Rugby League World Cup: Richard Agar knows France will need to improve
Last Updated: 11/11/13 11:09pm
Richard Agar: Knows France need to play much better to beat England on Saturday
France coach Richard Agar insists his side will need to find a big improvement if they are to topple England in the World Cup quarter-final at Wigan on Saturday night.
The French, who were beaten 48-4 in their last meeting with England exactly 12 months ago, were hoping to secure a last-eight clash with Fiji, but their 22-6 defeat by Samoa in the final pool match of the tournament in Perpignan means they finish third in Group B.
Agar's men were level at 6-6 at the break after Morgan Escare replied to Daniel Vidot's fourth-minute try but Samoa dominated the second half after tightening their discipline to run in three tries without reply.
"We bombed what looked like certain tries. Our skill level and our execution and the wasted plays we had in the final third of the field didn't warrant us winning the game."
"I thought we had enough opportunities to win the game three times," Agar told Premier Sports.
"We bombed what looked like certain tries. Our skill level and our execution and the wasted plays we had in the final third of the field didn't warrant us winning the game.
"It was a disappointing performance from us, particularly in the second half.
"We've got to improve. We did some really good things in the first 40 but the level of our performance in the second half is why the scoreboard reads like it does, will need a bit effort and a big lift for next week but if we can play our best football on the day, who knows?".
Samoa, whose second consecutive win means they will take on Fiji at Warrington in Sunday's last quarter-final, had three players placed on report, one of them twice, and another sin-binned after an ill-disciplined performance, but coach Matt Parish was delighted with the win.
"The French are a very good team and they certainly showed some good attack but I'm immensely proud of the way my team defended and the way they worked for one another," Parish said.
"It's never easy to come here and win. I'm very proud."