KUMAMOTO – Frustrated coach Jacques Brunel said France could only improve ahead of their blockbuster Pool C clash against England after surviving a big scare against Tonga to stumble into the World Cup quarter-finals on Sunday.
Just as in their opener against Argentina, France held on for a nerve-jangling 23-21 win, having built a big lead in the first half before seeing it frittered away after the break at Kumamoto Stadium.
The result left France second in the pool behind unbeaten England, and the northern hemisphere rivals will play off for top spot when they meet in Yokohama on Saturday.
While France have shone only in patches in all three of their pool games, which included a laboured 33-9 win over the United States, Brunel said he was not alarmed.
"I'm not worried but unsatisfied. The players are frustrated. They attacked the game well and had good opportunities to score in the first half.