Galthié hopes France learn from Scotland defeat

Fabien Galthié and Charles Ollivon during the post match press conference 8/3/2020
France head coach Fabien Galthié believes they will benefit in the long-term from their 28-17 defeat to Scotland.

France head coach Fabien Galthié believes they will benefit in the long-term from their 28-17 defeat to Scotland.

Les Bleus’ Grand Slam hopes went up in smoke at BT Murrayfield as Sean Maitland crossed for two tries and Stuart McInally ran in a third after Mohamed Haouas was sent off just before half-time.

The France prop was caught punching Scotland’s Jamie Ritchie just after Damian Penaud had helped put them 7-6 in front.

France’s young team have been hailed for their fearlessness and effervescence in this Championship and Galthié says the defeat is a steep learning curve.

“It is a very disappointing defeat. We worked well in midweek but we did not do very well,” he said.

“However, we can’t forget this moment because I think it could really help us in the future.

“We need to stay together as a team in defeat and not in victory. We can’t get too upset and need to work hard. Our discipline hurt us today and it cost us.

“A red card means 45 minutes with 14 men and that is a lot of time to play with that deficit at this level. Add the yellow card to François Cros and it makes about 55 minutes with 14 men.

“We said we needed to adapt at half-time and we thought about a solution. We tried to manage the situation as best as possible.”

France have been superb in the first half of each of their previous three games but they were sluggish from the off against Scotland.

Romain Ntamack missed a penalty, Cros was sin-binned for a scruffy tackle and then Ntamack dropped a routine catch from a high ball, was hit by a hard tackle from Scotland’s chasers and subsequently went off injured.

That allowed Scotland to build a 6-0 lead through two Adam Hastings penalties before Penaud’s superb try following an Antoine Dupont kick.

However, that was their only bright moment and Galthié says they need to learn how to control their emotions when things aren’t going to plan.

“It is true we did not play our best in the first half, we lacked the intensity we usually have. I’m not sure why but we will look for the answers,” he said.

“We were prepared as we usually are, in fact perhaps better than usual. Despite these mistakes and cards, we managed to develop the score and take some points before half-time.

“But then we had the red card. Up until now, we have managed to do much better in the first half.

“We won’t be spending lots of hours thinking about it. We will learn how to stop these things happening before they do. We are young and still building.

“We failed in controlling our emotions and we must do this better.”