French ‘panicked’ against Australia

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iol spt pic RUGBY-AUSTRALIA-FRANCE REUTERS Australia's Nick Cummins (C) scores a try against France during their international rugby union match at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. REUTERS/Jason O'Brien

Brisbane, Australia - France's coach and captain publicly disagreed with each other over whether Les Bleus panicked during their thumping by a rampant Australian outfit in the first Test on Saturday.

Coach Philippe Saint-Andre conceded fear got the best of the visitors as the Wallabies thrashed the French 50-23 at Suncorp Stadium, with two late tries ensuring the scoreline flattered the tourists.

“Australia were physical, but with a fair bit of urgency,” Saint-Andre said.

“I think we panicked too much.

“Sometimes we needed to play to the space in our game, and not try to do too much against the speed of Australia.”

But French captain Nicolas Mas disagreed with his coach, saying he didn't think panic had cost them the game.

“It's not a question of panicking - when the team was in a position to convert pressure into points we were making errors,” he said.

“We have to continue to work at that and eliminate errors when we've got an opportunity to score.”

France were without a number of key players for the opening Test, including captain Thierry Dusautoir and form number eight Louis Picamoles.

Saint-Andre said there would definitely be changes for the second Test in Melbourne next Saturday.

“We will try very hard in training this week to have a much, much better match in Melbourne,” Saint-Andre said.


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