French coach slams slow start against NZ

Nov 11, 2017 - 11:01 PM A remarkable second-half French turnaround against the All Blacks has done little to improve the mood of coach Guy Noves.

Les Bleus emerged virtually unrecognisable in the second half at Stade de France, turning a 31-5 halftime deficit into 31-18 with all momentum in their favour and 25 minutes still to play.

Their challenge eventually petered out, going down by 20 points, leaving Noves fuming at his team's listless opening.

New Zealand marched over the advantage line at will and threatened to better their record 62-13 scoreline when the teams met at the World Cup two years ago.

"The first half did not match the standards of an international team," he said.

"We respect the NZ team and their qualities and we definitely were not up to standard.

"I'm not reassured but I do hope my players understand and the first half was not good enough for this kind of match.

"If they had shown more respect for their opponents' jersey, maybe they would have played the second half better."

Noves said there was little need to say anything to his players at halftime.

He sensed they knew they had let themselves down.

"It was kind of an electric shock, there was no need to shout.

"It would have been a disaster if we didn't react the way we did after halftime."

Noves expects better from his the French selection he has named to meet the midweek All Blacks at Lyon on Tuesday.

Source: AAP

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