Philippe Saint-Andre (Getty Images)
Croydon - French coach Philippe Saint-Andre on Thursday told of his hairdryer moment with Les Bleus after the ragged start to their Rugby World Cup clash with minnows Romania on Wednesday.
"I wasn't going to give them a kiss and tell them that the first half was exceptional," Saint-Andre told reporters.
France eventually won the Pool D game 38-11, but Saint-Andre could be seen in the dressing room at half time giving the side an Alex Ferguson-style dressing down, his arms flailing.
"The first half hour, it was zero. Rugby is a man's sport where you have to tell the truth. It was said," said the 48-year-old, who has usually been protective of the players despite the generally poor results under him since taking over after the 2011 World Cup.
France were already leading 17-6 at the break, but their performance was insipid.
France were heavily criticised by the domestic media.
"I agree with you we should have done better," the coach told reporters.
"We had a bit of an argument," admitted fly half Remi Tales.
"It was normal after that half hour. We got caught by the Romanians."
Saint-Andre particularly targeted France's forwards.
"It is not acceptable," stormed the former France captain and dashing wing.
France have one week to prepare for their next game against Canada.
The players were given Thursday off but Saint-Andre said that on Friday they would "do a huge amount of work on their rucks" which was a weak point against Romania.
"I am expecting an enormous effort from all 31," said the angry coach.