France coach Marc Lievremont, renowned for his bizarre utterances, has been at it again - saying he was impressed by the All Blacks's 83-7 demolition of Japan, adding that his side would have been incapable of such a performance.
The French opened their World Cup campaign last Saturday with a comfortable enough 47-21 win over Japan, although the Japanese were just four points adrift deep into the second half.
"France is not New Zealand," Lievremont said.
"I really don't think we would have been capable of playing at such a consistently high level as the New Zealanders, even after the warning we got against the Japanese."
Lievremont said he had noted how the All Blacks had shown total respect for their opponents by going all out until the final whistle, while his own side had taken a more "Latin" approach by easing off during the match.
"That is something I regret and I hope that the lesson has been well and truly learned that although winning is our prime objective, how we achieve that also matters."
France rattled in six tries to ensure a bonus point against Japan and will be aiming to score the minimum of four needed to ensure all five points on offer against Canada.
After that they will have a week to prepare for their biggest first round challenge - the match against the All Blacks at Eden Park, Auckland on September 24.
Following Canada's win over Tonga, who were thought to be the main threat to France making the last eight of the competition, Lievremont believes that Sunday's result could be doubly important.
"Because of that result, a win over Canada, bizarrely enough, would mean that we would not be that far from being assured of a berth in the quarterfinals," he said.
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