Noves frustrated by costly France errors


Guy Noves was left to reflect on costly mistakes following a 29-18 defeat against Scotland which ended their hopes of winning the Six Nations.

Les Bleus needed a victory at Murrayfield to have any chance of being crowned champions, but slumped to their second successive defeat and a first against Scotland for a decade.

It had all started so well for France when captain Guilhem Guirado rounded off a flowing move to give them an early lead, but they were rocked by two tries in quick succession from Stuart Hogg and Duncan Taylor.

Gael Fickou went over to reduce Scotland's lead to 18-12 at half-time, but Tim Visser scored the solitary try of the second half and Greig Laidlaw helped himself to 14 points with the boot to put paid to France's title aspirations.

Some sloppy handling errors prevented France from taking charge in the first half and head coach Noves said they only had themselves to blame after a defeat which handed the title to England.

"It is frustrating, we felt we could produce something special but we were hindered by our mistakes," he said.

"This was a very poor match from our technical point of view. We committed way too many errors - both with ball in hand and in terms of the penalties we conceded.

"When that happens, you are never going to be able to put the opposition under pressure for any length of time.

"We had some very good moments with the two tries that we scored. It's a real disappointment but, paradoxically, it sort of reassures me because we know we were nowhere near the level we can play at."

England will attempt to inflict more misery on France by sealing the Grand Slam in Paris next Saturday.