The tourists were thrashed 50-23 at Suncorp Stadium, with France scoring two late tries to stem the bleeding.
Saint-Andre’s men conceded seven tries, and the 47-year-old coach said his men did not show much composure in the series opener.
“It was physical but with a lot of urgency,” Saint-Andre said.
“We think we panicked too much… we needed to play to our space, and we tried to do too much in 80 minutes against the speed of Australia.”
Saint-Andre said his side allowed the Wallabies to play with flair, and hailed try-scorer Israel Folau as a ‘class player’.
“Because we were on the back foot nearly all of the time it is much easier for fly halves and scrum halves to play well when you have quick balls and you go forward and a lot of contact area, they (Australia) did very well but it is a home game and a home Test,” he said.
France scored two five-pointers in the final eight minutes, and Saint-Andre said it was a positive to take out of the game ahead of the second Test in Melbourne on Saturday.
“We must regroup and keep together, the score was very heavy but we carried on and managed to score two tries in the last 10 minutes so at least we didn’t give up,” he said.
“It is a heavy result but we need to play well in training this week and to have a much better contest on Saturday.”
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