France coach Fabien Galthie plays down tense Ireland scrape

France coach Fabien Galthie plays down tense Ireland scrape in Dublin as Les Bleus target Six Nations title after picking up two wins from two games

  • France picked up their second Six Nations win via a 15-13 triumph in Ireland 
  • Charles Ollivon and Damien Pernaud scored tries for Les Bleus on Sunday
  • France coach Fabien Galthie insists the victory is simply a stepping stone
  • Les Bleus have not won the Six Nations trophy in over a decade 

France claimed their first win in Dublin in a decade by beating Ireland, but coach Fabien Galthie said the achievement was nothing more than a stepping stone to a greater goal.

Les Bleus, back in the Six Nations mix since Galthie took over last year, scored a try through Charles Ollivon on their first incursion and defended stoutly in a tense finale to snatch their second win in two games in this year’s championship.

France, who host the 2023 World Cup, top the standings with nine points, ahead of Wales on points difference. England are in third place on six points.

Fabien Galthie insisted France’s 15-13 win in Ireland was nothing more than a ‘stepping stone’

Galthie’s side snatched their second win in two games at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday

‘We were prepared to win the game, we won the game. It was our objective, that’s it,’ said Galthie, who has led France to nine victories in 11 games. ‘We have a lot of ambition for all our games. 

‘Each game is not a goal in itself, we have bigger goals. I think the team will continue to improve.’

France suffered in the rucks and struggled in the lineouts in the first half but never panicked and punished Ireland on their first foray, a series of offloads leading to a clinical try by Ollivon before Damian Penaud added another after the break.

Charles Ollivon scored one of France’s tries to keep their Six Nations title dreams alive

‘When we have an opportunity we convert it, although we could have done better on that front,’ said centre Gael Fickou, a veteran with 60 caps in a relatively inexperienced side.

Captain Ollivon, who praised his team’s ability to fix their lineout problems, said: ‘It was a ferocious battle. We’re happy and proud. It was a war from the first to the 80th minute.’

France, who are looking to win the Six Nations for the first time since 2010, will host Scotland in Paris in two weeks’ time.

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