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Rugby World Cup: French coach vented fury over limp first-half display against Romania

Published 25/09/2015

France's Noa Nakaitaci
France's Noa Nakaitaci

France winger Noa Nakaitaci admits head coach Philippe Saint-Andre was right to give the team a dressing-down after their limp first-half display against Romania.

Les Bleus ran in five tries to win the World Cup clash 38-11 at the Olympic Stadium, but with 30 minutes played the score was level at 3-3 and Romania had arguably been the stronger side.

Television cameras allowed into the changing rooms showed Saint-Andre reading the riot act during the interval, but Nakaitaci believes the harsh words were deserved.

"We knew he was going to be p***** off as we didn't make a good first-half performance. It was ugly. He is happy for the moment," said Nakaitaci.

A yellow card for Romania's Paulica Ion gave France the opening they needed at the end of the first period as Sofiane Guitoune and Yannick Nyanga scored twice in three minutes.

The second half followed a similar pattern as Romania held their own for 20 minutes before fatigue again set in, and tries from Guitoune, Wesley Fofana and Gael Fickou sealed the bonus-point victory.

France were pleased to have taken all five points, just four days after beating Italy, but the 2011 finalists will have to improve if they are to overcome more ruthless opposition.

"We are happy with our bonus-point win although the game wasn't what we wanted it to be like," Nakaitaci said.

"The first half hour was very unsettling. They were good in the scrums, they were very good in the rucks, but we didn't panic. We were able to come back in the second half and put a few tries in."

The win puts France top of Pool D, four points clear of Ireland, although having played a game more. They have a rest before facing Canada in Milton Keynes next Thursday.

Belfast Telegraph

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