PSA on All Blacks game: ‘Everything’s possible’

Date published: October 12 2015

France boss Philippe Saint-André has said that "everything's possible" ahead of his side's quarter-final with the All Blacks.

Sunday's loss to Ireland meant that France finished as runners-up in Pool D, setting up a monumentally tough game in the last eight against the defending champions.

“We know that the All Blacks are the favourites, but in rugby, everything’s possible," said Saint-André.

"We have to come to terms with the fact that we didn’t put on a great game tonight and to get ready for the quarter-finals. We know that it will be tough, but nothing’s lost yet. We have to come together and find the right mindset.”

Saint-André felt that France really struggled at the breakdown in the second half, highlighting it as an area where the game was lost.

“Even if we were lagging behind after the first half, we felt like we were totally in the game. In the second half, they dominated us in the rucks," he explained.

"We had a hard time getting balls in the set-pieces. It is complicated to defend so much in a game of such intensity.”

Unlike Ireland – who lost Johnny Sexton, Paul O'Connell and Peter O'Mahony to injury – France emerged relatively unscathed from Sunday's physical clash.

“Eddy (Ben Arous) passed the protocol (concussion) and it was fine. I don’t think we have too many injured. As for the Irish, two or three of their players are seriously injured," he added.

“The only thing that worries me is that in the last 20 minutes, we were no longer able to make the right decisions.”

Two early penalty misses from Frédéric Michalak and Scott Spedding prevented France from building an early lead but overall Saint-André felt his side lacked patience.

“Such things can happen. One hit the post," he said.

"On some occasions we outnumbered them, we managed to push forward. The Irish were very disciplined on the ground and defended well, and we lost the ball far too soon.

"We were not patient enough."