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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 February 2006, 16:47 GMT
Laporte hails French persistence
Bernard Laporte
Laporte's France side stormed to their second win of the campaign
France coach Bernard Laporte paid tribute to his side's second-half performance as they came from behind to beat Italy in Paris.

Trailing 12-8 at half-time, the hosts scored 29 unanswered points to win acclaim from the Stade de France crowd.

"In the first half we were fragile and had our problems," said Laporte.

"But in the second our persistence eventually helped us score the tries we wanted to. And I want to thank the crowd for getting behind us so well."

Laporte's side had been met with whistles of derision following their streaky 43-31 win over Ireland a fortnight ago, but a superb second-half effort ensured they left the field to cheers this time around.

In the next game against England we will have to do much better if we want to win
Thomas Castaignede
Italy coach Pierre Berbizier blamed his side's error count as key to their capitulation.

He said: "We occupied the field well in the first half but in the second we could not keep it up.

"We made it too easy for France by making too many simple mistakes and they were able to capitalise on our errors and we were punished for them."

France full-back Thomas Castaignede admitted Les Bleus would have to improve if they are to beat England on 12 March.

"In the next game against England we will have to do much better if we want to win.

"At this level, whoever you play, you must do everything right and we didn't. We didn't play well in the first half when we made mistakes."

Highlights: France 37-12 Italy

Interview: Thomas Castaignede

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