February 9, 2020 / 6:44 PM / 9 days ago

France top standings but need more consistency against Wales

(Reuters) - After victories over England and Italy, France will need to be more consistent against Wales in two weeks if they want to win their first Six Nations title since 2010.

Rugby Union - Six Nations Championship - France v Italy - Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France - February 9, 2020 France players celebrate after the match REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Les Bleus followed up their 24-17 victory against World Cup runners-up England with a 35-22 win against Italy at the Stade de France on Sunday, but they could have done better in their second outing of the tournament.

“We were not perfect, the perfect match does not exist but it’s good that we question ourselves before going to Cardiff,” said captain Charles Ollivon, who scored his third try in two matches.

While the bonus point was widely expected against Italy, France’s poor discipline was a cause for concern.

“We got the bonus point so we are happy, but there are a lot of errors we made, especially with our discipline, so we need to fix that as soon as possible,” said second row Paul Willemse.

“It’s not normal for us to have conceded all those penalties, but we’ll definitely focus on that in the weeks to come.”

Coach Fabien Galthie, after his second game in charge of a rejuvenated squad marshalled by the highly impressive scrumhalf Antoine Dupont, praised his team’s first half.

“The first half was almost perfect,” he said before noting France’s lack of discipline.

After conceding seven penalties against England, they conceded 10 against the Azzurri.

“We were less tough than against England,” said Galthie.

“At the beginning we put them on the back foot before letting them through and exposing ourselves to making mistakes. We need to be more consistent.”

According to Ollivon, France, who lead the table ahead of Ireland on points difference, were not as focused as against England.

They even lost three lineouts in a row.

“We all made mistakes and I think that despite all our good work we paid for a lack of focus in certain situations,” said Ollivon.

“We improved on a lot of things, like the scrum, but the concentration needs to be worked on.”

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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