French to keep Gallic flair v Kangaroos

Nov 1, 2017 - 5:17 AM France have vowed not to abandon their Gallic flair when they meet Rugby League World Cup favourites Australia on Friday in their group match.

The Kangaroos are on high alert for a French side who had thrown caution to the wind with a weekend-high 17 offloads in their tournament-opening loss to Lebanon.

But even if a cricket score could be on the cards against a more-clinical Australian team, French lock Jason Baiteri has promised the Kangaroos to expect the same in Canberra.

"Just because it's Australia, we're not going to shy away from playing footy and also against England (next week)," Baitieri said on Wednesday.

"That's our philosophy; that's the way we're going to attack the game. We're going to play and try and defend as well as we can."

The one-time Sydney Roosters player suggested the world No.6 nation could be more frivolous against the more-defensively sound Australians.

The Kangaroos gave up just four points last week in their opening win over England.

"The French rugby league has suffered a bit in the past but, with a new direction of the French Federation, we've gone into implementing our own style of rugby league," Baitieri said.

"We saw a bit of that against Lebanon, but we didn't get to play as much as we wanted to. Maybe we'll get the chance against Australia, but we're just trying to play some good footy."

Baitieri said the 2013 World Cup quarter-finalists, who had an average of about 23 for the tournament, wouldn't be overawed by the occasion.

With their last group match against England, the French must win at least one of their remaining two games to be any hope of progressing through to the knockout stage.

"Everyone has a bit of pressure but it's normal. When you're playing footy, you always want to have a bit of pressure," he said.

"It's also exciting. We're playing against the best in the world and I think it's a challenge that all the boys want to get up and play against."

Source: AAP

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