I was very disappointed after the defeat to Ireland not only because of the negative result but also because we lacked style. We made lots of mistakes, we were technically weak and the bad weather did not help things either.
What worries me is that we seem to have plunged back into the instability that was our characteristic a few years ago. I thought that these bad times were gone for good after our exceptional performance last year, and that we had managed to be like the English teams who can build on a solid basis. But this defeat plunges France into doubt especially on disciplinary matters. We made mistakes which penalised us.
This is not good for morale. We are losing our credibility and it can be disturbing for the players. This year is a very difficult one for France. After our Grand Slam we were tipped as contenders for this year's RBS 6 Nations as well as for the World Cup. We have just faced rivals like England and Ireland who we are bound to face again during the World Cup, and with their victories against us they will have a psychological advantage.
However our Latin spirit could boost us to take our revenge. Bernard Laporte said after the Ireland game that a professional rugby player should never accept defeat. We must have a stronger fighting spirit, starting against Italy on Sunday. They produced an exceptional second half against England in their last match and they will be willing to confirm their good form. Their strength is their enthusiasm and their ball retention. They will not relax their efforts and could pose us problems. We will have to be careful.