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Dublin: 11°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

Devastated Dusautoir hails French display

The French captain and coach Marc Lievremont reflected on what might have been after losing the RWC final by a single point.

Image: Rob Griffith/AP/Press Association Images

DEFEATED WORLD CUP finalists France were proud of their efforts in the immediate aftermath of their battle with New Zealand in Eden Park.

Les Bleus might have won the contest had substitute François Trinh-Duc scored with a long-range penalty in the second half but their overall performance was impressive, given their lack of consistent form to date.

The tone of the final was set before a ball was even kicked when team captain Thierry Dusautoir lined his players up in a V formation and, holding hands, advanced on their opponents as the Kiwis did went through their pre-match Haka.

“It’s a real pity. We are really disappointed,” Dusautoir, scorer of France’s try, said. “I am really proud of my boys and what they did in the World Cup.

“We lost two games in the Pool and we came to the final. It’s good for New Zealand and good for the country, but I am really disappointed.”

Coach Marc Lievremont has been a divisive character in French rugby ever since he took charge of the national squad four years ago. He will now be replaced with ex-Sale and ex-Toulon boss Philippe Saint-Andre. He still had time to share his thoughts afterwards, however.

“I have contrasting emotions. I’m tremendously sad but I’m tremendously proud too,” he revealed. “We always said the All Blacks are the best team of all time but tonight France were great. But we needed a little bit more.

“It was all one-way traffic in the second half and there was very little margin in the end.”

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Dusautoir added: “It is a moment we will remember all our lives. If we had achieved a victory and won the trophy, it would have been fantastic.

“We just missing achieving a great performance. It was our last chance.”

READ – As it happened: France v New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup final

READ – McCaw, Henry proud of All Blacks’ efforts

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