 12
UCT-Ikeys v Shimlas 27 | 32
NMMU-Madibaz v Wits 29 | 32
Sun, 18 February 2018
Dragons v Treviso 15 | 18
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13 | 7
Sat, 17 February 2018
Cardiff Blues v Munster 25 | 18
Lions v Sharks 26 | 19
Leinster v Scarlets 20 | 13
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Ireland 2 2 0 0 9
England 2 2 0 0 9
Wales 2 1 0 1 6
France 3 1 0 2 6
Scotland 2 1 0 1 4
Italy 3 0 0 3 0