Despite an unconvincing display from his team, France coach Marc Lièvremont declared himself “satisfied” with Sunday’s 46-19 victory over Canada.
Lièvremont was in no mood to repeat the fit of pique he unleashed after an inconsistent opening win against Japan.
After being held for most of the encounter in wet conditions, les Bleus yet again needed a late flurry of tries to move clear of the plucky Canadians.
“I’m happy, of course,” Lièvremont said after watching Morgan Parra notch up a 23-point haul to help France to the win over Canada.
“I was annoyed last week and I said so. I’m not going to be unhappy after every game. We got a bonus point, and that is just reward for the team and the public.
“That’s not to say that everything was perfect, I got a bit annoyed but in general I’m satisfied.”
France went into half-time 19-10 up after three unanswered Parra penalties in the final crucial nine minutes of the first half.
The French stepped up a gear in the second period, Vincent Clerc completing a hat-trick of tries while Damien Traille also crossed for a five-pointer, the metronomic boot of Parra all the time keeping the scoreline ticking over.
“At the start of the match we made some handling errors and that stopped us from playing well,” Lièvremont said of an error-ridden opening period played in heavy rain.
“We weren’t accurate initially but you can’t blame the weather, it was the same for Canada, who started with more confidence and got off to a better start than us.”
Lièvremont said Traille’s 64th minute try had allowed his team to fully express themselves.
“There was less stress after that,” said the former France flanker.
“It gave us a 13-point lead and we were able to unleash our potential. It freed up the team and allowed us to score more tries and get the bonus point.
“We’ve got 10 points, so we’ll go off serenely into the week. We’ll prepare for next Saturday’s match against New Zealand. We need to be confident.”
Ireland’s shock 15-6 victory over Australia on Saturday has opened up a new range of possible semi-final opponents, should France progress that far.
“Are you saying we should lose to the All Blacks on purpose?” he replied incredulously to a question that finishing second in the pool would lead to a more favourable draw.
“There’s never a question of losing a match on purpose. We had a surprise with Ireland (beating Australia) and there could be other surprises.
“We want to beat the All Blacks. We will try to advance and will do everything we can to beat them.
“If we lose it might be easier for us, but then it might also be easier for the All Blacks to lose to us.
“We’re not going to start the games against the All Blacks and Tonga thinking of losing.”
Aurelien Rougerie, captaining the side in the absence of flanker Thierry Dusautoir, put the victory over Canada down to a regathering of wits.
“We forced too many passes that put us in danger at the start of the game,” the winger said.
“So we regrouped and focused on the gameplan we agreed on before the match.
“We remained focused and despite some mistakes at set-pieces, there were no nerves out there.”