French get benefits from Blues clash
French coach Philippe Saint-Andre said he had been given a little to think about ahead by France's 38-15 win over the Blues at North Harbour Stadium on Saturday night.
"I'm very pleased with the performance of the team...I like the atmosphere of an old school tour, games on a Tuesday night and in very good spirit," he said.
There were also chances for players who had not played for a long time, and to get some game time playing for their country. Everybody in the team had some game time, and now the focus could return to Saturday's second Test in Christchurch.
Saint-Andre said if he had his way there would be 35-38 players in a squad and they would have two or three games before the first Test because he had players in his team who hadn't played since May while others played in the French final last week. And as a result the difference in form between players was huge.
"We need this type of game to learn, to improve, to be better and also for the spirit of the team. I think the crowd love it and the players love it. The Lions do it. Maybe I am old school but I would like to have the same type of tour because I think it is a great advertisement for rugby.
"I think it is the rugby we like," Saint-Andre said.
French captain Yannick Nyanga agreed and said being able to tour as a group did so much for development because at home only 23 players met to prepare for games for two or three days and a June tour was the only time all the players were available.
It was a much better way for players to get to know each other and to develop confidence.
He said of the side's win France had made a good start to the game and that had been behind their win. They knew the Blues were without six All Blacks but it had still been a physical game which was what France wanted.