PARIS (Reuters) - France captain Guilhem Guirado blamed France’s narrow defeat at home to Ireland in their Six Nations opener on their lack of discipline on Saturday.
France defended well throughout but were often penalised, with second rower Sebastien Vahaamahina being repeatedly sanctioned, and they were beaten 15-13.
Ireland flyhalf Johnny Sexton scored four of the five penalties he attempted and Ireland were almost always ahead on the scoreboard.
“We held firm in the first half,” said Guirado when asked to comment on Ireland’s domination.
“What we lacked is discipline. We gave away a few avoidable penalties.”
The hooker said he had no complaints about referee Nigel Owens, who was often booed by the Stade de France crowd.
“He was coherent. It’s up to us to see what didn’t work well,” he said.
Coach Jacques Brunel echoed his captain’s opinion.
“We were a bit too penalised and gave away points but we were always in contention against the world number three, we showed a lot of courage,” Brunel said after his first game in charge.
Sexton scored a 44-metre drop goal with the last kick of the game to give Ireland the win.
“It’s a big disappointment after all the effort we put into this game,” said Brunel.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Clare Fallon