Culture&Arts

Frustrated France take positives from Six Nations

Frustrated France take positives from Six Nations

England are tied on 15 points at the top and will need to better France's result against Wales on Friday or overturn a points deficit of 66 if they are to retain their title.

France's bonus point consigned Eddie Jones' England to fifth place - above only winless wooden spooners Italy.

But while Les Bleus began the tournament with successive defeats against Ireland and Scotland, they recovered impressively to see off Italy in Marseille before last weekend's eye-catching dismissal of England.

Leigh Halfpenny and Maxime Machenaud traded penalties either side of the break and heading into the final 15 minutes the match was still delicately poised at 14-13 in Wales' favour.

As much as France have improved during the tournament, the fly-half puzzle remains unsolved.

"However, we're just focused now on Ireland and putting in a really strong performance".

France dominated the game in Cardiff but failed to make it count especially in the second half, losing their third match of the championship by six points or less to end up fourth in the table.

"The job was to come here and win and finish second with a six-day turnaround".




"Congratulations to Ireland on the Grand Slam, they deserve it, but they will know you need a bit of luck".

"We've got to be very positive about this competition, we've got to talk it up say how good it is because I think it's been a very competitive year and there's been some great rugby".

Wales head coach Warren Gatland is due to name his starting line-up today, with a number of areas set for debate, including his starting back-row combination. What is pleasing is that we have exposed some players to the highest level, and leading towards 2019 (World Cup) we have got more depth than we had in 2015.

"It is about us managing him over the next 18 months".

"Sometimes when you're focusing on certain aspects of your performance, the things that you've been good at in the past can take a back seat".

In Rome: Scotland 29 (Fraser Brown, Sean Maitland, Stuart Hogg tries; Greig Laidlaw 3 con, pen) beat Italy 27 (Tommaso Allan 2, Matteo Minozzi tries; Allan 3 conv, 2 pen).

Francois Trinh-Duc showed a glimpse of his class with a fine early drop goal against Wales on Saturday but also reminded everyone that he was capable of blowing up during games.


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