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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 November, 2003, 11:14 GMT
French bemoan weather
France captain Fabien Galthie
Galthie said the rain caused the French pack problems
France were left rueing the dire weather after their Rugby World Cup hopes were dashed by England.

Sunday's game at Sydney's Telstra Stadium was affected by high winds and continual downpours.

But it was England who adapted best, Jonny Wilkinson kicking all of their points in a 24-7 win.

"We couldn't organise ourselves in the weather conditions. It was difficult for us," said France captain Fabien Galthie.

It wasn't England who knocked on, it wasn't England who lost their own lineout, it was France
France coach Bernard Laporte

"It was very difficult for us to play with the rain as we don't have a heavy pack and we like to run the ball. England just adapted better than us."

France coach Bernard Laporte added: "It is true the rain had a massive impact on the game, but we are a top team, we need to master a kicking game.

"We need to show the flexibility needed in difficult conditions.

"It wasn't England who knocked on, it wasn't England who lost their own lineout, it was France.

"England played the territorial game well and kept reasonable control, but we missed the kicks. That is life. That is sport."

France lost Christophe Dominici and Serge Betsen to the sin-bin but had chances to win until the last 20 minutes.

Wilkinson has a fantastic ability to put a team under pressure
Bernard Laporte

"I explained even though we had been down to 14 men and had a terrible first half, we were only five points behind," said Laporte.

"I said if we can make our set-pieces better, win some territory we could get back into it.

"But that didn't happen and France let the game slip away. We made mistakes, but when you are playing under pressure, you do make mistakes."





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