'Ireland outclassed us in every domain' - France centre Gael Fickou

Gael Fickou praised Ireland for their win in the opening game of the Six Nations
Gael Fickou praised Ireland for their win in the opening game of the Six Nations
©Steve Haag

France centre Gael Fickou heaped praises on Ireland following their victory in the opening round of the Six Nations tournament at Orange Velodrome on Friday.

Tries from Jamison Gibson-Park, Tadhg Beirne, Calvin Nash, Dan Sheehan and Ronan Kelleher meant Ireland completed a 38-17 victory against the Les Bleus.

They were also aided by red card of Paul Willemse, who received two yellow cards in the game for high tackles and his absence proved decisive as Fabien Galthié's succumbed to a defeat in front of the home crowd.

"This evening they outclassed us in every domain," said Fickou.

"Very quickly it was 14 v 15 even when it was 15 v 15 it was already very complicated.

"Thus at 14 it was too much of an ask and they had their noses in front, too.

"They thoroughly deserve their victory, there is no debate about that.

"They stayed 14 on the line, we were one less. It became difficult to shift the ball. They contested a lot of the rucks."

France skipper Greg Alldritt expressed disappointment over the result and is hoping to make a strong comeback in their second round fixture against Scotland.

"It is tough. We would have liked to show a different image of ourselves.

"We promised we would put up a good performance, we wanted to show character and step up the intensity.

"The beginning of the season has been full on. One has to understand that. It is tough to talk this evening.

"This is not the side of us we wanted to show tonight.

"We will, though, own this defeat and we will keep our heads high. We will do everything possible to bounce back next week [against Scotland]."

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