France left to brood on Fiji defeat as World Cup looms

France’s shock test defeat by Fiji will leave Les Blues brooding for some time and confidence at a low less than a year out from the World Cup, admitted coach Jacques Brunel after the 21-14 loss at the Stade de France on Saturday.

“It’s a big blow, it’s not what we had planned,” Brunel said after the flair of Fijians dominated in a game where France got two first half tries but failed to score after the break.

“Unfortunately, it is the end of the autumn tests and the players are all returning to their clubs, leaving us to deal with this difficult impression. It’s going to be a bit complicated.

“We won’t be working again this week, although we will try to review what has happened and understand our shortcomings. We are well aware that this defeat serves as a lesson.”

Brunel said he thought France had prepared well but admitted his side did not get into the game.

“We couldn’t change the course of the game. They dominated us with their impact, in the rucks and we were late with our support play and we couldn’t put in place what we had planned.

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