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Dupont: We put ourselves under pressure

Dupont: We put ourselves under pressure

Antoine Dupont France

Antoine Dupont admitted that France were not at their best but was proud of the way they came together to edge out Australia in Paris.

The victory was an 11th in a row for Les Bleus, breaking their previous record streak that dated back to the 1930s.

But it did not come easy, Australia leading by four points heading into the final five minutes before Damian Penaud’s brilliant finish snatched a 30-29 success.

And while skipper Dupont accepted responsibility for some of France’s struggles, he was delighted at the way they came through at the death.

He said: “We put ourselves under pressure, starting with me. We struggled to clear our lines under pressure around the rucks. That meant that we were pushed back and conceded points easily. We struggled to get into the match and when we did, we conceded that counter-attacking try.

“They kicked a lot, which is not common for them. We had to adapt. We also conceded a lot of penalties which meant that we struggled to get out of our half. At 26-22, we were not in a good place, but we knew that we could still break them down and have a chance as we had previously.

“We had to get back into their half, hold onto the ball, be rigorous and disciplined and it worked, with of course this thunderbolt from Damian. But that is part of our game as well, to not panic, to come together and try to win until the end.

“11 consecutive victories? It is important in our progression. It shows that what we are doing is working.”

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For Australia, it was a case of what might have been. A week after a one-point win in Scotland, this time around, they were on the other end of the scoreline.

And coach Dave Rennie admitted that after perhaps getting a little fortunate in Edinburgh, this time around, the fates had conspired against them.

He said: “It’s a game of inches, isn’t it.

“We got away with a tight one last week and we finished second tonight. It is what it is.”

Still, it was a fine performance from the Wallabies, including one of the tries of the year from Lalakai Foketi as he finished off a length-of-the-field counter-attack.

And while skipper James Slipper was obviously disappointed at the defeat, there was also a lot of pride at the performance.

“I was extremely proud with how we performed tonight,” Slipper said.

“As a front-row prop, it’s always great to see your backline string a few passes together and run the whole field and score a try.

“We wanted to play with no fear and that was a great example of that.”

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