PSA accepts responsibility for loss

Date published: October 17 2015

Philippe Saint-André accepted the responsibility after France were bundled out of the World Cup in pitiful fashion against New Zealand in Cardiff.

On the site of one of their greatest victories, France were completely outclassed, losing 62-13 in the biggest defeat in World Cup knock-out history.

Julian Savea scored a hat-trick, while New Zealand ran in nine tries in total, as France never even threatened a third World Cup win over the All Blacks.

"I think in our sport we have to have dignity in victory and defeat. We have to congratulate the New Zealanders for their exceptional performance," said Saint-André, whose disastrous four years in charge end with this loss.

"We had to stay close. From the early charge-down, we had a chance to get back to 10-9. As soon as the score got bigger, it was difficult. We knew their abilities. They are the Brazilians of rugby. They won 80 percent of the individual battles.

"To be honest I'd prefer to be clapped than whistled, but I'm more disappointed for the players today.

"You can't say they didn't give everything but the scenario of the match that even when we came back at the end of the half, we conceded a try. We started the second half strongly and then got a yellow card. Against these players, you are punished.

"I assume a lot of the responsibility. I have no problem doing that. I've taken a lot of hits over four years.

"From the moment I accepted the proposition, there have been some strong moments with the players and the staff. From there the players will lift themselves up and continue to fight for the French team."

Meanwhile Thierry Dusautoir refused to confirm whether it would be his final Test appearance, and admitted the loss would be tough to get over.

"I don't even want to think about that (retirement)," he said.

"With my team-mates I'm going to recover mentally and physically but we'll be back in other games with our clubs.

"The reality is that we are quickly going to have to look ahead despite the disappointment. I won't make the decision tonight."