Six Nations: Philippe Saint-Andre salutes Italy after shock defeat in Rome

Last Updated: 04/02/13 2:58pm

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Philippe Saint-Andre: The best team won

Philippe Saint-Andre: The best team won

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France coach Philippe Saint-Andre paid tribute to Italy after seeing his team upset 23-18 in Rome.

It was only the second time Italy have beaten France in the Six Nations - they also won two years ago - and in the final five minutes the Azzurri survived massive pressure to triumph.

Saint-Andre was generous in his praise of the hosts, but warned his team they better bounce back quickly against Wales in Paris next weekend.

"We need to congratulate Italy. They played very well, with a lot of passion, and kept the ball well," he said.

"We had control of the game when we were five points in front, but we lost the ball too many times and were not precise. When you are not precise in the Six Nations, you are punished.

"The first half an hour was bad and the last half an hour was a catastrophe. It hurts but it's only one game.

"The players are very, very disappointed. We prepared well for the game and we respect the Italian team. They improve each year, and in November they were unlucky to lose to Australia.

"Wales against Ireland was a fantastic game yesterday. Wales are very quick and physical, and we need to prepare very well and we need to win. It is not acceptable to lose at home."

France captain Pascal Pape could miss next weekend's match with Wales after picking up a back injury in Rome.

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