France head coach Bernard Laporte insisted his players did not underestimate England prior to the Twickenham defeat that ended their hopes of an RBS 6 Nations Championship Grand Slam.
France were favourites ahead of the game, owing to their unbeaten start to the tournament and England coach Brian Ashton's decision to make a raft of changes to the team beaten 43-13 by Ireland in their previous game at Croke Park.
But the world champions produced a display of courage to secure a 26-18 victory, with France managing just six penalties shared between David Skrela and Dimitri Yachvili.
Laporte believes it was the pressure of the situation - rather than over-confidence - that was the reason behind his side's below-par performance.
When asked whether he was surprised by England, he said: "No, we have spoken about this all week.
"(Wasps hooker) Raphael Ibanez, who knows their players well, warned us about their quality and I don't believe there has been a problem with overconfidence.
"We exposed ourselves to a team who rediscovered their game through forward power. We never succeeded in breaking loose of this. We had no energy or speed in our play.
"There was perhaps pressure on us and fear of the result. A victory would have allowed us to position ourselves for the Grand Slam.
"They perhaps had that in their head. A Grand Slam is never easy to secure."
France's pack had risen to the challenge with their wins against Italy, Ireland and Wales, but they failed to turn up at Twickenham.
England's forwards, led by the magnificent Tom Rees and indomitable Martin Corry, were dominant up front, while Toby Flood and Mike Tindall added the sheen in the backs with second-half tries.
Laporte admitted his team had been bullied into submission by the world champions.
"When you concede 40 points to the All Blacks, you feel sadness for the players," he said.
"But here, we didn't give all our efforts. We weren't able to keep hold of the ball.
"The English attacked us constantly. They were able to profit from two defensive errors. But it wasn't by chance - they created the conditions to score.
"It is without doubt a pack of very strong English forwards, who caused us a lot of problems - more than was the case against Ireland and Wales."
France are set to name their 22-man squad on Tuesday ahead of the Scotland game. The starting XV will be announced at the training base in Marcoussis on Wednesday morning.