Rugby

Bastareaud: France have nearly hit bottom

2017-11-26 20:39
Mathieu Bastareaud (Gallo)

Paris - "We've pretty much hit bottom," French centre Mathieu Bastareaud said after Les Bleus ended their autumn internationals with a 23-23 draw against Japan.

It could have been worse - Japan would have won Saturday's match if Yu Tamura had not missed a kick in the 73rd minute.

"We should have lost. We were lucky that they missed that conversion from pretty much in front of the posts," Bastareaud said, with the jeers of fans at the U Arena in the Paris suburbs still ringing in his ears. 

"It feels bad to be whistled in our own stadium, but that's how it is."

France have lost to New Zealand before going down 18-17 to South Africa. Then came Saturday's near-disaster against the fast-improving Japanese, who will host the 2019 World Cup.

Bastareaud's team-mates agreed, while struggling to express their feelings. 

"I don't know what to say anymore," said prop Rabah Slimani.

"It's hard to find words," said Louis Picamoles, the veteran No 8, adding that France had not played at an international level "in execution or rapidity."

France's poor results have put veteran head coach Guy Noves under pressure.

"We have a lot of work ahead of us," Noves said after the match. "I have the impression that we have really lost confidence which is having a huge impact on our play."

Yet Noves insisted that he could see potential. 

"At the level of results the balance sheet is not positive but in terms of evaluating players there are still things we can take away. Some of the players showed an interesting level of play, other less so."

"It's been a complicated November, trying to carry on in a normal manner under intense pressure from certain people which helped make the players a little pensive. That led to very poor displays like this one." 

Bastareaud said the players "will go back to our clubs and try to change our thinking because these autumn internationals are very difficult to take for everyone.

"We cannot do worse than we are doing," the 29-year-old Toulon player said.

"We need to rediscover some of the confidence which this team has completely lost."

France begins its Six Nations campaign against Ireland on February 3.

Read more on:    france  |  mathieu bastareaud  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
Vote

Who will finish top of the SA Conference in this year's Super Rugby tournament?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.