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Last Updated: Friday, 22 June 2007, 22:40 GMT 23:40 UK
Smith hails his GB 'entertainers'
James Roby and Jon Wilkin try to stop France's Aurelien Cologni
France's Aurelien Cologni is stopped by James Roby and Jon Wilkin
New Great Britain coach Tony Smith found plenty of reasons for encouragement after his first match ended in victory over France.

"I thought there was an abundance of enthusiasm - maybe too much at times in the first half," he said after the 42-14 win in Leeds.

"I thought we were trying a little too hard to entertain.

"But that is a good thing. As far as a coach goes, you'd rather be that way than lacking enthusiasm."

Smith fielded an inexperienced side, with the likes of Paul Wellens, Leon Pryce, Jamie Peacock and Stuart Fielden all rested.

And he was given some anxious moments when France led 10-4 midway through the first half, before the Lions exerted their authority.

"We just made a few too many errors in trying to offload the ball in the first half and the French took their opportunities well," said Smith.

"But I thought these boys did well to come together in the week and they showed signs of what they can do.

We got beaten by a better team that is well-coached

France coach John Monie
"Hopefully, they'll have put pressure on the players who didn't play. We gained a lot out of that - there were some really good performances there."

Adrian Morley, who captained the side for the first time and scored a try, also earned praise from his coach.

"They were very well led by their skipper out there. I thought he was as enthusiastic as anybody out on the pitch," said Smith.

Morley praised the part the French played in the game.

"France were very spirited, we knew they would be. They are a very proud nation and took their chances very well. They gave it everything they had," he said.

"I really enjoyed it, and I've really enjoyed the week too. It's something I'm not accustomed to but the boys have really helped me out. I've really got something from this week."

France boss John Monie could not fault his players' effort, and insisted they will learn from the experience.

Monie said: "I think everybody in the stadium knew that we might run out of gas, but in the first half there was some really good football.

"But we let 16 points in straight after half-time, and Great Britain played some good football in that period.

"We got beaten by a better team that is well-coached, but what impressed me about us is that we did show a little bit of flair and play some footie.

"The last 15 minutes of the game, there was nothing on the line, but our boys played out the full 80 minutes and never stopped going."

Great Britain 42-14 France
22 Jun 07 |  Rugby League
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20 Jun 07 |  Rugby League
Morley to captain Great Britain
09 Jun 07 |  Rugby League
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26 Mar 07 |  Rugby League


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