We're ticking the boxes, says France coach Galthie after Ireland win

Charles Ollivon of France
Charles Ollivon of France
Image: Giampiero Sposito/Getty Images

France claimed their first win in Dublin in a decade by beating Ireland 15-13 in the Six Nations on Sunday, but coach Fabien Galthie said the achievement was nothing more than a stepping stone to a greater goal.

Les Bleus, back in the mix since Galthie took over last year, scored a try through Charles Ollivon on their first incursion and defended stoutly in a tense finale to snatch their second win in two games in this year's championship.

France, who host the 2023 World Cup, top the standings with nine points, ahead of Wales on points difference. England are in third place on six points.

"We were prepared to win the game, we won the game. It was our objective. That's it," Galthie, who has led France to nine victories in 11 games, told a news conference.

"We have a lot of ambition, for all our games. We were ready to face the Irish. It's interesting to tick the boxes. Each game is not a goal in itself, we have bigger goals. I think the team will continue to improve."

France suffered in the rucks and struggled in the lineouts in the first half but never panicked and punished Ireland on their first foray, a series of offloads leading to a clinical try by Ollivon before Damian Penaud added another after the break.

"When we have an opportunity, we convert it, although we could have done better on that front," said centre Gael Fickou, a veteran with 60 caps in a relatively inexperienced team.

Les Bleus performed under the pressure of Ireland's high kicks, with fullback Brice Dulin providing the team with a safe pair of hands.

"This win is the result of all the work we've put in in the last 18 months. We're not there yet, far from it," said Dulin.

"We're not satisfied yet. We're picking up steam."

Galthie added: "It was a very good performance for Brice Dulin. He lived up to expectations. To win these games you have to go beyond what's expected from you and that's what he did."

Captain Ollivon, who praised his team's ability to fix their lineout problems, said: "It was a ferocious battle. We're happy and proud. It was war from the first to the 80th minute."

France, who are looking to win the Six Nations for the first time since 2010, the year of their last Grand Slam, will host Scotland in Paris in two weeks' time.

- Reuters


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