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A defeat, not a draw, says Saint-Andre

Date

Pirate Irwin

France's head coach Philippe Saint-Andre.

France's head coach Philippe Saint-Andre. Photo: AFP

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre said the 17-17 draw with Ireland, which dashed the hosts' hopes of the Six Nations Grand Slam, felt more like a defeat.

The 44-year-old, who replaced Marc Lievremont after the 8-7 World Cup final defeat by the All Blacks, praised his side's spirit in coming back from a 17-6 half-time deficit but could not hide his disappointment overall.

"It feels in the changing room more like a defeat than a draw," said the former France captain, who had guided them to wins against Italy and Scotland.

France's fly half Francois Trinh-Duc. Click for more photos

Stalemate at Stade de France

Ireland hold off France's second-half comeback. Photo: AFP

"I cannot praise my team's valour in coming back from the 17-6 deficit but you cannot give sides of the calibre of Ireland a lead like that and hope to win."

Saint-Andre, who narrowly lost out to Lievremont to replace Bernard Laporte in 2007, said that it was really for him a game of two halves.

"In the first-half one can say that the bottle was half-empty and the second it was half-full," he said.

"Having said that I felt we dominated the game in terms of possession and it was only an intercepted try and a well-worked one when we lost the ball in the Irish 22 that saw us behind.

"However their second try right on half-time came after we had been in their half for 10 minutes and I felt that we were getting the upper hand."

France captain Thierry Dusautoir said the French performance had not been affected by the fact they were playing the game three weeks later than planned after the first match was called-off at the last minute due to freezing weather.

"I don't think it was affected either one way or the other," said the Ivory Coast-born flanker.

"I felt we had the initiative and that we tried more things than we had in our previous two matches.

"However, one strategic mistake (Tommy Bowe's intercepted try from a pass by Aurelien Rougerie deep in French territory) and a try from a turnover is why we are so disappointed. It was ours to win."

Dusautoir, who was named world player of the year after a superb World Cup, admitted that the French habit of starting slowly was becoming hard to shake off.

"We are aware of this and we have been working on it for some time now," said Dusautoir, whose side had to rally from a 10-0 deficit against Scotland last Sunday to win 23-17.

The Irish camp were equally deflated, not even the knowledge that they had gained a measure of revenge for the two sides' 15-15 draw in 1985 in Dublin that prevented the hosts from winning the then Five Nations Grand Slam would suffice.

"If you're not disappointed by this then you shouldn't be in the game," said Ireland coach Declan Kidney.

"I'm disappointed for the lads really as they put in a huge effort. We believe in ourselves and the manner in which we play so we didn't go out there and try anythiong new and pay for it by giving up silly points.

"However, we did turn the ball over several times in the second-half and that we should improve on because it is costly.

"Also the French were more aggressive in the second-half and deployed their 'ball up the jumper' tactics."

Irish captain Paul O'Connell was left still waiting for a first ever win in Paris at his sixth attempt.

"This is an opportunity lost," said the Munster lock.

"We were very disappointed with the second-half performance. We turned the ball over too many times and conceded six penalties to one. There is a feeling of frustration amongst us."

AFP

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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG -1vs FJI -1 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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