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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 October, 2003, 15:50 GMT 16:50 UK
Laporte warns of French defence
France coach Bernard Laporte
France coach Bernard Laporte has warned his team's defence could yet win them the World Cup after their 51-9 win over Scotland.

The French were in scintillating form throughout the Pool B game, running in five tries.

But Laporte preferred to move the attention away from France's notorious attacking play.

He said: "To win the World Cup you need the best defence in the world.

"I thought after the England-South Africa game that the English had the best defence in the world but tonight, our defence was also very good.

"But the real pleasure for me was to see the players do all the things we've been doing in training out on the field."

The game had been a close contest for the opening half hour as Frederick Michalak, who ended the game with a points tally of 28, and Chris Paterson traded early spot kicks.

But a first-half try from Serge Betsen, as well as second-half scores from Nicolas Brusque, Imanol Harinordoquy, Michalak and Fabien Galthie.

Galthie, who enjoyed a scintillating game at scrum-half, warned people against rating France solely on their performance against Scotland.

The French captain said: "Whenever you win a match, you are never quite sure whether it is because you have played well or the opposition has been poor.

"The most important thing is to make sure you do the basics right, even when your opponent is not very good.

"Scotland started well and it wasn't easy to score points in the first half but we know we will have to improve if we are going to progress much further in the tournament."

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