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France to be positive in Test

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Sportal.co.nz     06 Nov 2013     Getty Images

. That is the view of French first five-eighths Camille Lopez heading into Sunday's (NZT) Test in Paris against the New Zealanders.

Lopez told L'Equipe, that success is possible. The players had learnt during their tour of New Zealand in June that they had the ability if they could reduce their mistakes.

"In France it will not be easy for them. We want to win this game," he said.

France knew they would have to be physically aggressive, committed and to play with desire.

"I don't know if they have flaws, but what I do know is that after our three Tests this summer [June], and in the light of the one I played [the first Test loss 13-23] in Auckland, that we are able to compete.

"But to do that you must be in place defensively. And to beat the All Blacks every action must be good," he said.

It would be important for him to hold his ground, to keep hold of the ball and not to concede it to New Zealand.

Lopez said that after reviewing match footage from the New Zealand tour there were chances where France could have won the first Test and that in the second Test they were twice in positions to score after long-range attacks only to fail to take their opportunities.

"The All Blacks were very diligent in all their actions, unlike us," he said.

Coach Philippe Saint-Andre said France would have to be precise in their preparation. They needed to recover from their club games at the weekend and to make the most of the reduced time they have for training.

The side would need to be organised and fresh to make the most of their chance on Sunday.

France would take a positive attitude into the match he said, would be aggressive, play with discipline and be bold, he said.

"Statistics are not our side. Over the last 30 matches the All Blacks have had 28 wins, one draw and one defeat. But we want to show that sometimes the statistics are not important," he said.

The goal for the side, not only against New Zealand, but in subsequent Tests against Tonga and South Africa had to be advancing their game beyond what happened during the June tour of New Zealand.

"Last year in November we beat Australia and Argentina. But this year we will have to play at an even higher level. We want to measure ourselves against these nations. This is the beginning of the season for us. The guys still have a lot of energy at this time of year and that is good for us," he said.