Coach Goulding wants more from France

France coach Bobbie Goulding is not resting on his laurels after Saturday’s impressive 58-24 victory over Ireland in Avignon.

In fact he was far from happy with his side leaking 24 points and is promising a big improvement against Scotland in Albi this weekend.

“You’re always happy with a win at Test level,” said Goulding. “In attack we went pretty well, to score over 50 points you must be doing something right. But we shouldn’t be letting in 20 odd points so we need to be smarter but I have to give credit to Ireland because they just kept going.”

Assistant coach Warren Jowitt has only been working with the side for 10 days but Goulding believes his players are coming round to what he wants and expects from them and can only get better.

However they will have to do without Vincent Duport for the rest of the tournament, the winger having sustained a serious knee injury in the victory over the Emerald Isle.

Scrum-half Maxime Greseque was also forced to leave the field with a torn quad muscle which will put him out of the team to face Scotland but he is expected to be available against Wales on Saturday week (October 23).

Goulding insists that despite France’s impressive victory and Scotland’s heavy defeat to Wales, there will be no complacency in the French camp.

“Forget that result,” he said. “Scotland are better than that. There’s not a chance my players will be underestimating them. We know what we want and know where we want to be next year; we’ve got to win this tournament.

“We‘ve got to be ruthless, I don’t want a team getting into double figures against us. We’re looking for a 50 per cent improvement in our defence and about a 20 per cent improvement in attack.

"We can improve with ball in hand, our completion rate was up at 75 to 80 per cent last Saturday but we’re looking for more.”

Apart from the result, the most pleasing aspect of Saturday’s game was the crowd of 14,552, who basked in sunshine and contributed to what Ireland coach Andy Kelly dubbed the best atmosphere he’d experienced at an international match. The weather is also set fair for Saturday in Albi where another bumper crowd is expected.

Goulding was high in the stand and didn’t get the full effect of the crowd but his assistant coach certainly did.

“Warren said it was unbelievable. The sun was shining, there was a Mexican wave and the crowd were chanting. They cheered when the players came out to warm up and then cheered when they came out for kick off – it really raised them,” said the coach.

“Rugby league down here isn’t just about the Catalans Dragons, it’s about Albi, Avignon, Toulouse and all these other places. There’s plenty of people who want to watch rugby league and that’s only good for the game.

"It should be a capacity crowd this weekend and if we keep winning and get in the Four Nations next year we’ll need Parc des Princes for the games! French rugby league is on its way.”