By Julien Pretot
PARIS (Reuters) – France coach Fabien Galthie hailed his team’s mindset after Les Bleus claimed a record 11th win in a row by beating Australia 30-29 at the Stade de France on Saturday.
Damian Penaud’s late try gave France a hard-fought win against a team who managed to handle scrumhalf Antoine Dupont perfectly, but the winger’s run for his ninth try in the last 11 games proved just enough for the hosts.
“We were playing for a record that dated back to the 1930s. Winning 11 consecutive games in a row in modern rugby is no small feat and I’m proud of the players because they went for it,” said Galthie.
With a first team who had not played together since their Grand Slam in the Six Nations last March, France struggled more than usual but their self-confidence since Galthie took over in 2020 helped them greatly.
“We knew that two weeks of work could no make up for all these months not being together, especially against a team who have been playing together a lot recently,” said Galthie.
“It was a very tough game but we knew it would be tight. I’m very proud of the boys, they never gave up.”
Australia scrumhalf Nic White added: “An incredible try at the end. We’ll take some learnings but the initial feelings is we’re gutted.
“We’ll have a look at the last 10 minutes. Without going into too much detail, there is something we’ll learn. We had some positives and were right in it. We feel like we probably should have won it.”
Australia beat Scotland 16-15 at Murrayfield last Saturday after the hosts missed a last-minute penalty but this time the Walalbies were on the wrong end of a tight contest.
“Whilst we didn’t get the result, we put two performances back to back. We performed well and will take the positives out of that,” added White.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris)