Saint-Andre satisfied with fair fight in Melbourne
14 June 2014 15:18pm
Saint-Andre's side were beaten by a pair of penalties in Melbourne
France may not have troubled the scorers in Melbourne on Saturday but head coach Philippe Saint-Andre was satisfied with an improved display from the previous weekend.
Les Bleus were beaten 50-23 in their series-opening clash with Australia at the Suncorp Stadium last weekend - two late French tries salvaged a more respectable scoreline.
The repeat fixture saw the Wallabies seal the series with a low-key 6-0 win but Saint-Andre is content to head into next weekend's finale safe in the knowledge his side is on an upward curve.
"At least it was a real game of rugby," he said. "We were not a sparring partner.
"We should have had a half time lead of seven or ten points. We had an opportunity to score and missed two penalties. In the second half, Australia started very well and our discipline fell a bit. But the defence was very efficient.
"We were in far better rhythm of the match for 80 minutes. We had a turn-about individually and collectively. We took on the Australians for 80 minutes.
"In the last 15 minutes, even with 14 players against 15 [when Bernard Le Roux was sin-binned] we had opportunities to win. We have more work to do but against last week there was an enormous amount of progress and satisfaction.
"We are reassured that we were able to compete with Australia."
England's preparations for the Autumn International series were potentially dealt a further blow as Maro Itoje was forced to undergo an x-ray after Saracens' European victory over Scarlets on Saturday night.