Saint-Andre demands French win respect

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre conceded his side had no hope of winning the Six Nations, but said their goal now was to win respect following their 16-6 defeat to Wales.

The 45-year-old, whose side became the first French team since 1982 to lose their first two Five/Six Nations games, was dignified and frank after an abject display against opponents who had lost their last eight matches.

With two tough trips to England and then Ireland to come, France could be playing for the wooden spoon when they host Scotland on March 16.

Saint-Andre, who had taken France into the championship on a four-game winning streak before losing to Italy last weekend, called on his players to display the type of resilience the Welsh had shown.

"We can't win the title, but we can win respect," said Saint-Andre, who at the outset of the tournament had demanded his side finish better than last year's fourth spot.

"We have to accept the Welsh came here on an eight-game losing run and won and we give them credit for that. We had two clear chances to score and we didn't take them.

"We are going through a difficult time at the moment. But we have to work harder and lift ourselves. We will have to perform a smash-and-grab raid at Twickenham in a fortnight."

Saint-Andre, who knows England well having started his coaching career there with Gloucester and returning for a spell at Sale, said some things had been better than against Italy such as the defence but the team as a whole had not performed.

The former France captain refused to enter into a debate over whether the reason his players looked jaded by comparison to the Welsh was their overloaded club programme, which he has often criticised.

"I won't go into that here. There should be no excuses on that part. We are in a magical competition, it's what you dream about being involved in as a player and is why I wanted to play rugby.

"The simple fact is the Welsh were more reactive, more aggressive and they outnumbered us 2-1 when it came to tackling our player with the ball.

"They stopped us from liberating the ball, something we were very good at doing back in November (when they won all three Tests, including against Australia and Argentina).

"The calendar is due to be discussed in June by the league, the federation and the players and I hope everybody shoulders his responsibilities."

Saint-Andre, who replaced Marc Lievremont after the 2011 World Cup final loss to the All Blacks, said that they had to look ahead.

"We were flying in November but now it's very tough. We are bottom of the table but we have to recover our precision and our spirit and not give up."

Saint-Andre told his team to show no fear when they tackle England on February 23 at Twickenham.

"We must not be scared. It's a fantastic challenge and while we may not be sure of ourselves we have to fight and show the desire to win. Rugby can always produce surprises and we must go there with our heads held high," he said.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Catholics organize to promote pope's climate change message

    NEW YORK (AP) — There will be prayer vigils and pilgrimages, policy briefings and seminars, and sermons in parishes from the U.S. to the Philippines. …

  • Forgotten for decades, fallen NY soldier finally honored
    Forgotten for decades, fallen NY soldier finally honored

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Carroll Heath didn't have it easy growing up in the Great Depression. His father wasn't around, his mother was a patient in a mental hospital and he kept largely to himself. Soon after graduating high school, he enlisted in the Army and wound up in the Philippines, where he's believed to have died sometime in 1942. …

  • APEC ministers to endorse Boracay Action Agenda
    APEC ministers to endorse Boracay Action Agenda

    Trade ministers at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Boracay, Aklan agreed yesterday to endorse the proposed Boracay Action Agenda to the member countries’ leaders, presenting opportunities for global trade for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). In a press conference following the conclusion of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, who also served as chairman, said ministers agreed to recommend the adoption of the …

  • Talks with China over sea row urged
    Talks with China over sea row urged

    The Philippines should engage China in bilateral talks in its efforts to maintain peace and order at the disputed West Philippine Sea, Sen. Francis Escudero said yesterday. Escudero supports the government’s move to bring the issue before international arbitration but also stressed the need for the Philippines to pursue talks with China. Escudero made the statement after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday called for a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea. …

  • House panel tackles bill on regular disaster drills
    House panel tackles bill on regular disaster drills

    The House committee on national defense is deliberating on a measure mandating the regular conduct of disaster risk reduction drills in educational institutions nationwide. Authored by Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., the bill mandates that risk reduction drills be held annually in all educational institutions throughout the country in coordination with the schools’ respective local government units. “The Philippines’ location along the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to the equator …

  • PCSO running out of funds
    PCSO running out of funds

    Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairman Ireneo Maliksi has admitted that the revenue-generating agency is running out of funds as it continues with its mandate to provide financial assistance to indigent Filipinos. Aside from providing financial help to individual recipients, Maliksi cited at least 13 laws that mandates the PCSO to provide mandatory contribution to different government agencies. Just last week, PCSO released P100 million to the Commission on Higher Education as …

  • Cops receive mid-year bonus
    Cops receive mid-year bonus

    Active duty uniformed and non-uniformed personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP)have received their mid-year bonuses. The PNP has released P1.9 billion for the mid-year bonus of the 155,000 active duty uniformed and non-uniformed personnel. The Directorate for Comptrollership released P1,933,664,893.50 through the Finance Service and subsequently credited to the individual ATM payroll accounts of active duty uniformed and non-uniformed personnel. …

  • APEC trade chiefs vow to speed up work in WTO

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Trade ministers from 21 Asia-Pacific countries on Sunday issued strong support to the World Trade Organization's efforts to boost global trade amid a flurry of regional free trade agreements. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options