Six Nations: We've blown it - France coach

Coach Bernard Laporte will take his shell-shocked Six Nations team to Twickenham next month, admitting France have "blown" their chance of winning the championship.

Coach Bernard Laporte will take his shell-shocked Six Nations team to Twickenham next month, admitting France have "blown" their chance of winning the championship.

The French would have moved level on points with Clive Woodward's tournament leaders had they turned a commanding 19-6 lead over Wales into victory.

But the Neil Jenkins-inspired Paris visitors fought back brilliantly to triumph 43-35 in an amazing match of six tries, countless chances and uninhibited attacking adventure.

Wales completed back-to-back victories in the French capital for the first time since 1957, reviving their Six Nations' campaign after a heavy defeat to England and a draw in Scotland.

But Laporte is now a man under huge pressure, his cause not helped by French Rugby Federation president Bernard Lapasset blasting the players during an outspoken post-match attack.

France's chance of toppling Grand Slam-seeking England on April 7 appear remote, and Laporte faces a huge task rebuilding confidence and morale.

"I thought we had a chance of winning the championship before this match, but we have blown it now," he said.

"At 19-6 ahead, we should have closed the match out. We seemed to lack energy and we ran out of juice, making basic mistakes.

"We did not have a real structure to our game. We ran when we should have kicked, and we kicked when we should have run.

"That said, we had more than enough of the play to have won the match. Losing it is bitterly disappointing - we blew at least five try-scoring chances, and with a little more composure we would have won by a big margin."

The French players struggled to explain why their collective foot came off the pedal, flanker Olivier Magne adding: "Perhaps we are looking at too big a level to try and achieve.

"I am not Merlin the magician, but clearly we must find a solution and we must continue with the work ethic."

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox