Six Nations 2014: 'The bounce of ball didn't go our way,' says Stuart Lancaster after France defeat


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The Independent Online

Stuart Lancaster expressed his pride in what was a heartening England performance but he knows they will face another battering when they travel to Scotland next Saturday.

The head coach must lift his men quickly for what will be a ferocious test at Murrayfield. He said: "We are disappointed to get back into the game from 16-3 down and then to lose. I am very proud of the effort and skills our players put in and a lot of them were performing here for the first time."

Wing Jack Nowell and centre Luther Burrell made their debuts, while Jonny May won his second cap on the left wing. "It was a great performance in lots of ways, and there are real positives to be taken from the game and we are very proud of the players," said Lancaster.

"Games are not won or lost in one moment and it was a true Test match between two great teams, and we have to get those little moments right. The positives far outweigh the negatives from that performance.

"The final French try was very disappointing to concede, but credit to France for scoring from their own half. Perhaps the bounce of the ball didn't go our way and also losing a winger so early didn't help. Maybe the ball didn't bounce into Danny Care's hands either! We can't rely on the bounce of the ball in matches.

"There were five of our pack making a first start in France and I thought they did extremely well, making numerous line breaks, and the list of good performances goes on and on. We have learnt a lot from this game and dominated the middle third and we clawed our way back."

In the women's international which followed, captain Gaelle Mignot scored two tries as France beat England 18-6. Both scores came from driving mauls after the French won line-outs.