Berbizier's expansion plan

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The Independent Online
While there was no outright jubilation in the French dressing room, there was quiet satisfaction, the knowledge that although the Tricolores took 20 minutes to get into the game they were then able, despite the conditions, to use the same expansiv e planthat brought them success in New Zealand.

"When we walked on to the pitch and felt the gusts of swirling wind we knew it was going to be a bit delicate. But we decided, however difficult the conditions, to stick to our original intentions and play an ambitious style of rugby," Laurent Cabannes, the flanker, said.

When the French gained the upper hand up front, they were able to run and handle the slippery ball with at-times bewildering dexterity and speed. Their irrepressible desire to attack from broken play and from any part of the ground was best illustrated by their full-back, Jean-Luc Sadourny, who has grown immensely in confidence since last year "We showed that we intend to continue to develop the game of movement which succeeded against the All Blacks," the coach, Pierre Berbizier, said. "On the negativeside, our finishing was not good, and we saw that if we want to move the ball around our forwards have to get hold of it first!"

Fuelling another debate started by the French coach last Friday, concerning playing standards of the Five Nations in this World Cup year, Berbizier and his captain, Philippe Saint-Andre, fired parting shots at the Welsh, who in terms of their approach tothe game confirmed that the Championship is about to become a two-horse race between France and England. "The Welsh didn't come here to create, they only came to destroy," Berbizier said. "Even when we gave them some space with poorly-judged kicks, theyjust kicked it back at us."

Saint-Andre also regretted the Welsh lack of initiative: "They are not a team like Australia, England or New Zealand, prepared to take on their share of responsibility in the game. On Saturday the Welsh refused to do that - they were happy to win the ball, pepper us with kicks, and then sit back and wait for us to make mistakes."