Sun 14 Mar 2021 | 08:02

France 'still in the race'

France 'still in the race'
Sun 14 Mar 2021 | 08:02
France 'still in the race'
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REACTION: Captain Charles Ollivon said he was confident about France’s hopes of winning the Six Nations despite the weekend’s late defeat to England.

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Ollivon’s men lost 20-23 to the champions at Twickenham and host unbeaten leaders Wales next weekend in a potential title decider.

Les Bleus must beat Wayne Pivac’s top of the table side on Saturday as well as Scotland in two weeks’ time to have any chance of lifting the trophy for the first time since 2010.

“We’re still in the race and the objective is simple, it is to win,” Ollivon, 27, said.

“Count on us not to give anything up, I want to be very positive tonight even if there’s not just positive after it, there’s a bizarre taste in my mouth.

“We’re still in it. Our destiny is in our hands,” he added.

France missed out on the title last season on points difference after a defeat in Edinburgh.

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Toulon back row forward Ollivon said the French are in a better position this time around.

“Last year we took zero points and the points difference was significant which took us out of the running a bit because against Ireland we had to score a lot,” he said.

“It’s not the case today, we took a point from England,” he added.

Coach Fabien Galthie said it was impossible to compare the two situations after prop Mohamed Haouas was sent off in the first half at Murrayfield.

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“It’s very different. We were down to 14 men for 50 minutes. We finished far off,” he said.

“This one we were ahead with three minutes from the end. This taste of defeat at the end of the game is very different. In the building of experience, it’s part of those games you have to experience,” he added.

Flyhalf Matthieu Jalibert had strapping on his thumb during the post-match press conference but is expected to be fit to face Wales next Saturday.

The 22-year-old Bordeaux-Begles player said hosting Wales, who are led by world record cap holder Alun Wyn Jones, offers a chance to react.

“They’re a solid and powerful team who have a collective experience. It’s a good opportunity for us to bounce back after this defeat. We learn, these matches help us grow,” he said.

“We’re lucky to still be able to win the tournament, it’s good to say we can still win it.”

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