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We need to be more clinical - Noves


France head coach Guy Noves

France head coach Guy Noves

France head coach Guy Noves

French coach Guy Novès took a leaf out of the Eddie Jones handbook on Saturday. His team might have beaten Italy in Rome, recording their first away win in the Six Nations for two years.

But Novès was anything but elated afterwards, preferring to criticise the "shortcomings" of his team.

On the face of things, his men had plenty to be proud of. On a glowing spring day, Gaël Fickou, Brice Dulin and Louis Picamoles all delivered commanding performances, interchanging play between backs and forwards at will.

Collectively, France racked up a colossal 870 metres and broke through 53 failed tackles.

But Novès complained that it had taken them 77 minutes to score their fourth and final try.

"We did our job," he said.

"But we again saw some shortcomings which make the big differences between us and certain teams which we can't manage to beat.

"There were all these balls dropped too easily, a lack of patience when we're capable of doing good things on the wings.

"I hope one day we'll find a team capable of being more clinical, of keeping the ball for the time it needs."

The tenor of Novès's comments was perhaps surprising, especially as France could finish second in the championship if they beat Wales in Paris on Saturday.

Irish Independent