Noves able to find positives in France defeat


France have plenty to be positive about despite losing for the second time in this year's Six Nations, according to coach Guy Noves.

After a positive start against Ireland on Saturday, the French lost control of the game, as Jonathan Sexton kicked the hosts to victory.

The fly-half supplied 11 points in Ireland's 19-9 win in Dublin, scrum-half Conor Murray scoring the only try of the game, while France's points all came via Camille Lopez.

Lopez had given the visitors a 6-0 lead early on but they were unable to capitalise, leaving their hopes of challenging for the title in tatters.

Noves was not too disheartened, but acknowledged his side had allowed Ireland to take control of the encounter.

"For 25 minutes we competed with Ireland in all areas, then they took the ascendancy and we were reduced to defending," he told a post-match media conference.

"We were simply beaten by a superior team. We made too many mistakes, which is obviously too important at this level.

"Talking about progress when we just lost is complicated. I don't have the impression that we're making progress, but we improved, that's for sure. This match will provide guidance for the future."

France will look to bounce back from this defeat when they face Italy away from home on March 11.