France v Wales, Six Nations Championship, February 28
Lievremont hails "little miracle"
February 28, 2009
Marc Lievremont has hailed his side's performance against Wales © Getty Images
France's outstanding win over Wales at the Stade de France has been hailed as "a little miracle" by their coach Marc Lievremont. France defeated last season's champions Wales 21-16 thanks to tries from Thiery Dusautoir and Cedric Heymans, making a mockery of their six day turnaround from last weekend's Top 14 action.
With a makeshift fly-half in Benoit Baby and an inexperienced scrum-half France produced an outstanding display of pressure rugby in front of a rapturous home crowd.
"You know as well as me," Lievremont told the press after last night's game, "that to put in this kind of performance with this sort of build-up is a little miracle, a true exploit. I congratulate my players."
Lievremont refuses to get carried away with his side's performance however, pointing to their ineffective performance against Scotland and loss to Ireland as reminders of their difficult tournament so far.
"We mustn't forget that we lost in Ireland and we were poor against Scotland, and I assume responsibility for that," Lievremont said. "I am like anyone else, criticism is hard to take and this has been a quite painful week. Sometimes, criticism helps you progress when it is constructive.
"And I have had an enormous amount of messages of encouragement from Top 14 coaches and friends."
Lievremont's caution was echoed by lock Sebastien Chabal, who endured a bruising encounter with the Welsh pack. France will now take on England at Twickenham in their next game, with confidence slowly building in their ranks.
"This victory is promising but we mustn't get carried away," he said. "We must think of the future. We now await a tough match in England but if we continue with the same mentality, we can go there with ambition."